Even though I am a midwife and Childbirth Educator, it was the birth of my fourth child that finally convinced me of the need for an independent childbirth education service that catered to women who have chosen to birth in private hospitals here in Perth.
After researching what was being offered by other independent childbirth educators and doulas, I found that although there are some great classes available, most of them come from a position that home birthing is the ultimate in birthing. This is usually because the educators running these courses have had fantastic home births themselves, sometimes after horrible hospital experiences. It is great that they want all women to experience what they did, but unfortunately home birth is just not a reality for the majority of women here in Perth.
I wanted to set up a service that helped women achieve better births no matter where they chose to birth. Because I had had a fantastic birth in a private hospital.
My first three births were fine, normal midwifery-led births in birthing centers. Each time, I got pregnant I thought “Great! Another chance to get birthing really right.” I don’t know what perfection I was striving for but afterwards, I just felt I had failed somehow to reach the “Holy Grail” of birthing. So I was devastated when I had to have an obstetrician led fourth birth. How could I have my elusive perfect birth in a highly medicalised setting? I knew I had the knowledge to question the routine practices that can interfere with birth, but did I have the confidence to challenge my obstetrician if I didn’t agree with him?
I decided that as I had been working as a childbirth educator at a private hospital, now it was time to practise what I had been preaching.
My final birth was the best. I felt really empowered. I made truly informed decisions and made my obstetrician treat me as an individual, not a statistic. He repeatedly told me I would need a c-section during my first three appointments. I knew how to avoid what is called “the cascade of interventions”. I had a 3 hour labour and experienced, for the first time, the endorphin high you get when you are truly in the zone during labour. It was an amazing experience. I realised that with my other births I had placed all my trust in my midwives, but this time, I was the expert in normal birth and I had absolute confidence in my body’s ability to give birth. I also knew my husband had absolute confidence in me.
We throw this word “empowering” about but I did feel empowered. I had asked for and got the best birthing experience. I’ve heard women who homebirth say they feel like ‘Wonder Woman’ after birth. Well, I felt like that too! I felt ready to take on anyone after this birth and for the first time, I didn’t suffer from postnatal depression afterwards.
This is why I started Birth Savvy; to help women achieve the birthing experience they deserve. I want women and their partners to have the knowledge to be the experts in normal birth (it really isn’t brain surgery). This means that they will have the knowledge to challenge their obstetrician and hospital policies, if necessary. Sometimes women need that little bit extra to have complete confidence in their ability to give birth. This is why I decided to incorporate Hypnobirthing to the services I provide. I qualified as a Hypnobirthing Australia™ Practitioner can now offer a truly comprehensive, independent childbirth education service.
I saw that the Hypnobirthing Australia course gave women the edge to block out the negative influences that can sometimes surround birth and really be able to stay completely focused on getting the birth they want.