Frequently Asked QuestionsPregnancy & Birth
Which of your services do you recommend to help me feel confident in birthing my baby naturally?
It would depend on whether you prefer a personalised 1:1 or 2:1 service, or being in a small group over a number of weeks or a single day workshop setting.
For a more personalised service I recommend Lush Mama (3 x 2-hour) or Full Bloom (5 x 2-hour) sessions for just you, including your partner or a mix of individual and joint sessions. The five sessions would allow a deeper level of preparation and more time to integrate the shifts you desire. My doula package would ensure the ultimate level of birth preparation and support in pregnancy, birth and immediately post-natally.
If you prefer small group learning, you could attend a Primal Mama or Birthing Bliss series for women or Birthing Bliss For Couples retreat day.
What are Lush Mama and Full Bloom sessions about?
The sessions are all about meeting you (& your partner) wherever you may be in your birth preparation journey. They can be used in an entirely flexible way for a range of holistic methods of birth preparation, depending on your needs and preferences.
The packages can be used for a combination of pregnancy massage & bodywork; pelvic balancing which would ideally involve your partner; learning about your preferred natural labour tools for relaxation; accessing your unique birth vision and preferences; birth hypnosis; exploring any anxieties you may have around birth & parenthood; working through specific trauma you may experience; and information on easing into birth and the “fourth trimester”.
I would start by gauging your level of readiness for birth and parenthood and then create a plan around what we can cover together in the three or five sessions to best serve you both. This can be modified as we go. Any unused sessions can be used post-natally for massage etc. You may also borrow DVDs and books from my extensive library to support your birth preparation.
How is Primal Mama different to other birth education?
Primal Mama has a very distinctive flavour and is all about cultivating a felt sense of confidence for birth. It is birth education, pre-natal yoga and mindfulness all rolled into one. It is all about being fully present in your body and trusting its instinctual power and magic in birth. The focus is on your primal intelligence, pleasure and comfort as tools for birth and motherhood. The practices will also help you open pathways to ecstatic and orgasmic birth. The postures and movements are also designed to support pelvic balancing for birth. There are themes for each of the six weeks and weekly emails for reflection and practice to help you integrate a new way of being.
What happens in the Birthing Bliss For Couples retreat day?
It is a rich and varied day to help you and your partner deepen your connection with one another as you prepare together for birth & parenthood with some hands-on tools and information shared by two experienced facilitators.
You will get clearer about your joint vision for birth & parenthood; practise conscious touch and your preferred natural labour tools; explore the power of your sensuality and sexuality as it relates to the primal territory of birth; understand how partners can support pelvic balance for birth; the psychology of birth; naming any anxieties you may have around birth & parenthood; and planning a gentle transition for your baby. There will be a special discussion around the challenges of staying connected in the early days of parenting your newborn baby together.
You will have the benefit of male and female perspectives on navigating this epic journey to parenthood while nurturing your relationship into the “fourth trimester”.
I have some fear and anxiety about birth and parenthood. I feel it may be related to some trauma I’ve experienced in the past. How can you help me?
Some amount of fear or anxiety around the unpredictable territory of birth is quite natural. It’s when this takes over your way of responding to life in general or you feel stuck in symptoms of trauma that it’s prudent to address these during pregnancy so that you are as calm as possible as you approach labour and birth.
Trauma symptoms may stem from a variety of triggers that have a cumulative impact on your nervous system. If not addressed they may play out at birth in a negative way. Particularly important in preparing for birth is to is resolve any lingering impact from a previous traumatic birth or from sexual trauma.
I use a combination of Somatic Experiencing® (body-centred approach to trauma resolution), counselling and bodywork to help individuals resolve the symptoms of trauma and find a greater sense of peace and resilience.
A number of sessions is often required to unravel long-held patterns of incomplete body defences which lie at the bottom of many symptoms of trauma, anxiety and low energy states.
How can I ensure my body is as ready as can be to birth my baby naturally?
There are many holistic approaches to this. Apart from committing to exceptional self-care in terms of nutrition, hydration, movement, rest and relaxation, I can offer some hands-on ways to help you prepare for birth.
The first is pelvic balancing through direct bodywork and learning about movements, postures, pelvic floor relaxation and partner-facilitated stretches for optimal position of the baby. A part of this can incorporate internal bodywork to help relax pelvic ligaments and ease any tension you may hold in your pelvic tissues.
Secondly, I offer specialised pregnancy massage to help you minimise any physical strain on your growing body.
In the final few weeks of pregnancy, I focus on a more sensual and nurturing style of bodywork to turn up your oxytocin dial (promote labour hormones) and prime your body for birth.
This can be extended into specific induction massage if required.
You may also want to opt for the special three-hour Ecstatic Birth Session to more fully explore how you can incorporate pleasure into birth.
And finally, the gentle movement practices in the Primal Mama series are also designed to optimise your physical wellbeing and baby’s position for birth.
My partner and I would like to be supported through pregnancy and birth. What does your doula package include?
It begins with an obligation-free personal, ‘phone or Skype interview to ensure that we’re a good fit for navigating the precious birthing journey together as a team.
The package includes 5 x 2-hour pre-natal sessions, a four week on-call period two weeks on either side of baby’s estimated due date, continuous support from established labour to the time you are settled with your newborn baby following birth, and one 2-hour post-natal home visit.
The four pre-natal sessions can be used in a flexible way to suit your needs and it’s recommended that at least one session is used for bodywork or pregnancy massage. A second is reserved for nurting massage, counslling or addressing any birth-related issues with your partner from around 35 weeks. Any unused sessions can be used post-natally. The sessions will also focus on your birth vision and preferences; information about labour, birth, breastfeeding and the fourth trimester; understanding the psychology of birth; working through any anxieties about birth or parenthood; pelvic balancing, other hands-on preparation with partner support. At least one of these visits will be conducted in your home.You may borrow relevant books and DVDs from my extensive library throughout your preparation journey. I would be in frequent telephone and email contact to help you feel calm and confident leading up to your birth.
During established labour, I would join you and your partner at home and/or your place of birth to provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support; reassurance and perspective to help you trust the natural process of birth; techniques to assist with comfort and progress of labour including massage, pelvic manoeuvres, acupressure, aromatherapy, movement, positioning, reminders around breath & vocalisation, and self-hypnosis; and facilitation of your skin-to-skin bonding time with your baby.
The post-natal session would be in your home and will be your initial opportunity to debrief and ask questions about your labour and birth; discuss any issues around newborn feeding, interacting, settling and sleeping and your own adjustment to parenthood; or seek referrals to other care provider, such as lactation consultants, paediatric osteopaths or chiropractors. Time permitting, the session may include massage for you and your partner or a simple lessons in baby massage and ways to support your baby to relax and thrive. It may also include a Closing of the Bones ritual. My aim would be to help you cultivate your parenting intuition so that you begin life with your new baby feeling calm and confident.
Any top-up sessions pre- and post-natally can be purchased at a special price.
How much do sessions cost?
Single sessions cost $149 for 1.5 hours; $183 for two hours. I can see you for anything between one and three hours depending on your particular needs and availability. The longer sessions and the three different pregnancy & birth packages offer more economical options. Private health fund rebates may also apply for massage and bodywork.
How many sessions will I need?
My philosophy as a practitioner is to empower individuals and not to create dependency.
However, if you are experiencing long-standing issues in your life, a single session will simply act as a “circuit breaker” and provide temporary relief. It is not likely to lead to the lasting outcomes you may desire.
A course of a number of sessions is normally recommended one to three weeks apart in order to experience a sustainable change in your situation.
This is best discussed in an initial session or during a 20-minute discovery call when I have a better sense of your needs and how I can best serve you. Your openness and trust to show up for your own process are key in the extent to which you will benefit from each session.
If you are having bodywork or massage in pregnancy, the frequency of sessions can be assessed during your first visit.