New Zealand Childbirth Educators Needed!

New Zealand Antenatal Classes

New Zealand Antenatal Classes

Empowered birth: Does this light a fire of passion in you? The Birthing Room is looking for new Childbirth Educators to join their team. Could this be you?? Whether you are already a CBE or midwife, or just someone who loves to see families have positive birth experiences, there is a pathway for you to come and join our awesome team!

The first step is to gain a BirthWorks International certification in Childbirth Education, or join their Accelerated Doula and Childbirth Educator programme. BirthWorks International will be holding their annual workshops in New Zealand in June 2016, both in the South and North Islands. This is a fantastic opportunity to up skill to a BirthWorks qualification or to begin a new career as a Childbirth Educator. These 3-4 day workshops are life transforming, both professionally and personally, and are a prerequisite to facilitating The Birthing Room Antenatal Classes. Both BirthWorks programmes are able to be started at any time, and are mostly a long distance packages, seeing you well on the way through your qualification before the workshops in June.

To find out more about becoming a BirthWorks Childbirth Educator check out BirthWorks International or Contact Us




A person is more than just a physical being. He or she is also made up of the spiritual and emotional, and is designed to be part of community. So antenatal classes should be catered to all of these parts of a person, or much potential for learning is lost.

This week started with a fantastic night of Hornby antenatal classes, whose group is halfway through their course. It was a really fun night looking at what spiritual, emotional and physical things can provide comfort in labour. The next day we began another awesome course of antenatal classes in Christchurch at the Fendalton Plunket Rooms. 9 beautiful families had the opportunity to get to know each other, express their deepest fears about childbirth, look at the influence of society and media on our beliefs about childbirth, talk about the importance of having a midwife or obstetrician who shares their birth philosophy, and learn about the importance of pregnancy and postnatal exercise.

And now this week is finishing with the last day of our North Canterbury antenatal classes. We are so privileged to have a couple coming with their new baby to share about their experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting. And then BabyCalm will be held in North Canterbury this afternoon. Such a fantastic day ahead!

If you'd like to know more about registering for The Birthing Room's 2016 antenatal classes CLICK HERE


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Let me tell you a story about Sam. You may know her. Maybe you are her. She is the Mum I meet for coffee. My hairdresser. My aunty. The brand new Mum I see on facebook with a drip in her hand and her baby in a plastic cot. She is who I meet everyday…
Sam is the amazing woman who in a group setting jokes her baby was too big to get out. “A monster of a baby!” she laughs. Everyone laughs and agrees with her. On the outside is humour. On the inside pain and disappointment. She believes her pelvis was too small and her baby too big for her to birth her baby.
But let’s unpack Sam’s story a little bit. SAM stands for Scared or Sadness About Myself. Typically there are three parts to Sam’s story:

Before she was pregnant:
Going into pregnancy Sam believes her body has failed her. Maybe she has been sexually abused. Maybe she experienced infertility. Maybe she tried for a long time to lose weight, but didn’t. Maybe she experienced terrible period pain. Maybe she had previous health issues. Maybe she had a miscarriage. In her mind, her body does not work for her.
Sam gets pregnant and this pregnancy processes: Her body of course is amazing and is carefully, masterly piecing together her infant day by day without Sam even having to think about it. But in Sam’s mind is a different story. In her conscious or subconscious mind is the abuse, her dislike for her body, her miscarriage. She carefully chooses her birth place and team based upon her history and negative self belief. She will choose the place where interventions are the quickest, as she has a gut feeling that birth will not go smoothly. After all, her body does not work for her. She will choose a birth team who will be skillful in intervening, so that they will do interventions to the best of their ability. She has many scans to help allay her fears of something going wrong. But these set out to do the very thing she was trying to alleviate. Innocently made comments such as “You’re baby is very big for your gestation” and “There may be something wrong with your baby but I can’t get a clear picture. Come back in a couple of weeks so we can have another look.” reinforce her belief that her body does not work for her. She comes away feeling anxious and afraid. The clincher is when she has an appointment with her care provider and hears “I think your pelvis is too small to birth your large baby.” She agrees to an induction before her due date to prevent her birthing the 15lb baby her mind has created.

During the birth:
It is far worse than her mind ever believed possible. Intervention after intervention occurs as she labours on the bed. Although not physically tied down, she is restrained by the electrical foetal monitoring, the IV drip, the medication, the pain. Bright lights, noise, direct questions and fear make it impossible for her to enter her primal brain, the part of Sam that knows instinctively how to give birth. She feels disempowered, out of control, a failure. Really she is a warrior, an Amazon woman. At every point through her pregnancy she has made the best decision she could with the information she had. At every point she has thought of and made decisions based on her or her infant’s survival. But she will never know how amazing she is. Finally her baby is born. She is told that medicine saved her baby. This reinforces her belief in her choice of birth place, her birth team, and her negative self belief. In her mind, her pelvis was too small to birth her baby.
At every point of Sam’s journey were options that would have changed her story. (See below for some top tips) Without a deviation in her life story, Sam may well go onto hold the belief that her body does not work for her for the rest of her life…

Before pregnancy:
Get counseling to help you work through issues that will impact on your birth.
Develop self esteem. You are precious, smart, valuable and loved. Affirm yourself.
Do research about the impact of birth teams, birth places and environment on the birth process. Read books that empower you and increase your trust and faith in birth.

During pregnancy:
Choose a care provider that believes in the ability of a woman to birth her baby.
Choose a place of birth where you feel most safe and secure. That is where you will labour and birth the best.
Surround yourself with people who believe in your ability to birth your baby. Listen to positive birth stories. Challenge any negative self belief you hold.
Attend a BirthWorks course.
Grieve and heal previous childbirth related losses.

During birth:
Create an environment conducive to natural birth.
Make informed decisions about medical intervention and obstetric drugs.
Use optimal foetal positioning to create lots of space in your pelvis for baby to be born.
Choose a kiwi companion to be present with you, or a mother, sister or close friend who believes in your ability to birth your baby.

To find out more about BirthWorks courses click here
If you would like to find out more about how a Kiwi Companion can help your birth click here


The revolutionary round table


Registrations for the big event are now open! The Birthing Room and The Birth Connection are proud to invite you to join us as four speakers share four short, powerful, empowering presentations that will revolutionise the childbirth experience.

Topics include Choice vs Care: Incorporating care into our choice focussed health care system; Supporting Women with Breech Pregnancy, Human values in Pregnancy and Birth, and more!

Includes an interactive panel discussion from world leading experts on antenatal education, the female pelvis, maternity and breastfeeding research, and midwifery care.

Special guest speaker Cathy Daub, president of BirthWorks International.

A life changing workshop for midwives, childbirth educators, doulas, students, allied health staff and parents to be.

Cost: $40/person

See The Revolutionary Round Table for more details.

Home Birth -does “being brave” really count?

Did you give birth in a hospital "just in case?". Many women make that choice, only to have the very birth they went there to avoid. In New Zealand we are lucky that we can birth at home without financial implications. However, we have a more complicated issue and that is the lack of knowledge and choice! The Birthing Room believes a woman will give birth the best where she feels most safe and secure. For many women that would be home if they knew that they could make that choice. Have a read of this short article: "I've heard many women say in response to the new guidelines that they wouldn't be "brave enough" to have a home birth. If encouraging women to have a home birth means some feel this way, then..." Push for more home births in the UK

La Leche League New Zealand shares “What is a doula?”

HAVE JUST HAD MY FIRST ARTICLE PUBLISHED! Hot off the press, AROHA has just arrived in the mail. The article shares a little bit of how The Birthing Room came to be, and how improving birthing outcomes through companionship has a positive impact on breastfeeding. Thank you La Leche League New Zealand, I look forward to snuggling down in bed tonight and reading the rest of your superb magazine.

New Childbirth Book!

Wow, this is amazing! Check out this preview chapter of "Bump: how to make, grow & birth a baby". With gorgeous illustrations, the book sings of Dr Sarah Buckley, which is no surprise when you see the references. Wonderful to see science in pictures. This cartoon chapter is way better, more accurate & more inspiring than most births you'd ever see on t.v! What do you think? The Flood of Love


You may of heard 300 precious girls have been stolen in Nigeria -but did you know that another 27 million are held in slavery around the world today?
The Birthing Room has had an amazing Doco & Discussion Night looking at "The Face of Birth", bringing freedom of choice to women in NZ. But most importantly -WE RAISED A WHOLE LOT OF $ HELPING STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING! Awesome.

The Birthing Room Doco & Discussion Evening

Do you believe every woman has the right to choose how, where & with whom she gives birth? Join The Birthing Room for an empowering evening where we’ll watch the doco “The Face of Birth” & discuss the rights of birthing women.

Cost: Donation
-All proceeds will go towards stopping the human trafficking of our fellow women & daughters -our sisterhood!
See this site for more information:

Places are limited. To obtain a ticket email
Location: South-West Christchurch

Off to Auckland I go…

Was my privilege to attend Dr Sarah Buckley’s Undisturbed Birth Conference in Auckland on Friday. The key point: A birthing woman should feel “PRIVATE” “SAFE” AND “UNOBSERVED”. Fantastic to learn all about the role of the birth hormone cocktail and the impact these have on labour, birth & postpartum. Looking forward to incorporating this knowledge into The Birthing Room’s antenatal classes & workshops, so you are brought the latest evidence-based research. Was up from 3am until midnight, but hey, I think you are worth the effort! sarah buckley conference1

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