For many women, the thought of giving birth can be daunting.
But a service in the Southern Highlands can help conquer those fears and make the process a much less stressful one.
Calmbirth has been in the Highlands since 2004.
It was founded by Peter Jackson, whose daughter Karen McClay became director in 2015.
Karen said the Calmbirth program aimed to help couples prepare not only for birth, but for becoming parents and part of a family.
“We’re all about preparing couples for the birth of their baby and our focus is really preparing them and giving them the tools and the knowledge they need to deal with the challenges that arise on the day that they give birth,” she said.
“So a lot of the tools and the knowledge that they gain within our program are life long tools and they really help with their connection as a couple and also the connection with their baby.”
Karen studied nursing when she finished school.
She has been a paediatric nurse and has also specialised in paediatric children’s care.
Her goal was always to enter into midwifery though.
She first became a Calmbirth educator in 2009.
“Watching dad and his work that he did and how he was changing so many lives, how could I not do it? I love it, it’s who I am. It’s not a job, it’s a calling.”
Calmbirth has close to 100 educators across Australia and New Zealand.
Karen said they helped between 3500 and 4000 couples each year through the program.
Many couples who attend the Calmbirth program in the Highlands come from Sydney, Wollongong and Canberra.
Karen said she hoped more Highlanders would attend the Calmbirth workshops.
“They’ve [Highlands residents] got this amazing resource in their area right here.”
The Calmbirth program is suitable for all parents, whether it is their first child or any subsequent children.
It also deals with any fears or anxieties couples may have in the lead up to the birth of their child.
“We also help them to be able to work past any fears and anxieties. We don’t just tell them there’s no need to be fearful,” Karen said.
“We don’t teach anything that’s new and we don’t have any magic in our program. It’s just [helping] couples and informing them what they can do.”
Calmbirth classes run over two days and are held most weekends each year.
Visit https://calmbirth.com.au/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 4871 1806 for more information.
Calmbirth is located art Unit 1/19 Lyell Street, Mittagong.