By Peter Jackson
Calmbirth® is a childbirth education program created by Peter Jackson in 2005. As a midwife in a country hospital for over 20 years, Peter witnessed mothers whose experience of childbirth was one of fear, anxiety and trauma. The calmbirth® childbirth education programme is the result of his search for a way to help modern mothers rediscover their birth power and joy.
The calmbirth® philosophy is based on the belief that pregnancy, labour and birth are normal life events and that birth is a natural process to be experienced in a calm and joyfully memorable way. Calmbirth® seeks to alleviate the fear and anxiety many pregnant couples feel about their approaching labour and birth.
The classes educate the pregnant couple in the understanding of the birth process, how the mother’s body works as well as teaches skills for the couple to use up to and during their labour and birth. The aim of the calmbirth® programme is to empower couples to take back the locus of control for their own birthing experience. In calmbirth® the role of the father or birthing companion is vitally important, all three, mother, baby, father/birth companion work in tandem. In the classes fathers/birth companions learn how to support the mother, making the experience one of joy for all concerned.
Although there is an emphasis on natural birth in the classes, the knowledge and skills taught are also very beneficial if, as happens at times, intervention is needed for the health and well being of baby and mother. Couples are encouraged to surrender to the process of their birth no matter how it unfolds.
The calmbirth® program consists of a set of classes totalling approx. 13 hours in length. The time frame varies with different registered calmbirth® practitioners. Some classes run over one weekend, others 2.5 hour classes over 5 weeks, others one day in two weekends. Participants receive a class book and 2 Relaxation CDs which they take away and use to practice the Relaxation and Creative Visualization techniques they learn in the class.
Calmbirth® Registered Practitioner Training
In an atmosphere where the mediatisation of birth is becoming more prelevant, a growing number of midwives in birth centres and maternity units throughout NSW have witnessed the births of calmbirth® couples. This has created a growing interest from midwives, childbirth educators, doulas and other allied health professionals to be trained as calmbirth® educators. As a result the first calmbirth® Practitioner Training course was held in March 2006. Courses are now being held in a number of states in Australia with participants traveling from New Zealand to attend also.
The goal of calmbirth® Practitioner Training is to train midwives and allied health professionals who believe primarily in the natural process of childbirth. They must be open to learn new ways, willing to work in a unique team, share knowledge and most importantly, are interested in helping pregnant couples to increase their options in their birthing process.
Here’s what some mums had to say about the classes
- The techniques and everything you taught us gave us the best gift of all… the confidence in ourselves that we could do it calmly.
- Every time I think about the birth I realise what a truly amazing experience it was. In fact every time I think about it I get on a high.
- I totally believe that the classes and practicing the breathing techniques made this the magical, miraculous, natural experience it was meant to be.
- Thank you for allowing us to bring our baby into the world in the best way possible and since attending your course, I have been using the techniques I learnt in the classes for so many aspects of my life.
- You taught me to eliminate any fear and tension which resulted in the best day of my life.
Here’s what some dads had to say about the classes
- This is incredible to watch. I felt as though I was only a small but much needed cog in the wheel of Sam’s birth. Christy had full control of the wheel. This was nothing short of fantastically unbelievable….
- I, along with the midwives at the hospital, was amazed at Vicki’s peaceful disposition…. To see our little baby boy arrive in such a calm atmosphere can only be summed up as an amazing life experience……
- For those birth partners doubting how effective their role is, I have seen first hand how much I helped just by using the methods I was taught in class…..
Comments from the Practitioners
- “The course has given me the confidence and knowledge to teach couples to have a more positive birth experience.”
- “The entire programme was fantastic. Thank you all for the gentle way of welcoming all my questions and concerns”
- “This is a wonderful programme you have created. Congratulations and thank you. I am going away excited, nervous and happy”.
- “Thank you so much. This course has been fantastic. I can see now why you needed to develop this programme. I look forward to working with it with great excitement. It will enhance my practice as a midwife”.
- “My first class was just so much fun, and lovely. I’m living and breathing it too, but so inspired. “
© Peter Jackson 2010 www.calmbirth.com.au
As a male midwife working in a country hospital for over 20 years, Peter Jackson witnessed mothers whose experience of childbirth was one of fear, anxiety and trauma. Peter knew that nature did not get it wrong, that a labouring mother’s experience could be filled with empowerment and joy. He believed the answer lay in the preparation of the couple during pregnancy. Thus he developed the calmbirth® Childbirth Preparation program.
Peter is internationally recognised for his success in childbirth education. He offers over 30 years experience in General, Midwifery and Psychiatric disciplines of Nursing in Sydney and NSW regional hospitals. Peter is a member of the Australian College of Midwives, NSW Nurses Association the NSW Midwives Association and trained with the Brice-Wright School of Subconscious Mind Therapy.