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Transforming your birth (and beyond)

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When my husband and I were parents-to-be for the first time in 2017, our hospital birthing course revolved solely around the labour.

This meant when my labour came and went in just under three hours, I held my newborn baby in my arms and thought; “Wow, that wasn’t so bad—the hard bit is over.”

Oh, how wrong I was—because the hard part was actually what came after.

Tracey Anderson Askew has been supporting new mums and dads with this exact challenge for over 20 years.

“I recognised how short-sighted it is when we continually focus solely on the birth, and not enough about the real journey—which is parenting,” Tracey says.

“In the experience of the parents, it doesn’t stop at the birth, in fact it’s only just beginning.”

It’s one of the reasons Tracey decided to expand her successful long-running birth course, Calm Birth Canberra, into a much broader education offering—Transform Parenting.

Transform Parenting is your one-stop-shop for birthing and early parenting education and support.

“I had a vision of supporting new mums and dads to not only prepare for their birth, but also knit them into a community of support for those early weeks, months, and years of this parenting journey and to be there when they most need it.”

Transform Parenting aims to encapsulate birth and parenting through a variety of programs including her free sessions Keeping Relaxed and Excited About Birth,  Transform Your Birth, Thriving as a New Mum, Thriving as a New Dad, Talking with Toddlers, Persuading Pre-schoolers, and Tuning into Kids courses.

In addition, Tracey supports her families with a range of other support services including birthing debriefs and parent coaching, parent therapy and a referral system to other experts in the field. She also provides training for health professionals interested in the mission of transforming how women birth.

Tracey Anderson Askew.

“We start with ‘Transform Your Birth course,’ because birth is the doorway into parenting, and how a woman and her partner experience the birth will influence them as they learn about the baby.”

Transform Your Birth covers everything previously found in Calm Birth and hypnobirthing courses. The course teaches the physiology of birth and presents the compelling evidence of the role the mind plays in labour. “Birth is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one,” Tracey says.

The course focuses on the practical ways to approach birth with openness and a calm mind, and provides parents-to-be with the tools and resources to get in the best emotional state for labour.

An important take away for most families are the tips on the role of the birthing partner, how to respond to all types of labours and birth situations, and preparation for the early days, including breastfeeding.

“I think what I have honed over the years is the formula for helping my birthing mums and support people to optimise their response to the birth process. Our thoughts and feelings about birth will either help or get in the way. My job is to teach parents the formula that works to create subconscious change and optimal conditions for the body to do its job. This is what I have studied extensively and have witnessed its success in hundreds of my families”.

New mum Emily Aldrich says the Transform Your Birth course gave her a sense of calm in an anxious time, as she had previously lost two pregnancies back to back.

“Tracey herself was the most valuable resource we had throughout our pregnancy,” Emily says.

“She not only ran an amazing course, but she also provided us with priceless advice when I called her to talk through my induction (I was induced at 41+5.) Understanding what was happening to my body during labour and delivery allowed me to remain calm and in the moment. I knew what to expect (to some degree) so when it was happening, I knew that things were going smoothly and as they should.”

When Claire Menge walked into the course, she admits she had a lot of “fear and self-doubt.”

“I didn’t know if I had the emotional strength and endurance to birth my baby vaginally and without the use of medical intervention. I was especially scared of having a caesarean, so much so that I had begun trying to convince myself I wanted one, just so I wouldn’t be distraught when I ended up with one,” she says.

Claire says she walked out of the course feeling “empowered” ahead of the birth of her baby.

“I felt confident in myself as a woman that my instincts and intuition would help guide me through the birthing process but also that I was extremely well equipped with knowledge of what was happening, what I could do and what my options were at every stage of the process,” she says.

“Another amazing take away was how reassured I felt in my partner that he had been made aware of and taught how to care and nurture me physically and emotionally throughout birth and the days following.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Transform Your Birth Course
Where: Tuggeranong Business Centre, Kambah
When: Classes are usually held on weekends or evenings, Face to face, via zoom or full online versions available.
How much: $550 for two days, includes food and book/audio files. There are flexible payment options for those experiencing difficult circumstances.
Web: transformparenting.com.au

Feature image: Thorson Photography 

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