Melbourne Doula

Welcome to 'Melbourne Doula', the place where I share what birth work is teaching is me, and what I am learning from the wonderful families who have invited me to share this most special season of their lives. Here you will find information about me and the doula services I provide, birth stories from remarkable women and their loved ones, as well as all kinds of resources to enrich your own journey of discovery. And welcome also to BLISSFUL HERBS, the home of beautiful herbal teas and bath herbs to support wellness through every season of life.

Videos of Birth

If a picture tells a thousand words, video footage of women giving birth can be a powerful tool for education and inspiration. Here are my favorites. There are several slideshows, but I prefer the ones that contain actual video, so that you can see just how the women move and use their bodies to birth.

Spectacular Homebirth!
9:36 minutes. South Africa.
Still photography and video. She is in a birth pool, moving freely, using forward-leaning leaning positions. A hand held Doppler is used. The mother births on hands and knees. She rocks her pelvis. Her partner massages her with oils. Only the mother, father and midwife are present. You can see the profile of the positions the mother chooses and how she uses her body, but there is no view of the perineum. When the baby is born it is lowered onto the mattress and left for the mother to look at and pick up in her own time. The baby begins "chatting" to the mother immediately, and is noticeably soothed when she gently says, "shhhhhh" to him.

Active birth - dancing to tribal rhythms
2:12 minutes
This shows a woman dancing and swaying during her contractions, as she utilizes active birth techniques to get through labor. A strong, positive image to counteract the "stranded beetle on the bed" image we see so much. It only shows a few minutes of labor - the birth is not shown.

Gemma's Birth Music Video
5:58 minutes. USA
This shows a hospital birth, to contrast with the homebirths. All goes well, but I found it hard to see a healthy strong woman having a great spontaneous labor having to do it on a bed, against gravity. Directed, not instinctive pushing - she is told to "pull her legs back". The cord is cut immediately and the baby is immediately taken away from the mother (not delivered up onto her abdomen for immediate skin-to-skin.) Great music track.

Lyle's Waterbirth
4:12 minutes. USA
This waterbirth turns out to be an unassisted birth, because the midwife does not get there in time, but chats with the couple over the phone as they birth.

Natural Birth (Normal Do─čum)
48 seconds long.
There are no words, but great images of a woman actively using her body to birth her baby. She does an extended "proposal position" on one knee to help the baby as it is crowning.

Our Journey to Homebirth - after three ceasarians.

This is an inspiring montage of a couple’s beautiful homebirth. Fantastic sound track! Have tissues handy.

Birth Story in 100 Pictures
If you have never given birth before and you are curious about what it will be like, this collection of still photos will be an education. These are the most awesome photos of a baby emerging underwater that I have seen yet.

Lyric’s Homebirth
This is another montage, but I had to share it – it plays the song ‘Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas. The first time I heard this song, I though, “What a perfect song for birth.” Seems this beautiful mama thought the same.

Woman Sings While in Labor
This beautiful scene is captured on tape for our inspiration.

Twin HBAC (Homebirth VBAC) Birth Story - home birth with twins, one of whom was breech!
Photo montage. Gorgeous backing track too.

Unassisted Childbirth
In this clip from "A Clear Road to Birth" (available for purchase at unassistedchildbirth dot com) a woman gives birth without any medical assistance at all. I have found A Clear Road to Birth (video of 8 unassisted births) useful to share with clients, even those not planning an unassisted or homebirth, because it is such an education in how women do instinctively use their bodies to give birth when not being directed or instructed by medical caregivers.

Olive's Birth
Lovely music, “My Own Two Hands” by Ben Harper. The mother writes, “I felt powerful, present, connected to all women before me, truly doing what God made my body to do.” Still photos of the actual birth.

My Birth Journey – from c/s to doula to unassisted birth
Photo montage. There is a very sad part in the middle. She has her VBAC at her mother’s home with just her husband, mother and sister present, surrounded by love. Lovely song, “Only by Faith”.

ICAN slideshow VBAMC
A photo montage of women who gave birth vaginally after multiple Cesareans. There are mothers who'd had 2, 3, and 4 previous surgical deliveries; some went on to give birth in hospital and others at home. Great music track by Superchick: “Stand in the Rain”.

Unassisted Birth
Video footage. This mother gives birth kneeling over a birth ball. Her husband does a beautiful job supporting her and her sister rocks as her doula. I loved how she said to her sister, “Let your body tell you what’s right.” The mother uses her voice and breath to help her.

Baby Audrey Dieckmann birth, miracle and blessing of family
Video footage of a hospital birth. The mother gives birth on her back, with her legs in stirrups. Directed pushing. The baby is caught by a male attendant and held by him for some time before the baby is laid on the mother; the father is then directed to cut the baby’s cord before finally the mother has her first hold. It’s quite a while before father and mother get their first chance to speak directly to the baby. The mother has to first answer a question from the doctor before she can turn her attention to the baby. The loud voices in the delivery room contrast with the usually hushed voices of a homebirth.

Question CPD (from ICAN)

Cephalopelvic Disproportion is rare yet is vastly overdiagnosed. Here are the stories of a few women who were told their babies were too big for their pelvises by one care provider, but fortunately sought a second opinion and subsequently birthed an even BIGGER baby through that same "small" pelvis.
VBAC = vaginal birth after cesarean
HBAC = homebirth after cesarean
HBA3C = homebirth after 3 cesareans
UBA2C = unassisted birth after 2 cesareans

The Birth of Henrietta
This is beautiful video footage of a birth centre water birth. It’s great to see the silence on the room from the staff as she is labouring. Loved how the midwife kissed the mother on the forehead in congratulations. The little baby doesn’t even cry, she’s quite happy to just take in the sights. A really good look at birth for first timers.

The Natural Birth Centre Birth of Daisy Emmeline
This is an Australian story. And those are Blissful Herbs in the bath at the end!

Birth in Nature - a lovely outdoor birth, you can really see how the woman uses her body, instinctually and unhindered. From another gorgeous Blissful Herbs customer.

The Birth of Bronson - a first time mother's homebirth:
The Birth of Bronson from The He{ART} of Motherhood on Vimeo.
At 08:45, you can see the Blissful Herbs Post Natal Bliss bath herbs in use.