Active Birth Workshops
Please note : Currently I offer private intensive childbirth preparation sessions / mini workshops.
Please see Pre-/Postnatal Consultations
Active Birth group Workshops are by invitation only at present
(ie; you get a group together and I will run a workshop for them in UK - or other nearby countries!)
For enquiries please contact Lina by email via this website.
When to Attend
It is never too early or too late to attend this very practical and intensive workshop, or private birth preparation classes, which
Will help the mother to become more informed, empowered and confident in her own ability to give birth.
Will help fathers/partners maximise their involvement during pregnancy and labour.
Is a must for every parent who prefers a natural birth - whether in hospital or at home.
Is a valuable in-depth complement or alternative to hospital antenatal classes.
Will help you and your support persons develop the knowledge to be assertive and confident before, during and after the birth.
Is held in a relaxed atmosphere, and is participatory, fun and very popular
Is a time for parents to focus on and share their feelings about labour, birth and their new baby.
Is for first time parents or is an excellent refresher.
About the Workshop
Be inspired by lots of positive and real-life birth stories and videos.
Practice positions, massage, movement and breathing for use in labour.
Learn how to create a calm and reassuring atmosphere during labour.
Look at the psychological/emotional aspects of childbirth and how vitally important your support persons are.
Learn many practical ways to assist at a birth including natural forms of pain relief, relaxation and ways to stimulate an overdue or slow labour.
Learn how to minimise the risk of episiotomy or tearing.
Discuss long, difficult or complicated labour , how to make informed decisions and understand medical interventions.
Many people are afraid of and/or have never been in hospital. Learn about hospital routines and guidelines, so that you are in a position to negotiate rather than feel like the medical system has 'taken over'.
Discuss those first precious, vulnerable hours with your newborn, and the need to advocate on behalf of mother and baby if birth takes place in hospital.
Become familiar with post-birth routine procedures so that you can make informed choices BEFORE your baby is there (it is really hard to make clear choices when you have just given birth - both parents are full of hormones and delirious!)
Discuss breastfeeding, settling of and caring for newborn babies, and what to expect in those early days and weeks of parenting, including practical tips for survival!
Meet other motivated parents and create support networks.
Take home skills to practice during pregnancy such as care of lower back and perineum, effective ways to work with labour pain, simple breathing techniques, how to discuss birth preferences with your care provider, what to pack for the birth, how to prepare your home for early labour and the journey to hospital, exercises to practise as a couple that increase emotional well-being and bonding with each other and your unborn baby. Plus lots and lots more....
What to Bring
3 or 4 bed pillows
Paper and pen
A large lunch plate to share (to be coordinated)
Snacks to nibble and water bottle
Please wear loose comfortable clothing
Single mothers welcome - please bring your support person(s) Concession price available.
Testimonials & Reviews
"There are very few childbirth educators in Melbourne able to impart this essential advice to pregnant women and their partners"
~ Dr Len Kilman, Obstetrician, Melbourne
"You should be put on Medicare as a necessity for every pregnant woman in Victoria!"
~ Second time mother
"The workshop gave my husband and I the knowledge of how to relax with the labour contractions. Most importantly , it enabled us to approach the birthing experience with excitement and not fear. Lina herself has a wonderful personality and , when I was having a battle with my doctor about not having a cesarian for my breech baby, she was so positive and supportive that I was able to go ahead and deliver my baby normally."
"If I had any half-conscious fears before the workshop, I was taken over by excitement and positive energy after the workshop, not afraid of pain now, I feel like I can't wait to see what it is like and how I can meet its challenge and work with it."
~ First time mother
"You are truly a gifted and inspired communicator, and your passion for the subject is powerful and life-changing. We are so lucky to have had this experience with you. Thank you seems like such a small word for what you have already done for us."
~ First time mother
"We learned so much more from this weekend than in eight weeks of hospital classes."
~ First time parents
"It took away a lot of the fear and anxiety without dulling any of the wonder and joy associated with labour and birth."
~ First time mother
"I know I was lucky to have a totally natural and drug-free birth , but I feel it would not have happened had it not been for Lina and her positive influence on myself and my husbands thinking. Birth is nothing to be scared of - it is a wonderful and natural part of our destiny. Like Lina , and in part because of her, I loved being pregnant and giving birth."
"Thank you for your lovely workshop, for bringing us all together to create such a supportive , fun atmosphere for the entrance into parenthood."
"Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the weekend! I left on Sunday feeling so happy and empowered that now I can't wait for my own labour....confident that even I can do that! It was also great to meet so many like-minded people.
Thank you so much for your infectious passion."
~ Alex (May 2003)
"... I am forever grateful for the guidance that your classes gave my husband and I, and am certain that my birth experience would not have been so beautiful without all of the knowledge we gained".
"I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone to thank Lina for her wonderful, supportive, inspiring and (most of all) loving class on the weekend. I know that Bob and I felt so happy and content and somewhat sleepy when we left on Sunday night. We also found that we needed to use our newly acquired skills when we rushed off to hospital on Monday morning because I was sick.
I felt so empowered and strong when I went into Emergency to have an ultrasound and later on in the Labour Ward and found that all the skills that we had acquired over the weekend surprised a few Registrars, Residents and Doctors. The midwife that observed our bub in the Foetal Monitoring Unit at the hospital had worked with Lina and was so reassuring that I knew not to get upset. Nevertheless I found that I had a kidney infection and had to stay over night for observation and put onto antibiotics.
Throughout the whole process I was reminded of Lina's words on how important it is to stay in-touch with your body and your baby. The breathing exercises were great, helping me through the stomach spasms and nausea.
I felt confident to check myself out of the hospital the next morning, insisting that I wanted to go home to rest. (Something they obviously didn't deal with very often and tried to keep me there as long as possible). Anyway, now we are at home and things have settled down."
~ October 2003
"My partner, Dave & I attended your July workshop and thought you might like to hear of our success. Dave and I did truly have a wonderful birth experience thanks to your ideas and suggestions about childbirth. We totally enjoyed your workshop and through it learnt a lot about each other and left feeling very bonded and excited about the anticipation of the birth of our little one.
My labour went well, and we achieved our goal of having as little intervention as possible. I was able to use a lot of your suggestions and achieved a totally drug free birth using active birth positions, natural pain relief methods and lots of love from Dave.
The joy of birthing my daughter naturally and holding her straight away is too intense to describe with words, but some of that joy is due to your ideas and approach to birth. Thank you for sharing them with us and helping to make our birth experience truly wonderful. Keep up your amazing work."
~ Karen (November 2002)
"Thanks again for all your help in the workshop, we will see you again soon for a refresher course!! and in the meantime we will continue to sing your praises and encourage education not ignorance about choices in birthing and how fulfilling natural drug free birthing can be."
~ Tania (November 2003)
We attended an active birth workshop with you last weekend. I have to tell you that it was a revelation. I had looked forward to it, but had not expected to become so excited, so committed, so convinced that this was the only way to go.
We went to the hospital (token 3-hour) session on labour and birth the very next night. We were given 10-15 minutes to discuss how we would cope with pain (the women) and how we would support our partners (the partners). Andrew and I were nonplussed. The men said things like tell jokes; the women said drugs. Andrew said that the other men were gob-smacked when he came up with his 100-point checklist(!) The scary thing was that, before the weekend, I felt like I could have been any of these women. We asked the midwife lots of questions, got some fabulously evasive replies, and very quickly uncovered the hospital policies behind the pat answers.
It wasn't all bad. At least the midwife was positive about an active birth, and talked about the positions in which the pelvis opens up, even if she then showed us a video of a woman giving birth in a semi-reclining position without commenting on the contradictory messages she was giving us!
Your workshop really succeeded in bringing Andrew and me closer around the birth preparation. Cynically, I thought this might only last a short time after the weekend, but I now feel like a fundamental shift has taken place.
If I had any half-conscious fears before the workshop, I was taken over by excitement and positive energy after the workshop, not afraid of pain now, I feel like I can't wait to see what it like and how I can meet its challenge and work with it. Early this week, one of the women in my yoga class commented that she felt frightened (she is due this week). I realised that I'm just not in that space. I also realised how much more in common I feel with all the people at your workshop after experiencing some of the attitudes in the outside world.
You are truly a gifted and inspired communicator, and your passion for the subject is powerful and life-changing. We are so lucky to have had this experience with you. Thank you seems like such a small word for what you have already done for us."
~ Vicki (25 September 2002 )
"From my own experience, I know how fantastic your workshop was, and how I felt so completely prepared for labour. Ironically, after many hours of labouring, both of my babies, for slightly different reasons, became distressed and were delivered by Caesarean. But that's another story. The important part of the whole experience, though (apart from creating two perfect little babies) was that for the most part, I felt completely in control, and even when it was finally taken out of my hands, I understood the reasons why it had to be that way. There was certainly nothing of convenience about either delivery, they were both necessary.
I am quite sure that if I had not gone to your classes I would have been neither prepared for the experience of labour, nor so confident that my doctor made the best decisions both for me and the babies."
"Your workshop was fantastic - we learnt so much that weekend and came away feeling empowered by the choices we could make.
My doctor commented that my birth plan was the most comprehensive plan he had seen!!
We became really motivated to work towards having a natural birth with minimal intervention and no drugs, which we did, thanks to your help."
~ Tania (2005)
"I am already a father of four, but this time I know how to actually help my wife during labour."
"Your workshop made it possible to feel empowered, confidant and optimistic about the birthing process. Thank you for the opportunity to exist in extended awe and tender vulnerability. You are a model of beautiful equanimity and passion - thank you for your work and your dedication."
~ First time father
"I would really like to thank you again for the empowering, educational and inspirational experience we had in your ACTIVE BIRTH course all that time ago. I know we will take all that we learned from you into our next birth. I also really acknowledge you for the stand you make for women being the source of power around birth.''
"What I saw in your workshop for the 1st time was the magic and wonder of the miracle of birth.....Instead of seeing a woman giving birth I began to see goddesses involved in creating life. I looked at my own wife and realized she too is a goddess. I feel like I have fallen in love
all over again, only this time we have discovered a love that is deeper, stronger ,and has an aspect of the sacred to it......I also have a much clearer picture of my own role in the birth process. I know that as a loving husband and father I have lots to contribute, lots to learn, and
lots to gain from this event that I now cant wait for!.............perhaps you think that your work is primarily for women. I want you to know that you have added considerably to my experience of being a man..."
(This father was a veterinarian so he had attended hundreds of births ...). His wife developed very painful pubic pelvic separation during pregnancy and I suggested she may want to spend a lot of time in the bath during labour to keep her body weightless and thus help alleviate the pubic pain. They obtained a portable birth pool and took it in to their private hospital. The water helped so much that they went ahead and had a water birth (despite hospital policy) and the father caught the baby (their private obstetrician had not arrived yet!). They did the same thing with their 2nd baby even though their obstetrician WAS present. By becoming more informed these parents were able to have the chance to have the births of their own choice and to retain control over the process within the hospital system.)
A Grandmother Speaks
"Good morning Lina, I am the grandmother that was at your birthing weekend in July, with my daughter and son in law, Kylie and Laurent.
This is just a little note to let you know how wonderfully things went during Kylie's labour, and birth yesterday morning at 4.32am.
Kylie was so focused, controlled and strong during the whole 16 hours. She stayed at home for as long as possible, then went to hospital. We went through everything we had learnt at your weekend and it was amazing.
Kylie gave birth vaginally, no drugs, no pain killers and amazing enough no swearing - just a lot of flop, breathing and noise.
Her husband was there for her all the way.
How amazing - my heart just exploded for her.
The look on her face and towards Laurent, I will never forget.
To you, thank you for your work. It has changed my whole thought on childbirth. It is funny to talk to people about the experience - some just don't get it and think I'm a new age hippy, but to those who do - how wonderful it is to share the feeling.
So once again, thank you for all the knowledge and encouragement you give.
My new baby grandson just melts my heart. Love to you"
~ Ann (September 2003)
A Midwife Speaks
"My midwife friend and I attended your birthing workshop last year as observers.
Firstly I would like to say that we both thoroughly enjoyed your workshop and recommend them widely.
As a midwife and childbirth educator your classes are refreshing and exciting and I have recommended them to colleagues who are pregnant and "know" about birth but still need to have the pleasure of experiencing being an expectant mum. I feel that as midwives we can miss out on the "experience" purely by being experienced, so thank you for making your classes so accessible to varied occupational demographics."
~ Colleen (Registered midwife)
A Student Midwife Speaks
"The workshop was absolutely phenomenal, I can't recommend it enough. I would seriously suggest that people go to it, ESPECIALLY those of you who are kind of new to this whole childbirth thing. I'll say it again: HER WORKSHOPS ARE AWESOME! GO TO IT! It is fun, informative and really empowering."
~ Nina (first year Bachelor of Midwifery student, 2004)