Pregnancy and Childbirth Education Services
Workshops for Professionals
Lina also offers:
Baby massage classes - private or you can organise a small group
Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage, and Massage for Women (Shoreham by Sea)
Teaching partners how to massage the mother-to-be
Teaching pregnant women how to encourage their baby into optimal position for birth
Birth support / doula service
Breastfeeding / postnatal support
Daily or occasional home visits as postnatal doula or short term Live-in Postnatal support, during the early days/weeks after birth
Planning or avoiding further pregnancies / natural fertility awareness
Pre- and postnatal photography and Birth photography
Professional development / in-service training for midwives, doulas, birth educators / Bowen and other Holistic Therapists/ Conference presentations
Birth education in schools
Testimonials & Reviews
Childbirth Consultations and Workshops
"Thank you so much for our day with you last week - you were beautifully inspiring on birth, and my mental strength going into the birth now is strong and full of joy."
~ Miranda (Brighton, UK)
"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."
"... 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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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"
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,)
Workshops for Professionals
"Wow Lina What a fantastic workshop so positive! Up until now I hadn't been to a workshop that concentrated on total belief in the mother's natural ability to birth and you have a special teaching way of showing this to us all"
"Best wishes for this new venture, be happy to help if I can. "
"Lina, this was a fantastic workshop. Your ideas were great and it was lovely for you to share your passion with us.
I attended your workshop at Bankstown hosp, and would like to, if poss to start the ball rolling for you to come to our area. I am a midwife at Campbelltown Hospital and boy could this unit use a shake up. And my experience at your workshop has definitely provided the chance for many women to give birth to their babes in any damn way they like. (and I am loving it!). Thanks so much for making my employment one of the most enjoyable experiences ever."
"Lina, thanks once again for reaffirming our belief in physiological birth. We need, as a profession, to examine this regularly - to keep focused and motivated to support women and encourage women to choose active birthing."
"Excellent. I wish I had learnt what I learnt today 12 years ago."
''Many of the Midwifery students here feel today was much more worthwhile than our entire semester of uni so far. What inspiration! I remember now why I started this very expensive course..."
''Very interesting, encouraging and inspiring. Keep up the good work."
''I was in attendance at your in-service on natural birth at Bankstown hospital earlier this year. Since that time I have experienced some wonderful midwifery moments. I work at a busy maternity obstetric hospital unit and take every opportunity to talk up natural birth etc to the old school midwives that i work with (sometimes to the detriment of myself). I have raved about your workshop during lunch breaks and there have been many of my work colleagues that would like to have attended that day."
"Lina, what you have to impart to midwives working in the hospital system I feel is invaluable. We are a very busy unit and if you are interested in this, then there is potential for 2500 women, babies and families per annum who could benefit from your work. Like Bankstown did, it could be opened up to the area health service and wider community.''
"The most superb, realistic and comprehensive childbirth education resource that I have ever seen".
~ Kay Dyson, Childbirth Education Co-ordinator at Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne
"These wonderful, versatile photos will be an asset to every educator that works with expectant parents".
~ Andrea Robertson, Author, Consultant, Principal Graduate Diploma in Childbirth Education
"They are the best teaching resource I have ever used as a midwife."
~ Mavis Kirkham, Professor of Midwifery, University of Sheffield
"In over 20 years of midwifery practice and 30 years of running groups for pregnant women, I have found the use of photographs an essential element in terms of promoting discussion and learning. Lina Clerke's images of birth will open the minds of women approaching birth - and those who will support them - in terms of possibilities. They are also a valuable resource for those of us who go into schools to talk about birth, to all who educate midwives and other professionals, and of course for all involved in childbirth education. The images are moving, powerful and awe-inspiring. They capture the potential of women to find the depth of their power and the beauty of birth."
~ Nicky Leap, RM, MSc. Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Family Health & Midwifery, University of Technology, Sydney
"I have just received my order of Lina Clerke's medical intervention posters (set D) and they are excellent. They are exactly what I have needed for some time now in presenting medical interventions in a more meaningful way.
They are beautifully taken photos and being laminated they will last forever. They very sensitively depict a variety of situations such as monitoring, induction, caesarean and often where women are still able to work with their bodies whilst coping with the medical intervention. They are tasteful and positive, which is something I have been searching for, to help facilitate learning about medical interventions. I was moved by the beautiful shots of parents greeting and bonding with their babies after caesarean.
I chose to purchase this portion of the set first, as a test, to see if they would be suitable, and I am now looking forward to eventually collecting the rest. Many thanks to Lina for this fine work - well done."
~ Julie Clarke, Childbirth and Parenting Educator, NSW Australia
"These pictures are brilliant for showing what labour and birth and the things associated with birth look like.They are excellent, unposed photos of ordinary women. They show what happens and what is possible and women identify with them. These pictures convey what many words cannot and they stay in the visual memory.
My set has been borrowed by lecturers for teaching student midwives and medical students, by antenatal teachers working with groups and by clinical midwives for use with individual women. All are enthusiastic about their educational power.
They are the best teaching resource I have ever used as a midwife."
~ Mavis Kirkham, Professor of Midwifery, University of Sheffield
"Both my colleagues think the fotosets are great too - Rose is using them with women who's English isn't very strong, so they are so useful. I used them in a class the day they arrived and, in the evaluations, three people mentioned the great 'visual aids'!!!"
~ Cathy Evans, Sheffield, UK, NCT teacher
"I have been using Lina's wonderful childbirth photo-set for 2 years, and have found it a fantastic tool to powerfully get the "essential messages" across.
The pictures 'bring to life' what the teacher has been describing.
They help couples to familiarise themselves with a process that they have only heard about rather than witnessed.
Importantly, the pictures reinforce how women can trust their bodies and flow with labour, and how partners can effectively support women as they travel through many birth scenarios. They show many examples of women instinctively labouring and giving birth, in a variety of birth settings.
The images demonstrate the importance of our environment in birth and how we can adapt hospital rooms. They also show how women can still work with their bodies despite the use of ''technology''.
I use the photo sets with a wide range of expectant parents, who love the pictures and find them confidence-building and reassuring.
I find them especially useful for teaching teenage parents, because they see the wide range of strategies women use to cope with the pain of labour, and the ebb and flow of labour, and the teenage parents relate directly to the examples of young women in the photos.
There is so much that a teacher can bring out from each picture, and using them brings one's teaching to life.
Altogether, they make my job as a teacher more enjoyable and easier, and i just LOVE THEM!"
~ Agnes Munday NCT (National Childbirth Trust) Teacher Brighton and Hove, UK
"We have started using your beautiful pictures in our parent education classes. We are very pleased with them and so are our "students".
Thank you so much."
~ Ástþóra Kristinsdóttir, midwife (Iceland)
"I am very proud to include this unique teaching aid in our extensive range of products because it reflects our philosophy of supporting normal birth and midwifery so very well. I am sure that many of you reading this would find these pictures enormously helpful for your work with expectant parents as well."
~ Andrea Robertson, Birth International
"I just wanted to drop you a line to say how wonderful the fotosets are that you have produced. 3rd stage arrived yesterday (currently waiting for stages 1 and 2 to arrive from Australia!)
Like you I have done the Active Birth training with Janet and wanted something which spoke quite powerfully to women and their partners - your resource is just the ticket.
Beautiful, wonderful women and their partners - I feel so humbled to have these images to use - very sacred indeed.
Thank you so very much!
~ Claire , Prenatal Yoga teacher, UK
''I am an NCT antenatal teacher and I bought the complete wonderful birth photoset for use in my classes. They are one of the best teaching aids I have - so useful to show to future parents. A picture speaks a thousand words! I particularly like to use the set to demonstrate that upright positions can still be adopted whilst being monitored in labour; I also love the set of cesarean birth photos-lovely emotions are shown on the pictures and it is so useful for parents to be able to visualise what actually happens. I also like to use the pictures of newborns and those of dads holding newborns-my couples love them too. A wonderful set of pictures indeed.''
~ Sophie, Cambridge