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Giving birth: what can I do to be ready?
Episode 513th May 2021 • 2020 Baby • Dr Pamela Douglas
00:00:00 00:53:38

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In this conversation, Dr Sarah Buckley, Ms Karen McClay and Dr Pamela Douglas discuss what you might do to prepare for birth, and what you might expect. In the extraordinary passageway of birth, our mind, body, and spirit embark upon a liminal journey, a heroic journey of great significance in most women’s lives. Sarah and Karen draw on their formidable knowledge of the Australian health system and women’s birth experiences to help you navigate your own way through, so that you feel confident and empowered.

Dr Sarah Buckley is a GP with qualifications in GP-obstetrics and family planning ( She is author of the bestselling book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices. Sarah has an ongoing interest in the hormones of labour and birth, which culminated in her groundbreaking report Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing (2015 Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women and Families). She has presented at over 120 workshops and conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the UK, the US and Canada. Sarah is also a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, where her research is focused on oxytocin and the autonomic nervous system in labour and birth, and the impacts of interventions.

Ms Karen McClay is an experienced midwife and the Director of Calmbirth ( Calmbirth was the first Australian childbirth education program to recognise the interrelationship between mind and body in birth. Calmbirth® uses this mind-body connection to help couples replace fear, stress and anxiety about giving birth with the knowledge and skills to birth their baby calmly, fearlessly, safely and confidently. There are now about 100 registered Calmbirth educators in Australia, New Zealand, and France.

Dr Pamela Douglas is a GP-researcher and founder of the evidence-based Neuroprotective Developmental Care (or 'Possums') programs, which offer care for new families facing breastfeeding, baby cry-fuss, and sleep challenges. All NDC programs integrate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy strategies, especially adapted by Possums for the perinatal period to support parental emotional well-being. Pam is also author of The discontented little baby book: all you need to know about feeds, sleep, and crying