You probably have a lot of questions about pregnancy, birth or parenting. If you’re like most new parents, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of websites and books to read. It’s difficult to decide where to start looking for useful advice and information. I love a good recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague. Below I have compiled a list of Big Hearted Birth’s favourites sites. These are my go-to sites when looking for useful information from trusted experts and professionals.
Pregnancy and birth resources
If you’re interested in having a homebirth and want to contact a private midwife, you can find one in your local area on the Homebirth Australia website. Operating for over thirty years, Homebirth Australia has worked to support consumers and midwives who choose homebirth and are committed to ensuring homebirth is always an option for Australian women. The HBA support the rights of homebirth parents to choose how, where and with whom they give birth plus provide the necessary information to parents planning a homebirth.
Immerse yourself in an abundance of positive stories.
Rockstar Birth Magazine
Every woman has the right to know her choices, make empowering decisions, and feel like a Rockstar through pregnancy and birth.
I am thrilled to be a part of the Rockstar Birth Magazine – a 12-issue online publication full of positive birth stories, breathtaking imagery, and empowering insights (including mine!).
Pregnancy, birth and parenting
If you want to feel confident, informed and up-to-date, so you can enjoy your journey to parenthood head to the BellyBelly website. With around 2.5 million visitors per month, this site has become known as the ‘The Thinking Woman’s Website For Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting’. You’ll find well balanced, evidenced-based articles on all things conception, pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
If you’re worried you could have antenatal or postnatal anxiety or depression, be assured that you’re not alone, and you don’t have to go through it alone. More than 1 in 7 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads experience postnatal depression each year in Australia. It can be an isolating experience as parents try to deal with their symptoms at the same time as needing to care for a new baby. There are treatments, supports and services available to help you through this experience. Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia provide information, support and education for woman and men experiencing post-natal depression or anxiety.
Find a doula
An excellent website to check out if you’re looking to find a Doula, who can support you through the birth of your baby. It’s one of the most compressive online Doula directories available to Australian families. If you can’t find what you’re looking for contact Cindy Fenn for the complete Big Hearted Birth local Doulas list.
Birth issue information
Sarah Buckley is a doctor and author who writes very informatively on all aspects of pregnancy, birth and gentle early parenting. Her writing on the hormonal physiology of childbirth, as well as other topics, is a must read for all pregnant couples.
Dr. Sara Wickham is a multi-passionate midwife, educator, writer and researcher. She has written hundreds of free articles and posts for anyone who is seeking information about birth and midwifery. This website looks at evidence and data of birth-related issues. You can find interesting articles on things such as cervical dilation, induction, group B strep, perineal massage just to name a few.
Birth from the view of a midwife
A blog for people who enjoy reading everything and anything about the birth process. Written by Rachel Reed, who practices midwifery in Australia. The aim of her blog is to stimulate thinking and share knowledge and evidence on birth and midwifery.
Positive Birth Movement – Melbourne
Part of the global movement to encourage discussion, connection, support and positivity about birth. This local group meets up monthly and discusses all things positive birth.
Well worth a meeting –it’s free, fabulous and you sometimes get a dark chocolate Tim Tam.
Post baby resources
Australian Breastfeeding Association is Australia’s leading authority on breastfeeding. Providing mothers with practical mother-to-mother support and information, enabling them to establish and continue breastfeeding. If you need immediate help with breastfeeding from a trained volunteer who will be a mum who breastfeeds or has breastfed call the 24-hour hotline on 1800 686 268
If you would like to find a local lactation consultant, contact Cindy Fenn, to receive the Big Hearted Birth’s local lactation contact list.
Cindy from Big Hearted Birth loves the book, Born to Breastfeed: The First Six weeks and Beyond by Melbourne International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and registered midwife Rowena Gray.
If you’re looking for mindful parenting strategies to support the positive learning and development of your child, take a look at Janet Lansbury’s blog. Janet’s blog provides clarity, inspiration and practical strategies including – infant care, play, positive communication, toileting, emotion regulation, responsive and calm interactions during the toddler years and beyond. Janet shares insights she has gained through parenting classes and experiences as a mother, plus studies with her mentor Magda Gerber.
Gentle, responsive baby care
Pinky McKay specialises in gentle, responsive parenting styles that honour mothers’ natural instincts to respond to their children. Her approach can empower a positive response from infants and toddlers. Pinky provides information on sleep, breastfeeding and crying. She is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) operating from a private practice in Melbourne.
Other Big Hearted Birth resources
Gluten free anyone? A beautiful blog with mouth-watering images created by fellow Big Hearted Birth hypnobirthing Mum Jasmine Gardiner. The whole point of the Jasmine’s blog is to bake and share delicious gluten free treats.
Sisterhood – women taking care of women
Written by Rachel, a fellow hypnobirthing mum, the Red Tent blog is about Sisterhood and finding a virtual retreat for women. Back in the day, the red tent was a place for rest and refueling. Used during times of childbirth, sickness and that time of the month. Women could escape to a tent to receive relief from their daily responsibilities and were taken care of by other women. Women are givers. They are nurturers of life. If they don’t have a place to retreat to and to revive their reserves, the world would be a less loving place.
Free eBook recommendation
Aromatherapy in Pregnancy written by Vicki Hobbs Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner. This eBook gives an overview of aromatherapy in pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period. It highlights important things to help couples to understand how they can use essential oils confidently and safely.
Birthing book recommendations
Below is a comprehensive list of recommended reading material for women who are interested in hypnobirthing or immersing themselves in positive birth.
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin (2003)
- Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering – Sarah J, Buckley, MD (2009)
- Childbirth Without Fear – Grantly Dick-Read (1942)
- Birth with Confidence: Savvy Choices for Normal Birth-Rhea Dempsey (2013)
- Hypnobirthing – The Mongan Method, Marie F. Mongan (2005)
- Why Hypnobirthing Matters – Katrina Berry (2015)
- A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth – Katrina Zaslavsky (2012)
Can’t find what you’re looking for in our hypnobirthing resources?
Don’t be shy. Chances are I have what you’re searching for right at my fingertips. So, feel free to contact me – Cindy Fenn, Hypnobirth Practitioner.