Prepare for a positive birth with The Birth Class

Our Founder

Sophie Walker

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I’m Sophie, the founder and host of Australian Birth Stories. I have a Masters in Public Health and I’m passionate about encouraging pregnant women and their support people  to actively prepare for birth and postpartum.

The podcast began shortly after I birthed my second son. In my first birth I experienced a gamut of intervention and a postpartum haemorrhage. Along with my new baby and my aching postpartum body, I carried significant physical and emotional trauma home from the hospital. My second birth was the complete opposite; positive, redemptive, empowering.

Research claims that a positive birth experience – regardless of where or how a woman is birthing –  is dependent on two things:

1. The pregnant women has the opportunity to make informed decisions

2. Those decisions are respected and supported by her care provider.

Image by Hilary Walker

Sharing stories of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood founded by Sophie Walker.

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After interviewing over 400 Australian women I wholeheartedly agree with this research. Women have positive births every day – in the comfort of their home, in surgical theatres, in birth centre bathtubs and on the bed in hospital labour wards. And the foundation of these positive birth experiences? Birth education.

The podcast is a beautiful collection of stories that has become a powerful, informative and, often entertaining, resource. It’s endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives and currently has over 8 million downloads. Sitting alongside the podcast is a series of online education courses that feature interviews with leading specialists in perinatal health.

Welcome to the First Trimester

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This course bridges the long gap between your GP appointment to confirm your pregnancy and the first time you see your care provider (for many women, this can be up to 12 weeks). The early stages of pregnancy can be overwhelming, lonely and often quite debilitating as you navigate intense fatigue, nausea and vomiting and many women have lots of questions but don’t really know where to go for answers. This course is your faithful companion that discusses everything from your first GP appointment and the importance of carefully choosing your care provider to mental health support, understanding physical symptoms, where to go when you have health concerns, pregnancy nutrition and the role of a student midwife.

The Birth Class

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This course is a conversation starter. It’s an easily accessible birth preparation course that you can do anytime and anywhere. There’s no need to attend workshops or cancel your weekend plans; this course is available to you in the car, in the bath, in bed – listen where you’re most comfortable and you’ll be more receptive to everything that’s shared with you. Featuring 10 audio modules with birth educators, doulas, midwives, yoga teachers and obstetricians, it covers everything you need to know about labour and birth, including:

  • The role of hormones in physiological birth
  • Breathing and sound skills for labour and birth
  • Optimal birth positioning
  • Active birth
  • Preparing for a Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC)
  • Pain relief options and birth interventions
  • Breech Birth
  • Caesarean Birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • What to expect in the hours after birth

Discovering Motherhood

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This course will gently guide you through the exhaustion and overwhelm of postpartum which can be a time of significant joy and challenge for new parents. As your body heals and you get to know your baby, there are many things that can contribute to a growing sense of unease, including sleep deprivation, feeding difficulties and new family dynamics. In this 8 part audio course you’ll gain insight and advice for the common issues and challenges of postpartum, including postnatal depletion, breastfeeding concerns, sex after baby, mental health and wellbeing and introducing solids.

In February 2023 my first book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, will be published by Murdoch Books. It’s a comprehensive and inclusive guide to pregnancy and birth in Australia and the only book you’ll need as you prepare for labour, birth and postpartum.