General Questions

What is covered in the Mindful Birth class and the Transition into Parenthood Course?

The two courses for pregnant couples are refreshingly different in approach, yet they complement each other perfectly like 2 jigsaw pieces fitting together.
Mindful Birth brilliantly focuses on the psychological and emotional awareness preparation to birth and how it will influence the woman’s physiology.
Women who are anxious or fearful experience the muscle tension which in turn escalates their pain.
The “Fear-tension-pain cycle” is commonly observed by midwives and Obstetricians in Australia and the rest of the Western World.
Mindful Birth is a wonderful course that empowers the couple to know how to respond calmly and confidently to their labour to use the breathing, relaxation and all the other techniques Julie teaches.
Your partner’s involvement and support is valued and encouraged.
The Mindful Birth course helps you to train yourself to stay calm and not panic under all scenarios and medical circumstances – important and useful no matter how the birth unfolds – whether caesarean or normal birth.
The skills taught are empowering and able to be used in every medical intervention situation not just normal birth.

Why do 2 courses? Can’t we just do 1 quick course cover everything fast or would we get overwhelmed and forget it all?

The Transition into Parenthood course offers a very practical style of approach, with guidance on the use of facilities at home and in the birth centre or the delivery suite in hospital.
Transition into Parenthood also covers the remainder of the information that there isn’t time to cover in the Mindful birth course – crucial practical factual information such as positioning, partner support measures, strategies to overcome labour challenges; posterior, overdue, massage skills, awesome support tips, plus Newborn baby care practicalities such as breastfeeding, reading the baby’s individual signals, understanding and interpreting your baby’s different cries, how to calm your baby, sleep and settling, comforting, swaddling etc.

For the full “TiP” Transition into Parenthood details click here: https://julieclarke.com.au/courses/transition-into-parenthood/

Click here for a comparison table of what’s covered in Mindful Birth and Transition into Parenthood to conveniently see the components of each course at a glance.

We have been comparing prices of all the independent childbirth education courses in Sydney and the Tip and Mindful Birth Courses seem to be the lowest prices, especially with the $100 discount for the combo booking – why so cheap?

Julie has a passion for helping pregnant couples prepare for having a wonderful birth experience for their beautiful new baby, she wants to help as many potential new families as she can and does not want the price to stand in their way of an awesome start to parenthood.

Teaching personalised courses to small groups means her sessions will be more effective, so she’ll achieve her aims and goals.

Working from home means no huge rent or overheads, so she can keep the costs lower and the quality higher.

What if I don't know which course to do? I don’t want to be scared by the information, sometimes I get confused and overwhelmed? I’m not sure what I want or what to do?

Are you having your first baby?
For the most thorough preparation, it is highly recommended that you do both courses.
This will help to reduce your worries, self-doubts, fears and pre-natal anxiety/depression and minimise risk of post-natal depression.

Read the reviews and testimonials of couples who have already been through these courses and see if you can gain some insight from their comments.

Visit some internet forums for mums and ask each forum group which courses they recommend/ have attended and why?
Ask them if they’ve been to Julie Clarke at Sylvania and see what replies you receive.

Are partner's welcome, included and respected in the Transition into Parenthood and Mindful Birth programmes? Do they have fun and enjoy themselves?

Yes definitely, Julie always welcomes and respects the inclusion of all partners into the programmes here in Sylvania.

Even the most reluctant partners are usually surprised at how much they enjoy the classes, and often comment that they find these are very balanced, reasonable and comfortable courses to attend.
Julie’s broad minded manner certainly helps make participants feel at ease.
Partners are never pressured instead they are inspired, motivated, informed and uplifted in a generous atmosphere of support and gentle guidance. The group process here makes it very easy for them to relate to the information, become more engaged with the pregnancy, birth and baby care aspects of fatherhood.
Here are some comments by fathers who have attend the courses already: https://julieclarke.com.au/testimonials/

If my partner is away or unable to attend can I bring my mum or sister as my birth partner instead? They will be coming to help me during labour so I want them to be prepared too don’t I? Will TiP and MB courses be ideal or should they do the Birth Doula Course?

Yes they are most welcome and will be warmly included into the programmes.
The TiP and MB Courses are ideal for going to a birth of a family member whereas the Birth Doula Course is perfect for those wanting to attend more births and adopt this as a lifestyle or inspiring new amazing career.

Which course is the most suitable for interstate or overseas visitors (pregnant) who are on a short trip to Sydney?

The Super Condensed one day workshop held on a Sunday is the course most overseas pregnant visitors choose… especially if they are tourists or on a working visa.

Conveniently the one day workshop is both thorough and yet also very time efficient.

If you need transport to get here the best option is to book a hire car through this company  http://www.towncars.com/ they will ensure you will be delivered here on time and they can collect you from their airport or your hotel. It will be safe, comfortable, reasonably priced travel.

http://www.towncars.com/

Can I attend on my own if my partner can't or won't attend?

Yes, you certainly can attend on your own as it is far more important that you receive the information, the answers to your questions and the guidance rather than miss out altogether.

Julie will take good care of you, however you might be the only one without a partner as it is normal for all partner’s to come along. Show him the videos on the website to let him see what it’s like here and be reassured it’s fun, friendly and easy going. Everyone is free to eat and drink all day – it’s so NOT school-like here.

Perhaps get him to have a read of some of the information on this website first before he makes up his mind about whether to attend.

Direct him to this link for a more inspired attitude: https://julieclarke.com.au/resources/for-dads/

Direct him to this link for some comments by men who have already attended the courses:

Testimonials

Be careful not to miss out on attending courses to help you prepare for birth and new motherhood… you really don’t want to leave it too late…

It is unusual though for a pregnant woman to come along alone these days.

The courses offered are perfect for both. The information and experiences within the course will very much inform and inspire the anxious woman, whilst the confident pregnant woman will feel endorsed and supported in her efforts towards keeping birth as normal as possible.

Mindful Birth course helps you to train yourself to stay calm and not panic under all circumstances – important and useful no matter how the birth unfolds – whether caesarean or normal.

Anxiety answers: https://julieclarke.com.au/resources/anxiety-in-pregnancy/

About the Courses

Is the Mindful Birth course influenced or based on a religion?

No, not at all.
It has a scientific base using evidenced based research information as its core.
All the wisdom and skills taught: breathing, relaxation, meditation, mind/body connection, mindful self-awareness is mainstream scientific knowledge.
A few decades ago it might have been viewed as out there hippy stuff but not anymore.
A quick visit to TedxTalks on YouTube will be enlightening for those who are new to this information.

Julie is an excellent facilitator who can guide you through the information, so you’ll catch on quickly and effortlessly.
No brain pain involved.

Why does Julie seem to have a preference for teaching over 2 full days and a whole week apart - for example 2xSaturdays or 2xSundays?

Julie has discovered it’s best for couples to have a gap to take time to process the information is the most effective form of learning, especially with the Mindful Birth course.
Although she does occasionally offer a weekend course in the Mindful Birth; that is all day Saturday and all day Sunday in the one weekend… she has actually have found that teaching with a good space between each session allows the couple to go home and chat about all the concepts, and to think it over during the week/s and come back with plenty of questions.

Julie also encourages them to commence their relaxation breathing practice during that week and inevitably there will be questions she can respond to the following session.

Personally Julie thinks couples get more out of it when they have at least a week’s break between sessions.

We have already done the course previously with our first baby and felt well prepared – we want to come along again but haven’t got much time due to babysitting - what is recommended 2nd or 3rd time around?

Some couples feel so well prepared after their first baby that they want to come back and update but don’t necessarily need to re-do the entire course – they are referred to as “refreshers”.

Click here for the all the right information and suggested course combinations for refreshers:
This is a brief account from a mum “Rebecca” who describes her first birth compared to her second birth – a Mindful Birth

How can one mum experience such vastly different births?

 

Which course suits interstate or overseas visitors (pregnant) who are on a short trip to Sydney? Can you just choose 1 single day out of any of the courses TiP or MB?

Yes.
Julie recently increased the booking system to allow all couples to select any options they desire.
From 1, 2, 3, or 4 sessions or the Super Condensed One day workshop.

The TiP Super Condensed one day workshop held on a Sunday is the course most overseas pregnant visitors choose… especially if they are tourists or on a working visa.

Conveniently the one day workshop is both thorough and yet extremely time efficient.

If you need transport to get here the best option is to book a hire car through this company   http://www.towncars.com/   They will ensure you will be delivered here on time and they can collect you from their airport or your hotel. It will be safe, comfortable, and reasonably priced travel. http://www.towncars.com/

What pregnancy, birth and baby related products do you have available for pregnant couples to purchase during course time? Can we stay after the session to have a look at them?

Yes and you can come along early prior to the session starting and take your time going through all the products on the shelves.
Lots of couples take time at lunch to view them as well. No rush, no hurry. Julie will answer your questions or just be in the background organising things.

Relaxation CD’s with Julie Clarke’s very calm smooth gentle voice and music. Very popular.

Relaxation music CD’s – same as the ones played in the course. Quite lovely and effective. Aromatherapy Oils: Lavender, Mandarin, Patchouli, only $20 each.

Books on Pregnancy, Birth, Relaxation, Breastfeeding Baby care. Up-to-date and good quality.

Approved safe Hot / Cold Packs for use during labour. (only $15) Included is a washable soft cotton cover for use with the pack.
They are very good, durable hot/cold packs.

The Epi-no Childbirth Trainer and pelvic floor muscle strengthener and exerciser.

These products are available exclusively for the couples attending the courses.

Is Julie a pushy salesperson?

No, if anything, she has been criticised for not mentioning the products very much – you may possibly have to ask her about them to give her a nudge to fully explain them to the whole group or just have a chat to her about them during break times or after the session is done.

What is meant by Active Birth?

Active Birth is an attitude of mind and body – the woman wants to be free to move around to use comfortable positions and make her own decisions about what she wants to do during labour and birth instead of laying on her back with her legs in stirrups which was what previous generations endured. Active Birth as a concept has been a respected recognised concept since the 1980’s and was introduced to the world by author Janet Balaskas (Yoga teacher and mum of 4) An extraordinary woman who wrote an incredibly helpful book The New Active Birth available from the UK Book Depository or Amazon.

Transition into Parenthood covers all the wisdom of the latest active birth techniques for use during labour and birth for a quicker, easier, safer, experience with less risk of drugs, stitches and other medical interventions.
Recovery after the active birth is usually faster.

What is a birth Doula? Is Julie an experienced Doula? How many births has she attended? Does Julie train Doulas?

Yes Julie is a birth Doula; that is a professionally trained birth support person who attends births

Julie has attended about 150 births over 25 years – as well as her own 2 amazing birth experiences.
Visit Julie’s blog for her birth stories: https://julieclarke.com.au/three-and-a-half-weeks-overdue-our-second-babys-birth-43-5-weeks-gestation/

I have supported birthing couples in ALL settings: operating theatre, delivery suite/labour ward, birth centres, waterbirth and homebirths…

They have all taught me a massive amount which I am able to thread through my courses – the knowledge gained has been invaluable.

Years ago, when I was a trainee childbirth educator and during my first couple of dozen births I was incredibly fortunate to gain from the wisdom of very senior experienced midwives and obstetricians which has also assisted me in creating a unique course.

The information about my birth doula support service is provided routinely to all the couples who attend the courses.

My birth doula support service is available to those couples who attend the courses as they have had the chance to get to know me and vice versa.

What can be done for Pregnancy Discomforts? What Safe Natural Remedies are useful for Pregnancy discomforts?

A large number of first aid measures and simple natural techniques can be employed to assist pregnant women to become far more comfortable during their pregnancy.

I think it helps pregnant women to become more insightful and caring mothers when they gain insights into using some simple comfort measure to overcome basic discomforts.

Click here for some great tips: https://julieclarke.com.au/resources/common-pregnancy-discomforts/

Are these antenatal courses "gay friendly and inclusive"? Have Gay and Lesbian couples attended these courses previously?

Yes, definitely, gay and lesbian couples are most welcome to attend these ante-natal classes.
You will find Julie most respectful and welcoming.
She is a proud mum herself.
There has never been an issue over the past 30 years all the couples attending here have been welcomed, accepted, included and delighted with their experience in their group participation.

Are these courses suitable for couples adopting a baby or welcoming a surrogate baby?

Yes, definitely.
Julie has already assisted many families-to-be with a variety of circumstances which might not be common or mainstream.
She certainly can guide and assist you along the lines of your own unique Transition into Parenthood.
Ring her on 95446441 for the best recommendation on which course to select.

Mindful Birth course helps you to train yourself to stay calm and not panic under all circumstances – important and useful no matter how the birth unfolds – whether caesarean or normal.

Gain more insight from reading this:

Transition into Parenthood… confidence, empowerment, education

How do Julie Clarke's courses differ from the usual general maternity hospital and all the other antenatal classes in Sydney? What makes Julie’s courses stand out above the rest?

There are several ways in which Julie Clarke’s comfortable, casual, boutique style courses offer a superior investment in time and value compared to mainstream classes.

Small like-minded groups, professionally designed and bound information workbooks and well detailed course notes provided for your future reference, well-organised, professional, qualified, private, informative, hygienically clean, tranquil setting, relaxed breaks in the beautiful garden with quality surrounds and seating, refreshment breaks fully catered for morning and afternoon tea, BYO lunch or Bakery nearby, unlimited beverages and snacks on hand for your dining pleasure, quiet, calm atmosphere to facilitate your learning, high quality products stocked and available to purchase if desired.

The Course lounge room is carpeted, air-conditioned, spacious, clean, plentiful cushions, warm in winter with rugs and hot chocolate, crispy cool in summer during the hottest days.

Julie’s famous for pampering her clients!

View one mother’s insightful comments here:

Transition into Parenthood… confidence, empowerment, education

Click here for the list… a comparison table to see the differences highlighted.

Put simply, many of the differences lay in the fact that it’s her positive attitude, warm friendly gentle manner, genuine open honest style and pragmatic approach that actually makes all the difference.

Julie is a very experienced facilitator, and is very familiar with what couples are concerned about, what they really want to know and what they really DO need to know about. Julie is a very kind, gentle, empathetic, compassionate and sensitive, educator with a strong practical, sensible side and a good sense of humour.

Many of her students have said this makes her ideal for the role of childbirth and parenting educator.

In short she cares very much about the couples in her courses and gives insightful answers to their questions, allay their fears and provide good solid information they can use as they experience birth and early parenthood.

Julie has been pregnant twice, birthed her two babies naturally and overcome all the usual difficulties with early breastfeeding and has raised her two sons through infancy, the primary years, the high school /teenage years into young adulthood.

Here is Julie’s blog birth story of her second baby: https://julieclarke.com.au/three-and-a-half-weeks-overdue-our-second-babys-birth-43-5-weeks-gestation/

Beyond The Course

What if we need extra help with our baby after he/she is born – will you continue to help us then?

Yes.
For some new families during their first 12 months, they feel the need for respectful, professional, supportive guidance provided in their own home and I am very glad to be able to offer that in the form of the “Baby Care Support Service”.

For full information on this unique service which is available especially for the couples who attend my courses.

Julie also conducts a fun pram walking group (no charge) weekly for the mums who have done both of her courses and also accessed the Baby Care Support Service – we enjoy a delicious breakfast at the beach, babies socialising, park play, pram walk,  informative conversation… it’s an amazing service…

What pregnancy, birth and baby related products do you have available for pregnant couples to purchase during course time?

  • Relaxation CD’s with Julie Clarke’s very calm smooth gentle voice and music. Very popular.
  • Relaxation music CD’s – same as the ones played in the course.  Quite lovely and effective.
  • Books on Pregnancy, Birth, Relaxation, Breastfeeding  Baby care. Up-to-date and good quality.
  • Health Dept (NSW) approved Hot / Cold Packs for use during labour. (only $15) Included is a washable soft cotton cover for use with the pack. They are very good, durable hot packs. 
  • products are updated regularly, check the shop for the latest available goodies to assist you through your pregnancy journey

What is a Doula? Is Julie a Doula? How many births has she attended?

Yes Julie is a Doula; that is a professional birth support person.

Julie has attended about 150 births over 25 years – as well as my own 2 amazing birth experiences. Visit Julie’s blog for her birth stories.

I have supported birthing couples in ALL settings: operating theatre, delivery suite/labour ward, birth centres, waterbirth and homebirths…
They have all taught me a massive amount which I am able to thread through my courses – the knowledge gained has been invaluable.

Years ago, when I was a trainee childbirth educator and during my first couple of dozen births, I was incredibly fortunate to gain from the wisdom of very senior experienced midwives which has also assisted me in creating a unique course.

The information about my birth support service is provided routinely to all the couples who attend my Transition into Parenthood course.

My birth support service is available to those couples who attend the courses as they have had the chance to get to know me and vice versa.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gyneacologists have recently released a public statement policy completely endorsing the value of having a trained Birth Doula with each Pregnant/Birthing Woman in hospital during her labour experience as a means to increase safety, comfort, and satisfaction. Doulas do not replace the partner, they enhance his role and help him.