“The last year learning with Olivia has surely been a year of landing in myself to understand, absorb, and integrate beautiful and meaningful birthing wisdom. We have looked at the inner and outer dimensions of birth, the baby’s journey, the mothers journey, antenatal, postnatal, the traumatic, the ecstatic, the medical and the natural. It has been more than learning the theory and doing some role play: it has been a comprehensive journey of self development and discovery where I have come to know myself, babies, women and mothers in a much more deeper holistic way. This I believe equips me to ‘meet what I meet with confidence’ when working with clients and their own unique birthing experience.”
“Where ever I am, what ever I am doing, however I am feeling, I only need to close my eyes or gaze off into the distance and I connect with the beauty, warmth, laughter, support and endless love of the women I shared my Birthing Wisdom journey with. You provide comfort in the darkness, unquestionable support when I am lost, encouragement to let go and smiling strength to grow and to shine, all of this, when I just stop, breathe and listen to the essence of our amazing circle. You were and are My Doula’s; Kate, Jenny, Jolie, Emma, Hazel,Laura and of course our gorgeous Olivia, I am thankful and deeply grateful to all that brought me to you and to all that you gave, shared and opened, this was the greatest gift Birthing Wisdom honoured me and it has allowed me to grow and Doula from the strongest foundations possible. I love you all.”
“The Birthing Wisdom course was unlike anything I could have imagined. It was not just a study course it was a whole life changing experience. It made me question myself and the way I thought not only about Childbirth but about how I approached life itself. It has changed me, I have grown so much in so many ways as a person, as a woman, as a mother. I have learned the strength of support needed for myself before I even think about supporting someone else. If you are drawn to work with birth, if you are prepared to look at yourself and ask why that is and are prepared be with whatever comes up then this course could be for you. Be ready to learn not only about pregnancy and childbirth but about being a woman and how to nurture your soul. Be ready to dance and paint and sing and cook and share your deepest stories from your heart. Be ready to laugh and cry and throw your arms up in the air. Be ready to read and write and take notes and ask questions. But is not just an educational course it is a journey.”
“The first question we were asked when I sat with my new circle of women was why we were here. I answered that I did not know. I knew I had signed up for a doula/childbirth educator course, I knew I wanted to work with birth, I knew that somehow I had been drawn to this particular course but why? As each of us tried to answer this question I felt more and more that I was in the right place, even if I didn’t know why!
As I look back over my notebooks, journal and think about all the experiences of that year I feel a great sense of awe. It was not what I expected it to be. Yes I learned so many new things about pregnancy, labour and beyond…..I learned new skills….got great advice and feedback about each birth I attended…..gained confidence in dealing with midwives and the medical profession….and was directed to a huge wealth of knowledge and experience in the wider world. But there was so much more. Learning to sit and be with whatever happened in a birth journey. Firstly with our own journeys, our personal births, our families births, our childrens births. Finding support to really delve deep, grieve, rage, accept and just be with those experiences. Realising our own strengths and frailties, and being able to reach out to those around us.
One of our first assignments was to write about our ideal birthing environment, I did not include a doula in this scenario! This allowed me to really question my beliefs about doulas, about why parents would want one, about the way our society looks at emotional support. And this major one…..do I deserve a really empowering birth experience?
I listened to a talk by Christiane Northrup on a birth seminar who said that most people drawn to work with birth are trying to deal with their own birth trauma. As I worked through this course I realised how true this was for me. And as I continue on this path I feel that Birthing Wisdom has given me the tools, support and respect to acknowledge and be with anything that comes up.
Olivia is my favourite kind of teacher, you know that this strong capable experienced woman has her own opinions but she never imposed them on us, she created a space where we were free to express, play, rest, learn, experience and create. And she brought in so many interesting and diverse teachers including Jolie who supported us and her in countless ways.
I cannot finish this testimonial without mentioning how important our circle of women was and is to me. I learned so much from the other women and valued their support and love, their laughter and tears, their sharing and strength and most of all their food!!!!”
“My experience of the training was certainly a life changing and profound one. It is hard to do it justice in writing but I will try to communicate what I felt were the most important things that I took from the course. I think that this in itself demonstrates one very valuable & singular aspect of the training; that it creates a space in which every participant can grow and learn in a way that is unique to them. I believe that each of us in our group took something different but equally precious and personally relevant away with us.
The training showed me what deep inner resources I already had; what deep inner resources all women have available to them if they are guided in where & how to look, and if they feel loved and supported in that process.
I learnt that in many ways the lessons we learn about and through birth are lessons for life, both for ourselves as Doulas & the couples we work with.
Once glimpsed, the gift of that knowledge is never forgotten and you begin to see the opportunities for growth every day. Personally, this gave me a quiet confidence in myself, my ability and the world, whether attending a birth or living a heart centered life with my family. It is akin to having an extra pair of eyes through which to see the world.
Having completed the course, there’s no feeling of “knowing it all” or having finished my learning, but I do feel quite transformed through the experience. I feel a deep respect and gratitude for the knowledge of how much there is to learn in life if you are open to it. This doesn’t start or finish with a course or qualification but certainly through the training I now feel more equipped than ever to appreciate and grow through the experiences of my work and life.
In essence the training reminds me of the difference between giving a starving family a fish or the means to catch their own fish! We certainly learnt a lot about the work that is of practical use, but where I personally felt the most value lie, was in what we learnt about how to learn; how to listen to and respond sensitively and with respect to ourselves, to the women we work with, to birth and to life. Through this, I feel ready and inspired to meet whatever life as a Doula brings.”