are you considering doing both classes?

smart move!

Would you like the opinions from some of those couples who have already done both the Transition into Parenthood course as well as the Calmbirth® Course? Read some lovely testimonials from past and happy clients below.

read experiences from real couples

We found both courses beneficial in different ways.  The parenting course was excellent in preparing us for parenthood.  The information was provided in a relaxed environment making us feel comfortable and even my husband looked forward to going to the class each week.

The calmbirth® course rationalised our fears and taught us how to overcome negative fears and emotions.  It changed our perspective of the birth from fearing it and planning to use drugs in the birth, to knowing we can control the way we handle the birth and the way we perceive pain.   We are glad we did both courses and found Julie’s resources very helpful (the DVDs and books in the library).   They were very informative and we both got a lot out of them.

We found Julie to be an excellent teacher with loads of helpful advice and information, who is always happy to answer questions.   We are very glad we did these courses with Julie, rather than at the hospital as we originally planned.  The Transition into Parenthood workbook was amazing – we both agreed when we were talking about the course later… you have devoted a huge amount of time and effort into developing that workbook… and aren’t we glad you did!  We now feel as ready as we’ll ever be for the birth!

Rosie says: As a nurse I was very keen to prepare for a normal birth, not a medicalised birth, we found the first course Transition to Parenthood very helpful and informative re the different stages of labour. I did not know a lot about pre-labour and thought once you started having contractions that you should be getting ready to go to the hospital immediately.

Now I know differently. It was great to spend a whole day on the actual labour and how it progresses, and the different positions that will help bring on the different stages of labour and how they can help with the contractions. It made it a lot easier to imagine and alot more sense with all the props you used and passed around the class as it is very different to read about something and then to actually visualise it.
Brad particularly found the 3D visual aids very helpful.

After that 1st class we met friends for dinner that evening who already have 2 children.The husband asked me if I was really scared now about the labour after having our 1st antenatal class. It was with great  joy that I was able to turn around to him and say “that it is the first time I have not felt scared about the labour and that was thanks to the class we had just attended” then he turned to Brad and said you must have found it really boring I cant believe your doing 3 more Saturdays. Brad then preceded to tell him how  great he felt leaving the class and how he couldn’t wait for the rest of the course.

The second day of that course was also very good and rewarding. Whilst looking after children and babies in my line of work I was not sure how much new information I would learn.  How wrong I was.  Its easy to take care of a sick child when I know what is wrong with them but having to decide why a healthy baby is crying or unsettled is another story.  Just also learning about what to pack for the hospital and after the birth and all the outfits needed for a new baby was all new to me.  I learnt an awful lot about breast feeding as well which Is something I plan to do but have not had much time to read up on.  I have since joined the ABA on your sound advice.

You kept everything at a good clear basic level and no question from any us or the other couples was ever dismissed as being silly. You made us feel that we could ask any question big or small. I loved the intimate atmosphere in the room and how you kept it light hearted and added laughter to the discussions.

I really had no idea what to expect from the second course, calmbirth®. I had read a little bit a few years ago about hypnobirthing, but even still did not know the principles of or what would be taught at the calmbirth® class. I thought it was going to teach a lot about positions for birth and felt that it might be a bit of repetition from the first day of the other course. Again I was wrong in my thinking. I found the meditation and breathing techniques that we learnt at the calmbirth® course very helpful.

We are thrilled that we have done both courses and would highly recommend them to anyone we know having a baby.

The take home course work is really helpful, to be able to go and look up at any time. It is a great source of reference for us. Also, it was great to be able to take home on loan some of the DVDs from your extensive library. Kind regards, Rosie.

Brad says: I went into the Transition Into Parenthood classes wondering how long the day would drag on! How wrong I was. It is hard to describe, as an expectant father, the emotions and angst you feel about the whole pregnancy/birth/early childhood process and to have it presented to you in such a candid manner was fascinating.

I was not sure whether it was possible for me to be of any real assistance to Rosie during the labour – now I feel that I can be of enormous assistance. I walked out of class on day 1 full of renewed enthusiasm and confidence. As Rosie eluded to, I found the visual aids (and even the posters on your wall) to be of great assistance in understanding your topic points. The homework was enjoyable and I found Rosie and I discussing topics that I would not have even understood before the classes. Week 2 was also a revelation for me. I know I was quite unsure (and admittedly concerned) about how we would take care of this little baby after the birth and I had to trust that Rosie would take the lead here with her professional experience as a paediatric nurse. After this class, I was amazed at how much Rosie and I had learnt, and I really appreciated the fact that I had a greater practical knowledge of what to expect.

I feel that I now have a greater awareness of what will happen from day 1 onwards and I cannot wait for the experience to begin. I now believe that I can take a greater share of the responsibility of looking after our baby and help Rosie in many more ways than I thought possible.  Week 3 and 4 brought about the calmbirth® classes. I enjoyed the relaxation and breathing techniques.  I believe that the Transition Into Parenthood provides a practical guide to pregnancy/labour and birthing through to early childhood, whilst calmbirth® provides a more in depth way of managing the experience of pregnancy/labour. Rosie and I have listened to the CDs and watched numerous DVDs from your library. I am amazed how much I have learnt and grown. The course guides sit on my bed side table and I find myself reading more and more every night.  The courses have been a godsend to me. Regards, Brad.

Editor’s note: Rosie and Brad went on to have a fantastic natural birth for their beautiful baby girl.

The calmbirth classes taught us to stay composed and focused during labour. I was calm and in control the entire labour thanks to the techniques, but it was the pure effort that birthed the baby. We would suggest to would-be parents that they complete both courses to get maximum benefit, as Transition into Parenthood has quite different content. Transition to Parenthood was extremely informative and provided relevant information. All bases were covered, but for Michael, the best thing was how his role was explained. Offering drinks, food and not disturbing a woman during birth were followed to the letter and was of most help to me. For me it was the knowledge of the effects of the drugs that could be provided which gave me confidence to make an informed choice if drugs were needed or offered. We were very glad our friends had steered us in Julie’s direction.

Julie’s library of DVDs made both of us feel comfortable with what would probably happen during birth so we went into our own birth with a sound base knowledge. The difference between Michael and I and other pregnant couples at our Birth Centre introduction night was that for every point the midwife asked the group if they had any knowledge of, we had an answer, whereas all 9 other couples who had not completed the Calm Birth or Transition to Parenthood classes had no clue what to expect during labour and had no idea about drugs and their effects or any other piece of information she was offering. We felt much more confident than ever when we realised how much more we knew compared to the other couples,as we already knew from our course with Julie what the birth centre midwife was talking about. Later we spoke with the midwife and she said she always notices the same thing everytime she runs the info sessions those who have done Julie Clarke’s sessions are well informed and confident whereas the couples who have attended the free or cheap hospital sessions have received very little, don’t have much clue and need a lot of help more during the labour and afterwards. She said she really notices the difference but is not allowed to promote going outside the hospital for courses because the hospital wants the revenue from their classes.

It was such a good feeling when we left the introduction evening at the birth centre knowing we had tracked down the right course and the information we had was the same as what the midwives hoped we had.  We had a great birth experience and we both feel it was largely due to how well prepared we were.

We always recommend doing both these courses to all our friends. Julie took the time to explain to us that hospital classes meet the needs of the hospital whereas Julie is very focused on the needs of the mum and dad-to-be.

I found both courses great and they were very different. If a mum to be is looking for ways to relax during labour and would like a natural active birth then I would recommend the calmbirth® course as it taught me to relax, visualise and it helped keep me calm and in control.  Even though I didn’t have a natural active birth, I still found it incredibly helpful, especially the visualisations. Paul didn’t do the calmbirth® course with me and to be honest I don’t think he needed to as I found that I just took myself away, it was actually a lovely thing to do on my own. The most important thing is to practice practice and practice and I also listened to the CDs which helped. The workbook was very informative and I used every spare moment I had to read through it and also listen to the CD’s.

The preparing for parenthood course was totally different to the calmbirth® course and I would recommend this course to everyone.  For me, this course really was about preparing for parenting rather than relaxing. I have had no exposure to babies, as I am the first in my family to have a baby so I had no idea about parenthood, childbirth and all the other topics you covered. I felt very confident about having my baby after doing the course and the highlight for me was when you acted out the labour and birth – it was spot on! Paul did exactly what you suggested with the water ‘sip’, shower the smiling and encouragement. It was great! I found that you covered everything and you were very open and honest about what it was really like.  I also enjoyed reading the workbook and if I had had your workbook before buying any of my birth books I would not have bothered reading them as you covered everything.

I would recommend both courses as they are totally different.

kind words

  • We couldn't speak more highly of Julie and this course. In just two days, we covered a vast range of topics that left no stone unturned and the take-home resources provided are fantastic. Julie's home set up is perfect for the job being extremely comfortable and the refreshments are second to none. We would very much recommend this course to any soon-to-be-parents!

    Rebecca from Newtown
  • After completing Calm Birth and Transition into Parenthood my husband and I are more confident and excited about the birth of our baby in January. Julie's courses were both informative, educational and enjoyable. We will definitely recommend the courses to our friends.

    Sarah from Sutherland
  • There are countless birth courses on hand - but few will set you up for a truly special birth quite like Julie's Calm Birth. You & your partner will leave feeling confident, prepared, excited - and above all, calm, about the next chapter which is about to unfold in your life. Consider this the best investment you can make in the emotional and physical well being of your family.

    Anna from Bellevue Hill

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