Stories and Reflections from the Women & Families who have Birthed with Know your Midwife
This page is dedicated to the incredible women and their families who committed wholeheartedly to their experience of birth through the Know Your Midwife Home Birth Program.
In the process of birthing their babies … they birthed themselves.
TESS & JAI
“My visions for a home birth were with midwives that I have a strong connection to, I trust completely, that are nurturing, warm and supportive. I needed to feel safe, supported & cared for at all times. I found that, plus so much more, with Mary & Jemma. They are a wealth of knowledge and have an extensive birth prep program that they offer. This program helps heal any birth trauma you are holding onto. I truly believe it’s because of their birth prep and support that my labour was cut from 18 & 19 hours to 4.5 hours.
Mary and Jemma offer support & information for your partner so they can be more involved during your labour. Because of this Jai knew exactly what to do and how to guide me through the contractions. Our partners can be more involved, they do have a place during labour. It brought us closer together as a family. This is the first labour I’ve walked away from and thought wow we just did that, I birthed without fear! I can only thank Mary & Jemma for guiding us through this positive natural birth journey. This childbirth experience for us was perfect, the feeling is indescribable and I feel so grateful to have shared it with Mary, Jemma and my family. It will never be forgotten.”
ANGE & BYRON
“Birth changed my life.
I had three babies all in a hospital. I suffered from postnatal depression with all three, which still affected my everyday life. I felt that birth was no place for autonomy, and I didn’t know what was best for my babies, and it must be left in the hands of the ‘professionals’. I had my babies snatched away. I haemorrhaged. I had blood transfusions; stays in special care nursery. Countless unnecessary interventions. I failed at breastfeeding, along with my suffering mental health. I felt held down. I felt out of control. And there was nothing I could do about it… Until baby number 4.
I researched there has to be something different, more options, safer, holistic, free and natural. That’s when I found Mary and Jemma. Know Your Midwife not only allowed me to birth my own baby in the safety and warmth of my own home surrounded by nothing but love, but they changed my life. The preparation work for birth with Mary and Jemma worked on healing my heart, my tissues and my fear. It went deeper and my husband was as much involved as I was. We healed together as a couple and strengthened as a family. I was able to be the feminine woman that is inside me, and let go of the past and anything that was not required in my space.
My husband was able to be present and active throughout the pregnancy, labour and birth. It really was where our connection deepened. With Mary and Jemma’s love, support and knowledge, I am able to say I successfully birthed my baby into the world and raised him out of the water. I am exclusively breastfeeding a very happy and content baby. I do not have any postnatal depression. And I have a connection with my husband that I never could imagine possible. Thank you, Mary and Jemma, for allowing me to birth my baby in the safest environment I could ever envision.”
KIAYA & MITCHELL
“This experience has meant more than I could ever put into words. I didn’t just birth my baby, I birthed a whole new woman, a new mama. My first birth experience felt rushed and I was made to feel like I couldn’t trust my body. I was presented with options that left me making decisions out of fear. All of these decisions against my intuition because in my first birth, at the hospital, my care provider encouraged against my intuition and towards interventions that were unnecessary even after expressing my reasons for not wanting their interventions, ‘no’ wasn’t considered an answer and they continued to pressure me and interrupt my flow and how I was handling my surges. I felt like I had no say in anything and the continuous asking was just for ‘policy’ purposes. Compared to my second birth, I was allowed to do what I needed, my progress was checked from a distance, by my body, my sounds, my movements. I was asked where my pain was, without being touched and poked and prodded, my body was mine until I asked for help and explain exactly where I needed, not where someone else thought I needed it.
Apart from the birth, the care throughout my pregnancy was exactly that, CARE, what it should be. I was taught more about myself, how I can be strong, not just for birth but in life, as a woman and as a mama. I was supported, I was held. We spoke about more than just what week it was and how the baby was, we spoke about how I was, which may seem like an obvious thing and a given but something I felt severely lacked in the hospital system, just another number confused with another girl.
I felt a sense of belonging with Mary and Jemma, I felt their passion in everything they did for me and for my baby. I healed wounds my body has held on to for too many years, something the hospital system just doesn’t have time for.
Overall, empowered and transformative are the best words to describe my experience. Empowered as a woman and as a mama, the tools I was provided with have changed me. I have a love for myself that I have never felt before, a respect for myself and what I am capable of. A newfound love for my partner, a new found love for my children exactly as they are. A new perspective on being a mama, all because of the care throughout my pregnancy, for my birth and all 6 weeks of the aftercare. I have learnt so much about myself as well as the birthing process and will babble on to anyone who will listen to me and would recommend a home birth over hospital birth to any pregnant woman, however not just any home birth, pregnancy care and home birth with Mary and Jemma.”
“To begin with I was very sceptical to do a home birth but after a few meetings and knowing the knowledge and confidence that Mary and Jemma showed it really put me at ease and I felt more comfortable with the idea of a home birth.
The reason why I wanted a private midwife this time around was that at the hospital, I felt like I didn’t have a say in anything that was happening and that the hospital midwives ignored me even though I knew the plan that my partner wanted to do and tried to argue our point, there was still no results and we had a lot of negatives which left us scarred and emotional. The second time around, doing it at home, I just felt a lot more relaxed, knowing that our midwives had all the gear ready to go at the moment of a phone call and were at our home quickly after a phone call.
Mary and Jemma just made everything cruisier than the hospital did. They assured everything was going to be okay and they never forced any decisions on us and let my partner birth as naturally as possible. So to all of the fathers out there that are sceptical about home birth and private midwives, I highly recommend this program, because it makes everything so much better. Not just for the mothers and babies but for the fathers to prevent the stress levels rising and the feelings of losing control. My voice was always heard with Mary and Jemma.”
KIRA & HARLEY
“Wow, where do I begin. Our birth with Mary and Jemma as our support team was with our second child. We had our first son in hospital with a private midwife and on paper it was an absolutely perfect, natural birth. I laboured mostly at home, I had a quick active labour in hospital, and I naturally birthed my son without any medical assistance. I didn’t tear, and we left the hospital 6 hours after I birthed. It was, from a medical viewpoint, a flawless birth. At the time I didn’t know what it was missing, but I do now. It was missing the magic.
I was a passive participant during my first birth. I had immense back pain from my baby’s positioning and my midwife didn’t know how to shuffle my baby to help me cope. After being in enduring back labour with no break from the pain I finally just checked out of my birth. My body took over and yes, I naturally birthed my son, but I was not a part of his birth. I also had back pain with my second, and Mary and Jemma did everything in their power to shuffle my baby around to a better position. I have a previous back injury from childhood, so my pain never fully went away during labour but I changed from being never-ending back LABOUR to accompanying back pain with contractions, which was manageable. I felt powerful, I felt in control, I felt such unwavering support from Mary and Jemma. They have such a beautiful hands off approach, but are there in a flash when hands are needed. During my contractions when the back pain was strong, Jemma would exert pressure on my hips and hold until the contraction eased. They guided me, and their confidence gave me confidence. With my first, my baby was birthed; whereas with my second, at home, I birthed my baby.
Nothing compares to having a baby at home. I was in my own space, surrounded by plants and art and everything that makes me feel alive and at peace. In that environment, I was able to fully relax and focus inwards on my body and my baby. I birthed my baby with strength, power, intensity and breath. The collective energy in the room alone helped give me strength. After our baby Remy was born and my partner passed him through to me, everything was at peace. Our baby was so relaxed and calm, and love just hung in the air. It was pure love. It was pure magic.
Having our baby at home surpassed everything I ever thought it could be. It was calm, peaceful and wildly hard and intense, but my ability was never questioned. Mary and Jemma gave us the most beautiful gift, the capacity for an empowering birth.
They have become a part of our family, and we will cherish that bond forever.”
“Having a home birth with Mary and Jemma really opened my eyes to see the full potential of the birthing experience as a partnership. They enabled me to become the best support system for my partner before, during and after birth. With their guidance, I obtained valuable information and tools to be a full participant throughout the pregnancy rather than being stuck on the sidelines as just a support person. I was able to actively be a part of her labour and the birthing of our son. They have me tools to help her cope with the intensity of labour and when it came to her birthing our son I was right there with her. I was able to catch our son and pass him through to my partner while we were in the birthing pool together. It was amazing being a part of it as opposed to a spectator. I believe this unique aspect of their role as midwives gave me the confidence to really be present during my partners pregnancy and labour which has empowered both of us as a team.”