Birth Preparation Course

Birth Preparation Course

Birth Preparation is Childbirth Education Associations most comprehensive course.

With regularly updated content reflecting internationally recognised, evidence-based research, CEA's Birth Preparation Course has been helping Darwin and Palmerston families prepare wholistically for birth since the 1970s.

Our objective is that after attending a Birth Preparation Course you will have the knowledge, confidence and skills to navigate the many choices and challenges of pregnancy, birth and early parenting.  You will be able to make informed decisions when communicating with care providers at antenatal visits, in labour, at birth and beyond and will know where to turn if you need some extra information or help at any stage. Over the weeks you will assemble a personalised 'toolkit' of techniques and activities that you can use to manage the sensations of labour - ideally enabling you to bring your baby gently into the world. The early parenting session will give you a clear picture of  normal infant behaviour and how you can meet your baby's needs while still looking after yourself.

All birth educators and midwives teaching  at CEA are dedicated to supporting course participants to have positive birth experiences. We recognise the birth choices of each individual and truly care about every woman’s unique journey into motherhood. We hope the course will give couples the opportunity to team-build at this time of transition into parenthood and will provide fathers and other birth partners a deeper understanding of their vital role as support people.

Attending Birth Preparation is recommended from around 20 weeks onwards.  Early participation allows more time for further research on topics of interest, to practice relaxation, breathing, positions, supported holds etc and to investigate models of care that best suit your birth preferences.

Each couple will receive a copy of the birth guide ‘Preparing for Birth’ by Andrea Robertson, a simple and concise text that covers pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal care.  You will also receive several articles and links to websites to inform and inspire. For those who are keen for more reading we have a large library of pregnancy, birth and parenting books and DVDs for you to borrow from.

The content of this course is most suited to those aiming to have a physiologically normal (vaginal/natural) birth.  If you have complications that limit your choices for birth, or if you prefer an elective Caesarean, much of the information discussed at the course will not be useful.  In this case we recommend a Private Birth Preparation course that can explore other scenarios more specifically. You can also take the early parenting session as a stand alone course.

Also please note that if you and/or your partner have busy lives that make it hard to join scheduled courses we are happy to organise private sessions at dates and times that suit you.

Australian research has shown that independent birth education reduces epidural use by nearly 50%, reduces the use of hormones to speed up labour by 30% and reduces the Caesarean rate by 15%. Ref: Levett KM, Smith CA, Bensoussan A, et alComplementary therapies for labour and birth study: a randomised controlled trial of antenatal integrative medicine for pain management in labourBMJ Open 2016;6:e010691. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010691

Course Outline

Session 1 - Pregnancy & Creating Your 'Mindset' For Labour & Birth
  • Welcome
  • Pregnancy - nutrition, self care, building your support group for early parenting
  • Birth Planning - a useful birth plan is not your ideal birth written down on paper
  • Informed Choice
  • Thinking about Pregnancy and Birth- not an illness or 'risk' but a normal healthy life event
  • Cultural Ideas Around Pregnancy & Birth - how this influences us
  • Fear Release Work
  • HypnoBirthing Explained
  • The Hormones Of Labour
  • Rebozo for Pregnancy
  • Why Normal Birth is Important
  • The Importance Of Your Due Date
  • Role of Your Birth Support Person
  • Role of Care Providers - OB's, Midwives, Doulas
  • How/Why Does Labour Start?  Physical/Emotional/Spiritual
  • Question time
Session 2 – Labour
  • Recap of Week One
  • Relaxation Meditation Practice
  • Induction - your choices around this, why, when, where, what to expect
  • The Cascade of Intervention
  • Hormones and Induction
  • Why Your Birth Environment Is Important
  • Creating Your Ideal Birth Environment
  • How Contractions Work
  • First Stage of Labour
  • Using Natural Birth Tools To Manage Labour
  • Active Birth Positions/Movement
  • Medical Pain Relief Options
  • Water
  • TENS Machine
  • 'Birth Media' - every birth is unique
  • Question time
Session 3 – Birth
  • Recap of Week Two
  • BRAIN Decision Making Tool
  • Instrumental Birth
  • Gentle C-Section
  • More Labour Tools - soft touch massage, rebozo at birth, breathing, supported holds, vocalisation
  • Eating & Drinking in Labour
  • Second Stage of Labour (Birth)
  • Directed Pushing vs Instinctive
  • Avoiding Tears
  • Post Partum Haemorrhage
  • Third Stage (Birthing Your Placenta)
  • The Importance of The First Hour After Birth
  • Question Time
Session 4 – Early Parenting - The Fourth Trimester For Baby, Mother & Family (3 Hour Session)
  • What Babies Need - Physical, Emotional & Developmental
  • Your Babies Experience Of The Fourth Trimester
  • Baby-Wearing
  • Breastfeeding
  • Baby & Parent Sleep
  • Developmental Milestones
  • What New Mums Need
  • Understanding Hormones & Brain Changes
  • Traditional Postpartum Practices
  • A Mothers Experience Of The Fourth Trimester
  • Physical Recovery
  • Partner's And The Fourth Trimester
  • Maintaining Your Relationship
  • Question Time

Birth Preparation Course

July 2024 
Tuesday 2nd, 6pm - 8:30pm
Tuesday 9th, 6pm - 8:30pm
Tuesday 23rd, 6pm - 8:30pm
Tuesday 30th, 6pm - 9:00pm (Early Parenting)

August 2024 
Tuesday 6th, 6pm - 8:30pm
Tuesday 13th, 6pm - 8:30pm
Tuesday 20th, 6pm - 8:30pm
Tuesday 27th, 6pm - 9:00pm (Early Parenting)

Thursday 8th, 6pm - 8:30pm
Thursday 15th, 6pm - 8:30pm
Thursday 22nd, 6pm - 8:30pm
Thursday 29th, 6pm - 9:00pm (Early Parenting)


PLEASE NOTE: Once you submit your booking form we will reply in one or two working days by email with payment information. If you do not hear from us please check your junk folder.


Nightcliff Community Centre


$260 for two people and includes course material

Other details

Local content, local participants, interactive, questions and conversations.

If you are interested in attending the Birth Preparation course but have questions about the suitability for your due date, your support person's availability or combining it with other CEA workshops please email: