Our aim is that you have a positive birth experience


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 an information folder with over 40 articles 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 – What is labour?
  • Orientation/Introductions
  • Why normal birth is important
  • What happens during labour
    • Onset of labour
    • Early first Stage
    • Late first stage
    • Transition
    • Second stage
    • Third stage (birth of placenta)
  • How does the pelvis work?
  • What does labour sound like?
  • What does labour look like?
  • Learning relaxation
  • Needs during labour
  • Birth environment
  • Self care
  • Question time
Session 2 – Labour Toolkit
  • Hormones in labour
  • Releasing fears
  • Coping with labour and exploring options
  • Breathing
  • Relaxation
  • Decision-making
  • Birth preferences and care provider preferences
  • Massage techniques
  • Question time
Session 3 – Planning
  • Birth planning – thinking through your choices around different eventualities
  • Exploring the due date and expectations around this.
  • Pregnancy and medical tests
  • When to contact your care provider
  • Induction
  • Deviations from normal
  • Control and informed choice
  • Third stage
  • Post birth
  • What if I have a cesarean?
  • Post partum plan
  • Questions
Session 4 – Breastfeeding and Early Parenting
  • Explore experiences of breastfeeding
  • The first hour with your baby
    • Uninterrupted skin to skin
    • Quiet supported environment
    • Who should touch your baby?
    • Breast crawl video
    • Micro biome
  • The first days of making milk
  • How breastfeeding works
  • Mastitis
  • Safe bed sharing
  • Normal infant behaviors
    • Sleep
    • Poo
    • Communication
  • Where to seek more information and support
  • Settling a baby
  • Routines
  • Mother guilt
  • Postpartum depression
  • Relationship changes
  • You time
  • De-stressing as a parent
  • Recovery exercise
  • Question time
  • Where to now?

Birth Preparation Course

November 2018
Monday 5th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Monday 12th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Monday 19th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Monday 26th, 6pm - 9pm (Early Parenting)

February 2019
Tuesday 5th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Tuesday 12th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Tuesday 19th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Tuesday 26th, 6 pm - 9pm (Early Parenting)

March 2019
Tuesday 5th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Tuesday 12th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Tuesday 19th, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Tuesday 26th, 6 pm - 9pm (Early Parenting)





CEA Office, Nightcliff Community Centre


$189 for two people

Other details

Small group setting

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: info@ceadarwin.asn.au