About

About

Am thrilled you’re here as we all deserve to have support in this challenging and rewarding job as a parent.  I’ve received amazing support over the years and so I’m really pleased to be able to pass on what I have learned and to support you in the way that you are needing.

The quick version about who I am and what I do is that I’m a:

Logos

  • Doula – for birth and post-natal support
  • Parenting by Connection Instructor with HandinHand Parenting
  • Aware Parenting Instructor
  • Parenting event organiser
  • Mum to 2 children – Emily & George

The longer version is…..:

Since becoming pregnant with my first child in 2007, I’ve learned so much about birth, babies, children, parents and me.  I’ve read countless books, trained with amazing organisations and worked with inspiring people.  But the biggest learning has come from, you’ve guessed it, my own children.

Possibly like you, in the days before having children or in that scrummy newborn daze, I found it easy to be idealistic about raising a child.  Surely it can’t be THAT hard?!  Generation after generation have managed it for thousands of years and our species is still alive isn’t it?  Do we REALLY need all of the plethora of parenting books, blogs and advice?   Surely it’s about trusting my own instincts and not making it out to be too complicated?

Well, yes, to some extent that’s true.

Trusting our own instincts is very important.  We should never do anything just because it says it in a book.  It’s important that we trust our ability to make our own decisions and parent our children in the way we want to.

But what happens when we just don’t know what to do?  

Emily aged 10 months and IIt was 2009 when my daughter, Emily, was 10 months old that I realised I really needed help.  She wasn’t sleeping much at night – I was exhausted, confused, teary and just thoroughly over it all.  I was confused because I thought I was doing everything ‘right’.  I followed the Attachment Parenting approach of co-sleeping, breastfeeding on demand, carrying her around most places and wanting to implement very gentle discipline.  She had also had a gentle, water birth.  So – why was she not sleeping?  Why was she crying?  And why was she ignoring my polite requests to stop banging the glass mirror or hitting me?!!

It was then that I discovered Aware Parenting and, from there, HandinHand’s Parenting by Connection.  And what a HUGE relief that was.

With the amazing guidance and support of the amazing Marion Rose, I learned about meeting a child’s emotional needs and the importance of releasing pent up feelings through crying and tantrums.  I learned how to set limits lovingly and effectively.  I learned how to help Emily sleep through the night.  And I learned that as a mum, I needed support to be able to parent lovingly and in the way I wanted to.

My relationship with Emily changed – I felt more confident about what I was doing.  I used play rather than time-out or the naughty step.  I would support rather than punish her when she cried vigorously and had tantrums.

I became incredibly passionate to help others learn about these approaches.  So I started Birth & Parenting, created an Expo in North Sydney and ran numerous parenting seminars throughout Sydney.  I trained with the Australian Doula College and HandinHand, attended parenting conferences and then started giving talks myself, including co-presenting seminars with Marion Rose.

Which was all fabulous until I wanted another child.

Homebirth in the bathAhhh – the desire to have another child was overwhelming.  I wanted, and I wanted and I wanted.  I naively assumed I would become pregnant again as quickly as I did first time.  Unfortunately not.  For over 2 years I tried acupuncture, diet, visualisations, Chinese herbs, charting, etc, etc.  I finally went to the Dr and was diagnosed with Unknown Secondary Infertility.  And just after my 40th birthday, I started IVF.  On the second stimulation round, I became pregnant with George (hooray!) and in August 2014 I gave birth to him at home with 2 independent midwives, my husband and Emily.

Throughout the 2+ years of trying I cried, despaired, cried, tried to be positive, cried some more, and received the most amazing support from a range of fantastic women.   Not only do I now have my little boy, but I have learned about pain, despair and the type of support that’s useful when going through something emotionally challenging.  I benefitted from the power of being truly heard, in all of my messiness, uncertainty, misery and sadness.  I realised that by expressing these feelings in the presence of a kind and attentive listener, I could come to a place of peace, acceptance and enthusiasm.

I am now excited to be able to use all of the knowledge and experience I have obtained over the past years to help support YOU!

  • I have experienced being the parent of a child who hits & bites, as well as who has been hit and bitten.
  • I understand sleeplessness – the challenges of bed times, sleeping through the night and transitioning from co-sleeping to their own room.
  • I really get how hard it is to listen to your child’s anger, frustration and rage.
  • I know what it’s like to be exhausted, upset, frustrated, angry, in despair and feeling everything is just too hard.
  • I also understand how hard it can be when family members, friends or a partner don’t always understand or like this new way of being with our children.

And

  • I have experienced the transformation of playful disciplinesetting limits lovinglylistening to children’s emotions and providing the emotional connection that children need.
  • I have seen how relaxed, alert and peaceful my children are when they have had a good cry and released all of their horrible feelings
  • I have felt the deep connection of being with my children when they have freely expressed their joy, sadness, anger, frustration and love
  • I have felt how amazing things are when I get the support I need – from my husband, family, friends and Parenting Mentor.

My desire is to support you with practical ideas and an empathic ear.  No judgement.  No blame.  Just love and support.  So, please, book your time with me today – we can chat on the phone, on Skype / FaceTime or in person.

I’d love to hear from you!

Helena
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0424 096 546
helena@birthandparenting.com.au

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