21 episodes

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast explores issues of pregnancy, birth and parenting infants. Hosted by Karen McClay, director of the renowned Calmbirth® childbirth education method, midwives and experts explore topics for expecting and new parents. Calmbirth’s goal is to educate and improve the birthing outcomes for all women and their families, not just physically, but emotionally as well.

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Karen McClay

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.4 • 7 Ratings

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast explores issues of pregnancy, birth and parenting infants. Hosted by Karen McClay, director of the renowned Calmbirth® childbirth education method, midwives and experts explore topics for expecting and new parents. Calmbirth’s goal is to educate and improve the birthing outcomes for all women and their families, not just physically, but emotionally as well.

    #21 Understanding Pain in Labour

    #21 Understanding Pain in Labour

    In this episode, Karen discusses the two different approaches and perceptions of pain in labour. These are the medical approach where pain in labour is seen as dysfunctional and something to be 'fixed', and the holistic (midwifery) approach where it is seen as a functional discomfort that is purposeful and therefore important to 'work with'. It is a fascinating conversation that we hope will plant many seeds that will continue to change the way we think and feel about labour and birth for the better as a culture.

    • 30 min
    #20 Baby Brain: How pregnancy and motherhood shape our brain and change our minds.

    #20 Baby Brain: How pregnancy and motherhood shape our brain and change our minds.

    Join Karen McClay as she talks with Dr Sarah McKay about her new book "Baby Brain: The Surprising Neuroscience of How Pregnancy and Motherhood Sculpt Our Brains and Change Our Minds".







    Karen and Sarah take a fascinating dive into what the research is showing us about the neurological changes that occur within a woman's brain as they travel through pregnancy and motherhood, while at the same time demything the cultural assumption that 'baby brain' is a negative side-effect of this transformative time.

    • 48 min
    Understanding natural pauses in labour and when to wait or when to act

    Understanding natural pauses in labour and when to wait or when to act

    Join Karen McClay and Dr Marina Weckend as they discuss Marina's research into the natural pauses of labour and the importance of normalising these plateaus or rest periods.







    By seeing these natural pauses as normal fluctuations in labour Marina hopes that we can reduce the time pressures placed on women and birth people during birth and to reduce many of the potentially unnecessary interventions in our current maternity system.









    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdfXwekKMFk









    For more information about Marina's important work you can visit her website https://www.marinaweckend.com/Research/







    WEPAUSE Study Link to share your own experiences of pauses in childbirth (survey active from March to August 2024): 

    • 32 min
    #18 Creating an optimal microbiome during Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond.

    #18 Creating an optimal microbiome during Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond.

    Welcome to another episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast. In this episode, our Calmbirth Director Karen McClay talks with Emma Park. Emma is a Functional Nutritionist Clinician and Clinical Educator and is an industry leader in the field of gut health and the microbiome in the First 1000 Days of life.







    Karen and Emma discuss the importance of the microbiome for pregnant mamas and people, and their babies, and how we can maintain and create an optimal environment for a healthy microbiome during pregnancy birth and postpartum. This is particularly important for those whose microbiome is already out of kilter e.g., they have a history of vaginitis, candida infections (thrush), recurrent UTI’s, GBS and mastitis.  Karen and Emma also discuss the impact that antibiotic use during pregnancy and birth, and caesarean births have on the microbiome and what these mamas and birthing people can do to help their and their baby’s microbiome recover.







    If you would like more information on this you can have a look at Emma’s “The First 1000 days” course, or download her booklet, both of which can be found here: https://www.thefirst1000days.com.au/







    And because stress is one of the biggest influences on a healthy microbiome, come and join us for a Calmbirth course because we are all about helping you to change your relationship to stress through knowledge and tools that will not only help during your pregnancy and birth but will continue to be an asset for the rest of your life. You can find a Calmbirth Educator near you here: https://calmbirth.com.au/







    If you enjoyed this podcast episode please share with your friends, and tag us on our socials @calmbirth.

    • 42 min
    #17 Oxytocin and its impact on birth

    #17 Oxytocin and its impact on birth

    Dr Sarah Buckley is a GP/family physician with qualifications in GP-obstetrics and family planning. She is the mother of four home-born children and currently combines motherhood with her work as a writer on pregnancy, birth, and parenting.







    She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, where her research is focused on oxytocin and the autonomic nervous system in labour and birth, and the impacts of interventions. In episode 17 of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast, I talk to Sarah about oxytocin and its impact on birth.







    Dr Buckley’s work critiques current practices in pregnancy, birth, and parenting from the widest possible perspectives, including scientific, anthropological, cross-cultural, psychological, and personal. She encourages us to be fully informed in our decision-making; to listen to our hearts and our intuition, and to claim our rightful role as the real experts in our bodies and our children.







    She is an author and some of her bestselling books are  Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices, 

    • 1 hr 23 min
    #16 – Pregnancy Yoga

    #16 – Pregnancy Yoga

    In Episode 16 of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Calmbirth  Director, Karen McClay talks to our wonderful Calmbirth Educators and Yoga Instructors, Maja Batista and Karen Shlegeris about the benefits of pregnancy yoga in preparation for labour and birth. 

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

BearMcManus ,

Fantastic podcast

So grateful for your podcast & all the content you are providing to expectant parents. It has been extremely helpful to have as a resource!!! I especially like how each of your episodes are supported by a professional in the field & or by research based evidence. It can be so hard to find continuity of care in our current system, for me personally living in rural Tasmania I have no midwifery resources where I live, only a GP clinic of which I can barely see the same GP more than once due to such high demands / long wait times & the amount of locum doctors. I am a nurse myself & even working in “the system” I have found it difficult to get adequate pregnancy & birth information. There are a lot of miguided myths that circulate “the system”. So to have somewhere to turn & find the information I need to feel empowered during my pregnancy journey has been a god send. Thank you so much!!

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