Meet the wonderful Anna-Maria. Anna-Maria will be teaching with us at We Birth in 2018.
My name is Jennifer Hazi, I am a Registered Midwife, Doula and childbirth educator. I work as a midwife in a busy suburban hospital in Sydney, privately with women and their families in their homes and facilitate a monthly space for pregnant women and their female support people which is a unique mix of education, connection and space for women to process the changes and expectations where they are in pregnancy.
I fell in love with birth sometime during my first pregnancy in 2005. Over the course of my pregnancy, the fear I didn’t even know I had was slowly educated away and a fascination with the body’s ability to grow, birth and nurture a baby with very little help from outside.
I began my work as a doula, training with an experienced doula in a mentor/mentee relationship. After a year of working together under the nurturing eye of an experienced doula, and completing the Optimum Birth training for good measure, the launch into private practice was smooth and joyous.
My hunger for all things parturition continued into my direct entry Bachelor of Midwifery at UTS. While studying I juggled childbirth education, working as a doula and my growing family. I am fortunate to have worked with women in continuity not just through one pregnancy but over the course of their childbearing career and being invited into such an intimate and incredibly life-affirming space with new families is a continual privilege.
I now have 5 witty and vivacious girls who keep me busy and work clinically as a midwife in a large tertiary referral hospital in Sydney. I absolutely love working as an educator and working with women and their families as they discover their own fears about birth are dissolved with good information, a space to reflect and time. I work privately with women and families wherever suits them antenatally, and postnatally in their home. Occasionally I attend births as a doula, however, at this stage, I try to “pay it forward” and bring a newly qualified or student doula with me. I have begun to play with photography and filmmaking more to fulfil my creative needs (far from professional!!), and my only regret is I didn’t start sooner.
So what are my passions? My family is number 1. Having 5 daughters definitely gets me thinking more than ever about women, our empowerment and how to ensure the road is smoother for the next generation. I am fortunate to have found a profession which is also my hobby. I know many of you feel the same way. I truly believe doulas are an underused resource for women and their families in both the birth space and the postnatal period. I know for myself what a pleasure it is to work with compassionate and caring doulas and how much physical and emotional support in the postpartum can have such a positive effect years later.
I really believe we, as midwives, doulas, obstetricians, childbirth educators, birth photographers, postnatal support people, birth workers and all of us in the perinatal space have a massive responsibility to protect the future by providing care in the most respectful and uplifting way possible.
Words: Jen Hazi
(It’s pretty difficult finding a non-pregnant pic of me but I did it.)
My name is Jacki Barker and I am a doula with a busy business in Sydney Australia. I teach parents HypnoBirthing using Marie Mongan’s Method which helps to achieve wonderful calm and joyful births. I first saw the incredible difference this course made to couples in birth when working as a midwife in the UK almost 20 years ago. I knew there and then birth did not have to be about drama and pain as we are all programmed to believe. I walked from one room where a woman was screaming in terror demanding an epidural to the next room where a mother breathed her baby out with a smile on her face.
As a result of my experience, I learnt to attend water births regularly. I knew I would be a midwife who would do what I could to bring peace and normality to birth. I have also been very fortunate to have assisted Independent Midwife Sheryl Sidery with her home births as the second midwife for the past year and it has been a real pleasure to be present at so many wonderful home waterbirths and an honour to work with Sheryl.
I believe that with education, we have the power to heal birth. Birth needs to heal at a worldwide level. Birth is a sacred and beautiful event and we need to help people believe in the sanctity of birth once more. With education and time, I think this is achievable. “Women today not only possess genetic memory of birth from a thousand generations of women, but they are also assailed from every direction by information and misinformation about birth.” (Valerie El Halta)
I also believe women need to have doulas as we all know studies show births with intervention are hugely reduced when a doula is involved. So by increasing the number of doulas who are spreading positive, evidence-based research and helpful information about birth then changing birth stories to reassuring and happy outcomes more and more, we can make a difference. For more on my bio please visit my doula business www.lovecherub.com.