Website of Lina Clerke -

Holistic Bowen Therapist,
Midwife &
Childbirth Educator Sussex UK


   Birth Literature
Professional Development
and resources for childbirth educators, midwives and doulas


Wonderful Birth Stories
to inspire and encourage you on your birthing journey

Taking control of birth choices during pregnancy

Dear Lina,

I just wanted to write and let you know how helpful your workshop has been. It started me off on a path of discovery which led me to have exactly the birth I hoped for. A friend suggested I do your workshop, and once there I realised that there were many ways to give birth, that there were choices and I could have control of these choices. It was very empowering.

I still stayed with my obstetrician until I was 36 weeks pregnant and brought my birth plan in. We had discussed it earlier but I guess actually seeing it on paper made her realise I was serious about actually wanting some input. We to'd and fro'd over every point, but it was after I said I wanted to be left go if my second stage went longer than two hours without intervention, and she replied with, “look you’re not the only one having a baby, we have a hospital to run you know” that the alarm bells went off in my head. That along with the comments that: I couldn't have my baby squatting (apparently western women don't have the strength in their legs.....); Absolutely no chance of natural third stage delivery, and they had to cut the cord straight away and take the baby away to 'clean it' 5 minutes after delivery (she had this strange obsession with cleanliness) that I said thankyou for the pre natal care so far and good bye. Oh yes, she also laughed, yes laughed, when I said I was going to try and only use natural pain relief.

I rang the hospital and canceled my booking. I was told about Dr Bruce Sutherland at the Hawthorn Birth Centre (Melbourne’s only independent free standing birth centre). They were happy to take me on there even at my late stage. Finding them was like coming home.

The birth was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. I had a 7.5 hour labour, I had my beautiful baby girl in the water, my husband caught her, I had no tearing or need for stitches, (which you probably don't remember was my main fear,) and she was 8.7 lbs! We stayed in the water for 2 hours afterwards floating her. We also chose a lotus birth (where the umbilical cord is left attached to the placenta until it drops off by itself – takes ~ 3 – 8 days), (now wouldn't that have freaked out my first obstetrician! ) and the cord came off on the third day. The midwife was fantastic and Bruce just sat on the edge of the pool and patted my shoulder, which, as he said, was as it should be as every thing was going along just fine. Yes I squatted, no I did not have any drugs, my second stage was 3 hours, I obviously had a natural third stage and we didn't cut the cord! And most importantly she is so healthy and beautiful. I watch our video and think how wonderful and natural it all was. I wouldn't have been able to do this had I not attended your workshop.

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