Julie Clarke

Do You Know What A Hypnobirth Is?

I chat with Hypnobirth Specialist Julie Clarke from the Sutherland Shire, on her experience in pregnancy and birthing.

Many years ago as a heavily pregnant and somewhat bewildered expectant mother, I sought expertise in my area to learn how I could have a clean and healthy birthing, with no health risk to me and my baby. This is where Hypnobirth comes in.

It found myself enrolled attend a Hypnobirth class of Julie’s Clarke’s courses on hypno-birthing. And it was through this experience, I found the confidence to allow my body to go through the natural course of labour without fear. My birthing experience was long but overall went relatively well, with no risks presenting to myself or my baby.

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Julie and chat to her about her experience.

Julie has always been drawn to biology, psychology, and every time her mother’s friends were pregnant whilst growing up, she was fascinated by the concept of growing babies in the belly. She felt like everything in her life simply kept leading her down this path.

“It was easy to make the decision to do the training, easy for me to do all the assignments and I loved every minute of the whole experience. I have thrived as a person in life teaching all these pregnant couples because I really feel I make such a positive difference in their lives,” Julie tells me.

Julie tells me she feels she has thrived as an individual in life teaching pregnant couples of all walks of life, because she really feels she is making such a positive difference in their lives.

“I have received such great feedback from my clients. They also call me, email me and talk to me at community functions, me about how much they gained from my courses. It’s such a beautiful thing to have in my life – this incredible appreciation for all the things I teach. It’s mind blowing sometimes to know the ripple effect of positivity that has come from all of this and it warms my heart,” She says.

Julie also believes Feminism has made some wonderful sweeping changes and improvements to Maternity in Australia. Improved birthing suites for women; better facilities with beautiful full ensuite bathrooms. Dads-to-be are treated with more respect now compared to my father’s era. The old matrons were so awful to men. Midwives have slightly improved work conditions and the system is constantly working to reduce “bullying” which the health system has specialised in since the invention of hospitals in the 1900’s.

Midwives have improved the way they do University now so instead of having to be a nurse first and receive plenty of unnecessary training they now have a pure Bachelor of Midwifery Training Degree for 3 years and it’s producing absolutely awesome midwives who have a better understanding of “Being With Woman” which it was the term Midwifery means.

Her best advice for expecting parents. Trust your instincts and intuition. Stand up for yourself in your relationship with your partner, in dealing with any staff, in dealing with workplace, friends and family. Be firm. 

“Assert yourself more than you have ever done before during your pregnancy, birth and the first year after giving birth. Say what you want. This is where you shine as a woman moving into motherhood. I’ll hold the polish and the buffing cloth for you and cheer you on.

I have millions of success stories. Starting with my mums story of giving birth to me which she told me quite often and I adored hearing it. Then my own births of my two sons. Then such a lot of others over the years especially with birthing big babies with no stitches. Seems this trick is my specialty to teach in class and I have plenty of mums with this wonderful outcome. They are delighted and I am for them too, so awesome,” She tells me.

Julie teaches two different classes. One is based on the transition into parenthood and the other is about mindful hypnobirth. Here she explains the differences between the two.

“The first one is the Transition into Parenthood course which covers pregnancy, labour, birthing and a good generous amount of baby care and early parenting. Does that sound a bit dry? yes maybe it does, haha yet this course is not the slightest bit dry or boring in fact pregnant couples find it very new information, interesting and they love the positive vibe.

You see most people are very nervous about birth so when thy come along and find out new strategies to help them through it and make the whole experience easier they are greatly relieved. They feel so positive to find out their choices for comfort techniques such as the use of showers, baths, hot packs to ease the discomfort.

Then there are all the practical components of the course such as trying out positions such as standing, kneeling, squatting, instead of the hollywood movie scene of a woman laying down; which in fact only serves to slow labour down, but it’s what everyone has viewed in the movies so they think it’s what Midwives want them to do and of course that’s not the case at all.

All Midwives and doctors know that when a woman hops up and moves around the labour is so much quicker and easier. It’s delightful for everyone involved because she’s not distressed, it’s comfortable and much easier.

The baby care part of the course covers loads of the most important tips and tricks such as swaddling, breastfeeding, rocking, patting, swaying, comforting a baby, how to recognise what’s up for the baby when it cries, how to read their body language and all the different signals they give out.

Do you know Alissa that most people think oh we will deal with all the baby stuff after the baby is born, I can only focus on the labour and birth during my pregnancy and they don’t know what they don’t know about babies, which leaves them so vulnerable to lots of stress during the first 12 weeks the newborn period after the birth.

The main issues I love to deal with in class is how to make life easier and stress free. I have lots of great secrets and tips I share with everyone and they really enjoy the way I tell stories to illustrate what I am getting across. We have plenty of laughs during the Transition into Parenthood two day course.

The new Mindful Hypnobirth course has its fun elements too but is actually more fascinating than anything else – this course provided amazing insights into how to not fight against the body but instead work with the body. Don’t you just love all the amazing facts around the mind-body connection? Well those ideas are just perfect for getting ready to labour and birth. It all fits together like a glove on a hand.

Mindful Hypnobirth is what resonates with everyone between 20 and 45 years of age, that is the generation that really understands mindfulness and takes it on board to use so well, and they are relaxed, focused on their breathing, stress free, not anxious, confident, and have the most positive empowering birth experiences ever. It’s absolutely wonderful to be able to bring these two courses to people.

The combination equals the full jigsaw puzzle with no pieces missing. If a pregnant couple book both courses I think ah good that’s a relief chances are very high, that they will be fine. They won’t be missing out on anything.”

Julie also explains that this course is not limited to anyone who is not yet pregnant or early pregnant. The courses are really for anyone. Even women who may have to have a cesarean section.

“I run a beautiful baby care one day session which is perfectly suited to cesarean mums it covers everything to do with the practicalities of Baby Care without the labour info and is all on either one day or a half day – obviously the full day is better.

Most people underestimate what’s included, but at the end of that one day they are so much more informed and confident about how to play the game of life as parents.
To be honest no-one really knows what exactly is going to happen do they?

No one has a crystal ball.

I’ve actually had couples who thought they were 99% chance of a c.section end up with a normal birth and they were astounded and thrilled. And of course I’ve had the opposite happen too, the important thing is for everyone to prepare for any type of outcome.

My awesome Dad was a fantastic Scout Master and he always reminded us of the motto “Be Prepared!” He was right if ever there is something to prepare for in life it’s having a baby isn’t it?”

Completely unrelated, I also asked Julie what her favourite books and movies are at the moment.

“I have fallen in love with two movies over the last 12 months and funnily enough they both involve the ocean. Breath and the other, Given – check them out. Pretty awesome.

Learn more about Julie Clarke here.

Contact Anissa to learn more about Sutherland Shire pregnancy and birthing and how she may be able to assist you.

Anissa Au

View posts by Anissa Au
I am all about life, and how we can live as well as we can on this earth! I’ve always had a passion for natural health, after all, why not make use of its abundant resources. When I’m not at my acupuncture clinic in Cronulla, you’ll find me practising my Qigong, meditating, hiking in the wilderness or wild swimming. I also love spending time with a good book or enjoying hearty soul food with good company.
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