Half of the group who attended did so with free registration, including women who were 20 years or younger, Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander, Medicare Ineligible or Pension/Health Care Card holders. The provision of excellent education for women who may not otherwise be able to afford it is a strong motivation for these classes, with First Steps Birthing being an initiative of the not-for-profit organisation First Steps Pregnancy Support. Our presenters and educators all volunteered their time to prepare and deliver the content each week, and many hours went into this collectively. We are so grateful for the passion and commitment amongst the leadership team that has made this vision a reality.
We also welcomed several guest presenters from the local community in our final week, where our theme was relationships - local family lawyer Peta Taylor (RMB Lawyers in Queanbeyan), counsellor Lisa Anderson (The Upside of Me) and local pastor and coffee extraordinaire Mick George (Jerra Community Church). It was fantastic to have the enthusiasm and practical involvement of the local community and we are so thankful to each of these presenters for their time and expertise.
Childbirth and being a new parent are both major life events and are usually associated with great expectation and joy. However these times can also be unexpectedly difficult and this can lead to feelings of trauma, anxiety and sadness. Many birth preparation classes have a strong focus on the ‘normal’ without acknowledging the significant number of people who may have a different experience. At First Steps Birthing, we do not shy away from discussing what happens when things might not go as planned, and feedback from participants indicates that this approach is very welcome.
Our next series begins on Monday February 27th 2023 and we look forward to welcoming a new cohort of pregnant women and their birth partners. We have a strong lineup of presenters and will again be offering sponsored places for eligible women (registration is still essential). In addition to the criteria listed above, we have also added women who do not have a partner in the picture and are facing parenting alone. We look forward to welcoming back a few of our participants, now new parents, from the November/December classes as special guests, to share a bit of their story and introduce their precious little ones to us.
We plan to run these classes several times each year, with both weeknight options and full-day weekend options planned for 2023. Please see our website for more information and to register to secure your place.
Find out more about the classes here.