A DESIRE to give expectant local women the same opportunities as their big-city counterparts has seen the creation of a new childbirth education service.
Birth Beat, the brainchild of local midwife and nurse Edwina Sharrock, was officially launched last Friday.
Mrs Sharrock had her first child, Polly, a year ago and said the midwives of the community program run through the Tamworth maternity unit helped her have an enjoyable birthing experience.
She wanted to ensure other women had a similarly positive experience and to offer classes that were not only educational, but pampering and enjoyable for participants.
Mrs Sharrock said such courses were available in larger cities, but was not aware of anything similar locally.
“I thought there was that opportunity to bring that quality of class to Tamworth,” Mrs Sharrock said.
The class has been developed with the assistance of physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, lactation consultants, obstetricians and other midwives, with Mrs Sharrock saying it was important the “bigger picture” of women’s health and lifestyles was addressed.
Topics covered include labour and birth, through to the early days of the baby’s life.
Classes take place in small groups.
Private classes are also available.
Jennifer Wauch and husband James had their first child, Sophie, about three weeks ago and were Mrs Sharrock’s first clients.
Mrs Wauch said she wanted practical advice with a personal approach ahead of the birth, and that the class “helped a lot”, giving them confidence and taking the fear factor out of the experience.
The first Birth Beat group class will take place in April.