Misty of Luna Tide Doula Services is a Geelong born local birth doula who studied with Rhea Dempsey and is now working with Lyndelle Anson around the Geelong, Bellarine and Surfcoast regions. Misty birthed both her babies at home and is passionate about educating and supporting women and families to make empowered decisions as they prepare for their births.
Co-hosting The Geelong Pregnancy Circle fortnightly with Kate of Matriyoga and a monthly Doula Circle with Lyndelle, and with many more exciting things brewing in the background, Misty is well and truly making her mark in the birth culture in this region.
Misty began her belly dance journey almost 20 years ago as a fun activity to share with her Mum. What initially started as a weekly class for fun and exercise swiftly blossomed into a transformative experience that transcended the boundaries of a hobby. Her passion for this ancient Middle Eastern dance form propelled her into the realm of performances, where she graced the stage as part of troupes, engaging in mesmerizing duets, and even captivating audiences with the occasional solo act at a variety of events, as well as teaching classes and workshops within her community.
The allure of belly dance lies not only in its graceful movements and captivating rhythms but also in the profound sense of connection and empowerment it fosters among women. When women gather to share this ancient art form, something truly magical transpires. The dance becomes a vessel through which stories are told, emotions are expressed, and bonds are forged.
As Misty embarked on her work in the birth world it became apparent that these two worlds would somehow collide. Finding fluidity and movement through their body is a wonderful tool to prepare women for birth and beyond. Through the art of belly dance, Misty empowers women, encouraging them to embrace their bodies, celebrate their femininity, and embark on their own unique journeys of self-discovery.
Nisha Gill draws from her work in the fields of trauma, birth, and female embodiment to create a unique suite of services for families along the perinatal continuum.
She is Somatic Experiencing® (trauma) Practitioner, counsellor, embodiment teacher, birth educator, and previously worked as a doula. Nisha applies a range of bodymind approaches to the resolution of trauma as well as birth preparation and postnatal care for families. Her special focus is birth, developmental, sexual, pre- & peri-natal, medical and surgical traumas and their prevention.
The common thread through all of Nisha’s offerings is an emphasis on our profound mammalian heritage as humans. Nisha supports women to cultivate their instinctual boundaries for pregnancy, birth and parenting via Primal Mama® practices and other embodiment processes. Her overall mission is to facilitate perinatal experiences for babies and their families to the blueprint of birth which they can then carry into their lives from this formative time.
Nisha delivers trauma education to perinatal professionals, body-centred practitioners, sexuality coaches and families. Applying a neuro-physiological or Polyvagal lens to trauma, Nisha supports birth workers to value more wholly their therapeutic presence with the families they serve in minimizing trauma and promoting resilience.
Facebook: Feminine Instincts - Trauma /
Embodiment / Perinatal
Birth Trauma Awareness
Janinne Gliddon, Aboriginal Senior Research Fellow, FEALING Program,Yorga Maaman and Koolanga Research and Advocacy Centre, Ngangk Yira Institute for Change, Murdoch University WA
A proud Badimia-Yamatji and Ballardong-Nyoongar senior woman who also has a more important role as a Nan and loving it! Janinne is the Aboriginal Senior Research Fellow for the FEALING Program at the Ngangk Yira Institute for Change and is leading the development of a doula/birth navigator education program which will create a rich and critical enduring legacy of Aboriginal women’s cultural knowledges and practices.
For over 35 years Janinne has had a varied public service career in public housing field and since 2008, in the health sector, with a focus on women’s and maternal health and Indigenous health promotion. During her time at KEMH, Janinne initiated a highly successful volunteers’ program, which draws on a group of Aboriginal women who visit women transferred from homeland communities and the regions to Perth for childbirth or women’s health care.
In 2019 Janinne was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to conduct a study of Aboriginal doula programs in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. Janinne has been a Chief Investigator on many research projects one being the NHMRC Birthing on Noongar Boodjar project and continues to provide high level advice to a range of Ngangk Yira Institute for Change projects
Jane was thrust into the world of motherhood five years ago, and since beginning that soul opening wild journey, has been an avid student of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, matrescence, parenthood, women, community, ritual and ceremony ever since. After birthing her own second daughter completely undisturbed or unassisted, Jane has furthered her passion work into supporting women & families to feel their epic power and complete soul rebirth as they journey through this amazing Rite of Passage, whether that be through freebirthing or empowering cesarean. Jane is honoured to live life down on Wadawurrung Country, where the country meets the sea, and cares deeply about cultivating community, all members of the family unit being held & listened to, and above all else, centering the person birthing as the true expert regarding their body and their baby. At all stages of the journey
Rhea is a passionate woman of birth; she is an Educator, Trainer, Doula, Counsellor, Speaker, Activist and Author. Rhea’s understanding of birth has been gained over four decades. She has presented nationally and internationally and is recognised as an insightful commentator on the difficulties women, who have a yearning for normal physiological birth, face in navigating present birth culture. And is respected as one of Australia’s foremost thinkers on the topic of working with pain in childbirth and its connection to normal physiological birth.
Her books, Birth with Confidence: savvy choices for normal birth and Beyond the Birth Plan: getting real about pain and power, as well as giving a clear account of the challenges faced by contemporary birthing women, also map out a path to powerful birthing experiences.
Rhea is the mother of three adult daughters, and five delicious home born grandchildren.
To find out more about Rhea’s books and work, visit her website www.rheadempsey.com.au
FaceBook – Rhea Dempsey Birthing Wisdom
Instagram – rheadempseybirth
Twitter - @rheadempsey
Dr Paul Chamberlain
Dr Paul Chamberlain, Paediatric Chiropractor 2023, BChiroSc, BAppSc(Clin), BSc(Hons), MACA has been a chiropractor since 1999.
He has practised in a child-focused setting since 2003, after studying a Fellowship of Chiropractic Paediatrics in Melbourne.
Laura Latina is a midwife with 15+ years of international experience. Graduated in Midwifery in Verona (Italy) in 2008, she then completed her first assignment in Burundi with an Italian charity where she trained midwives and set up a project to reduce unnecessary interventions. She continued her work with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a supervisor of a maternity hospital in Malawi in 2010 and then in South Sudan and Kenya.
In London from 2012 to 2016, Laura worked as a community midwife and later as a midwifery team leader with Guy's and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust. She also completed a Master’s degree in Sexual and Reproductive Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. In 2015, Laura completed her fourth MSF assignment in Afghanistan as a manager of a maternity hospital where more than 20.000 women (per year) give birth.
Laura then joined the MSF Sydney Medical Unit 2016-2020 as Women's Health Advisor, providing technical expertise and training support for the maternal and newborn activities in countries such as Bangladesh, Nigeria, Chad, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Pakistan, South Sudan and many more. In 2021 she was a Consultant Midwife in Wales, UK. An expert in the continuity of care, midwifery led-care, Laura has successfully led projects to improve the quality of care provided to women and newborn, and leadership in maternity in the health systems internationally.
Laura is currently interning at Compassionate Inquiry, a somatic based psychotherapy developed by Gabor Mate and Sat Dharam kaur. Laura is working as an independent consultant around the world preventing birth trauma, medicalisation of birth and promoting a culture of gentle, respectful births and parenthood.
Red is an executive and non-executive leader and advisor to the for-purpose sector. They are currently CEO of Birth for Humankind and Founder (Principal Consultant) of the collaborative social change consultancy, Influence Global. With an activist’s heart and governance nerd’s head, Red is passionate about driving systemic change and understanding how change happens. Much of their work centres on applying intersectional feminist principles at all levels of organisational culture, governance and operations.
Red is Deputy Chair of WIRE, Victoria’s only free, generalist support service provider for women and gender diverse people and a Trustee of the Influence Global Impact Fund. They are a Certified Community Director and a member of the Institute of Community Directors, Australian Institute of Company Directors and GLOBE Victoria.
Sarah is a second-generation migrant woman, mother who birthed during the pandemic, midwife, and Master of Public Health. From these intersecting identities, particularly witnessing health inequity in maternity care, Sarah is passionate about migrant and refugee women's maternal health and rights, culturally-responsive maternity care, continuity of care models, homebirth and doulas. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Nossal Institute for Global Health's Gender and Women’s Health unit. Her PhD research is exploring the relationships between community-based doulas' and health care providers' when working together to support migrant women in maternity settings. Sarah lives with her partner, two children and a beloved greyhound in Naarm.
Kerryn is a social science and public health researcher with expertise in social and health equity. She works as a Senior Research Fellow at Charles Darwin University (remotely from Naarm), conducting commissioned realist reviews and evaluations of public health, health and social care, and social change programs. She is also an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health. For her PhD, Kerryn evaluated Birth for Humankind’s volunteer doula support program, and has a strong, ongoing interest in promoting equity and dignity in maternity care. She also has a Master of Health Sciences (Public Health Practice), a Master of Public Health (International Health), a Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion, and Bachelor of Nursing.
Catherine McInerney is a pioneering figure in the field of specialised pregnancy, labour, and postnatal massage techniques in Australia. With over 25 years of experience in Women's Health Massage, she is the Founding Director of Pregnancy Massage Australia® established by Catherine in 2010.
Her vision is to establish massage as an essential component of perinatal care, emphasising the natural and comprehensive approach of the NurtureLife® massage experience, which offers a unique focus on support and therapeutic care.
Throughout her career, Catherine's dedication to expanding her knowledge and expertise has led her to study the therapeutic benefits of massage during pregnancy internationally.
A strong advocate for research in prenatal massage, Catherine has contributed to multiple publications and is committed to furthering research programs, particularly in the perinatal period. Her expertise has led her to present at both international and national conferences and expos.
Catherine's passion for education has extended to training thousands of massage therapists from across Australia and the Asia Pacific region in her signature NurtureLife® method. This method focuses on supporting women through pregnancy, labour, and the postnatal period with an emphasis on health and wellbeing.
Catherine has also written extensively for industry journals and media publications.
Previously, as the owner and director of her own College of Massage Therapy, she delivered Nationally Accredited Training Programs, earning respect from her peers and associates in the industry.
In becoming a Mother, Catherine was frustrated with the 'need to know' nature of maternity, so trained as a birth doula and breastfeeding counsellor and educator to fill the knowledge gap and support other women. Combined with her Master in Science Communication, this led to the development of Birth Cartography and the invention of The Game of Birth. Her book, The Birth Map, is the subject of her PhD study into communication and decision-making in maternity services.
Bethany is a Doula of 15 years and the co-founder of Childbirth Education Australia. She is the mother to 3 incredible daughters who have taught her more about life and love than her 15 years of living abroad. She doesn't sugar coat the juggle of doula life and family life and wears the struggles of being on call for her clients on her sleeve, but wouldn't swap it for the world. Even though she tried to step away from the Doula role in 2019 as she navigated life with a jackpot baby, Doula life pulls her back every year reminding her of how incredibly rewarding and challenging birth work really is. Bethany's love of art, nature walks with her dog and her local wine bar are her happy places if not at home with the family or at a birth.
Dr. Hazel Keedle is a Senior Lecturer of Midwifery at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University. She has over two decades of experience as a clinician in nursing and midwifery, educator, and researcher. Her research interests are vaginal birth after caesarean, birth trauma, and maternity experiences, which she explores primarily using feminist mixed methodologies.
Dr. Keedle's work is recognised nationally and internationally. She has made many invited conference and seminar presentations, and her research has been widely published in academic journals and books. She is the author of the book "Birth after Caesarean: Your Journey to a Better Birth," which is based on her PhD findings. Dr. Keedle is also the lead researcher on the largest maternity experiences survey, The Birth Experience Study. In September 2022, she became the Co-Editor in Chief of The Practising Midwife Australia from All4Maternity.
Dr Keedle is passionate about improving the experiences of women during childbirth. She is committed to using her research to advocate for women's rights and to ensure that all women have access to respectful, supportive maternity care.
Dr Kirsten Small is an obstetrically trained educator and researcher. Her research has focussed on the use of CTG monitoring during labour, something she writes about regularly on her blog BirthSmallTalk. She is committed to making maternity care more respectful and evidence based. Kirsten is currently the Senior Research Lead on the Australian Midwifery Futures project. She lives on Gubbi Gubbi land on the Sunshine Coast.