Long story

“I have been in practise as a Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist for the past 19 years. 

It was during the first year of my own clinical practise (BodyWise) that I developed a strong interest in women’s health, fertility, pregnancy and postnatal care.

Later that year (1999) I completed post-graduate training with one of Australia’s foremost experts in natural fertility management, Francesca Naish (Natural Fertility Management™) to specialise in Natural Fertility Management and Preconception Care. My naturopathic areas of speciality evolved to include women’s hormonal health, natural fertility management, preconception, pregnancy and postnatal care. It was such a buzz working alongside clients as their conception and pregnancy dreams came to fruition. Even better was adding another gorgeous baby photo to my clinic ‘brag’ wall! (It’s crazy to think that many of those babies are now finishing high school!)

In 2003, I was drawn to expand my continuity of services. I wanted to bridge the gap between the last pregnancy visit and the first postnatal one, often weeks after the birth.

Through extensive post-graduate studies, I became a Childbirth Educator and Doula.

BodyWise BirthWise was established in 2006 providing; naturopathic care from the preconception stage, throughout pregnancy, birth and through to the postnatal period; active birth workshops, childbirth education courses and doula/birth support.

I attended my first birth as a qualified doula in 2006, and have been actively involved in independent childbirth education since 2007.

I have been involved with my own naturopathic practise since 1999, from the picturesque Northern NSW coast, then the eastern suburbs of Sydney before relocating to Western Australia in 2003. I went on to spend 6 years in the great North West of Western Australia, in Karratha.

In 2010, we relocated to Perth. Soon after I also became Perth’s presenter for Beer + Bubs: Childbirth educations for dads at the pub. I ran these monthly sessions for over 2 years and had the absolute pleasure of working with over 300 expectant Dads during this time.

Early in 2012, I completed the 3-day ‘Introduction to BIRTHING FROM WITHIN®’ workshop. This had a profound effect on my approach and work within childbirth preparation.

In April 2012, I also completed my initial training to become a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist and to date, have provided the Placenta Encapsulation Service to over 950 mothers in Perth. 

The organic range of BodyWise BirthWise Herbal Products was also launched in 2012. This range continues to grow, including products for baby.

In June 2012, I was delighted to be offered a place as a regular contributor to the newly launched magazine Nurture – Australia’s Natural Parenting Magazine. Links to my articles can be seen here.

In June 2013, I completed my Postnatal Doula training with Australian Doulas.

In September 2016, I completed my Advanced Placement Training with the Association of Placenta Preparation Arts (APPA) to further my knowledge and accreditation in this fascinating field. I am now a proud APPA-C Placenta Arts Specialist.

I proudly hold Mentor Membership with Placenta Services Australia (PSA) and I am the WA State Representative for the organisation. PSA is working on creating safe, professional and ethical standards surrounding placenta preparation services within Australia.

By continually attending ongoing practitioner/doula/midwifery education, I remain dedicated to offer up-to-date, researched, evidence based medicine and practice for all my clients.

I am blessed with two amazing children – my greatest teachers – and I am based near Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia.”

Professional Qualifications & Training:

  • Bachelor of Naturopathy (Health Science), Southern Cross University, 1998
  • Advanced Certificate in Natural Fertility Management™ & Better Babies Preconception Health Care, Francesca Naish, Natural Fertility Management Pty Ltd, 1999
  • Graduate Diploma in Childbirth Education, Associates in Childbirth Education, 2006
  • Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, Placenta Benefits Ltd, 2012
  • Postnatal Doula Training, Australian Doulas, 2013
  • APPA Placenta Arts Specialist, Association of Placenta Preparation Arts (APPA), 2016 

Professional Affiliations:

My thoughts on health…

“The workings of the human body intrigued me from a very early age. I remember as a young child being captivated at how I would heal from illness or injury without too much effort, and how I could also enhance or hinder that process.

I can still remember the first line of treatment in our family for sore throats, cold or flu. It was sleep, vitamin C powder, cod liver oil, herbal medicines and good hearty food. As a competitive swimmer for many years, I also saw the direct correlation with eating well and performing well. My curiosity for human physiology, health and disease pathed the way to where I am today, and I am proud to be raising my children in a similar way.

My interest in nutrition eventually evolved into the large scope of nutritional medicine. This was soon followed by my discovery of the extensive history and application of herbal medicines. I was fascinated by the folklore and the science behind using plants medicinally, and marrying the two modalities as a form of treatment, made perfect sense to me. Both systems of medicine aim to support, and not suppress the intrinsic and powerful workings of the body.

I believe we create the state of health we live in through our chosen environment, diet, activity and headspace, and our level of understanding of the significance of all of the above! Respecting the true power of the human body, with both it’s fundamental and regenerative abilities, is just the beginning of understanding how and why the naturopathic approach works so well.”

My thoughts on birth…

“As the daughter of a midwife, I developed a deep fascination and respect for the pregnancy and birthing journey from a very young age. It wasn’t until my own ‘initiation’ into motherhood that was I able to fully grasp the incredible journey that it is!

I believe birth can – and should be – a very powerful, enriching and transformative process for both women and their partners. Birth is what transforms woman to mother, a man to a father, a couple to a family and a child to a sibling. It also holds the tremendous potential to shape the entire mothering experience for women and bonding experience for fathers. Because of this I believe it needs respect, time, guidance, nurturing and a great deal of trust.

I believe women deserve to birth with a deep sense of satisfaction, ‘their’ way, what is right for them – no matter what the outcome. As a childbirth educator and doula this is my goal; I have no bias for birth in a particular way or a certain setting, or with certain caregivers as every woman has her right to choose and defines her satisfaction differently. I do aim to keep birth safe and normal and to avoid unnecessary interventions, as this is repeatedly shown to be best practice. Just as every woman is unique, so is every labour and birth journey. The journey is certainly just as exciting as the destination!

I continue to challenge the existing culture that promotes birth as a fearful and stressful experience. I also believe when necessary, intervention during labour and childbirth may be needed. I aim to facilitate the empowerment of women/couples to take control of their birthing experience.

As a childbirth educator and doula, my aim is to enhance the birth experience for all involved; mother, father, baby and other support people. To build women’s confidence in the birth process and their innate power and ability to bring their child into the world; in their own time, under their own steam and with both feet (or knees!) on the ground.

The birth reform movement is gaining momentum worldwide and the continual drive lies in informing and empowering women and their partners to fight for their birthing rights; a fundamental human right.

I advocate better maternity services to all birthing women of Australia. I believe if women unite their minds and efforts to share their skills and resources, changes in the health care system will benefit all generations.”

Click here for the short story and juicy bits.

Continuing Education and Professional Development:

  • APPA Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Professional Placenta Service Providers (Internationally recognised certificate in IOSHA blood borne pathogens standard 29 CFR 1090.1030 training), September 2017, 2018 & 2019 
  • APPA Bloodborne Pathogens Prevention Course (International First Aid Science Guidelines compliant and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030 compliant) May 2017
  • APPA Placenta Arts Specialist Certification, Association of Placenta Preparation Arts, 2016
  • APPA Bloodborne Pathogens Prevention Course (CFR 1910.1030) March 2016An Integrated Approach to Methylation: The Crossroads of Metabolism, Bioconcepts Seminar, November 2014
  • Sacred Belly Bind and Sealing Ceremony Training, 2-Day Webinar, Sacred Pregnancy, May 2014
  • Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Doulas and Placenta Encapsulators, Biologix Solutions, February 2014
  • Natural Care of the Postpartum Mother, with Tenielle Newton ND, Integria Health Care Webinar, October 2013
  • Power and Pain in Normal Childbirth, workshop presented by Rhea Dempsey, Sept 2013
  • Group B Strep Tele-seminar with Aviva Romm, Midwife/Herbalist/MD, July 2013
  • Miscarriage, Stillbirth and the Doula, Information session for the Doula, with Heidi Faith from Still Birth Day – June 2013
  • Postnatal Doula Training, Australian Doulas, Perth – June 2013
  • Debriefing after Birth: Healing Trauma and Building Birth Confidence, with Jane Hardwicke Collings, Midwife and Educator at The School of Shamanic Midwifery. Tutorial, May 2013
  • Essential Care in Trimester One of Pregnancy, with Angela Hywood ND, Eagle Natural Health, Webinar, May 2013
  • Naturopathic Approaches to Supporting Antenatal and Postnatal Depression, with Amie Steel, Naturopath and Research Associate, University of Queensland. Webinar, May 2013
  • Empathy and Mothering, with Rhonda Boorman, School of Applied Psychology & Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University Queensland. Webinar, May 2013
  • Hormones of Motherhood: Power, Peace and Pleasure, with Dr. Sarah Buckley. Tutorial, May 2013
  • New perspectives for prenatal and postnatal probiotic therapy, Bioceuticals Seminar, Perth, April 2013
  • Pain in Labour: maintaining comfort and progress without drugs, workshop presented by Penny Simkin, Birth International, Melbourne – October 2012
  • Placenta Encapsulation Specialist Training Course, Placenta Benefits Ltd. April 2012
    • HS Bloodborne Pathogens training (CFR1910.1030)
    • National Food Safety Practices Certificate (HLTFS207B)
  • ‘Introduction to Birthing From Within’ – Mentor & Doula Workshop – with Virginia Bobro of Birthing From Within, 3 Day Workshop, Perth – February 2012
  • Allergies, Autism, ADHD and Obesity: Managing the Emerging Epidemics of Childhood Seminar (Metagenics), Perth – October 2011
  • Next Birth After Caesarean Clinic: Outcomes, Clinical Management & Experiences Seminar by BirthRites and King Edwards Memorial Hospital – Sept 2011
  • Better Babies: Clinical Protocols for Preconception, Pregnancy & Reproductive Health Seminar (Metagenics), Perth – July 2011
  • Online classes with Gloria Lemay (Midwifery Educator & Doula Trainer) 
     – Haemorrhage – prevention & control
     – Accessing cervical dilation from external cues
     – Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC)
     – Placenta: Third stage safety, Clamping & Cutting cord, Examination
     – Anaemia and Blood Work
     – Perineum: Preventing Tears
     – Newborn Exam
     – Epidural and Forceps
  • Holistic Management of Thyroid Disorders and Infertility (Metagenics), Perth – July 2008
  • Breastfeeding Peer Supporter Training (Australian Breastfeeding Association) 2 Day Training, Karratha – June 2008
  • Understanding and Managing Women’s Health (Metagenics), Gold Coast – Feb 2008
  • 4th Annual National Doula Conference, Fremantle – October 2007
  • Childbirth Educator Workshop – 6 Day Workshop, with Birth International, Sydney – Nov 2003
  • Active Birth Workshop – 2 Day Workshop, with Birth International, Perth – September 2003
  • Management of Common Childhood Illnesses (Metagenics), Sydney – March 2003
  • Management of Immune Dysfunction, Carcinogenesis & Obesity (Metagenics), July 2002

    About the logo:

TBodyWise Birthwise email logohe BodyWise BirthWise logo is usually interpreted as a woman’s body with the shapes of the breast and pregnant belly. The three circles inside this belly can be seen as a few different symbols.

It could symbolise the coming together of the sperm and egg in fertilisation.  It could symbolise the baby with the smallest circle, and the two larger circles being the mother and father, embracing and protecting it.  It could symbolise the mother and the midwife around the baby. It could symbolise the mother and the doula around the baby, or the midwife and the doula around the baby. Of course its open to interpretation, and that’s what I love about it!

Click here for the short story and juicy bits.