5 Things You Might Not Know About Me
by Pip Wynn Owen
I am an Advanced Childbirth Educator, Registered Midwife, Award Winning Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, and a Mother of 4 but being an Independent Childbirth Educator wasn’t something I set out to do.
I certainly never thought I would run my own Independent Childbirth Education Business and become a voice for better birth choices for women in Australia.
However, I love what I have ended up doing and I am very proud I now help couples and their babies get the births they deserve.
Here are 5 facts about me that have influenced the path I have taken:
- I only started Birth Savvy because I attended a business network group just for the coffee and cake.
Even though I had been a childbirth educator for over 10 years, I never thought about running my own business until I went to a Hills Biz Chicks coffee morning. Basically, because it was a new group organised by a friend and I thought the coffee, cake, and company would be good.
I sat there listening to everyone’s great businesses and ideas, but I had no intention of becoming a Biz Chick.
But someone asked me what I did and what my passion was.
Well, once I start talking about being a childbirth educator and the importance good quality childbirth education, I can’t stop.
So many of my friends have said to me “I wish I had known you when I was having my babies”. And one friend, at this meeting, said “You need to start your own business Pip. You need to help couples understand that they don’t know what they don’t know. I would have gone to your classes rather than the hospital.”
So I did and I haven’t looked back.
I no longer have to “toe the hospital line,” which I was becoming increasingly frustrated with anyway. And I love watching couples take control of their journey and start making truly informed decisions about the births that are best for them.
- I have learnt far more about birth from my Childbirth Education Training than I ever did from my Midwifery Studies.
I know many clients book in with me because I am a registered midwife, and I know that this does help me have a much greater understanding of obstetric practices and policies.
But so much of what I teach now has come from my greater understanding of the birth process. This has come from my continual professional development as a childbirth educator (and my own 4 births), not my midwifery training.
My midwifery training was very medicalized. And as a midwife, I never felt the need to attend conferences and I never realised I needed to question hospital policies and procedures.
Now I love attending conferences. I love learning more and more about how we can, and must, challenge the modern, medical model of birthing and how we can always find ways to optimised the physiological process of childbirth.
- I am an introvert and I don’t like public speaking.
I was painfully shy as a child and teenager and would never have dreamt my career would involve so much public speaking.
I could have let this hold me back, and did for quite a while.
But since starting my own childbirth education service, I have learned I need to speak up.
Birthing women are not being heard and this is wrong. After all, isn’t birth all about them and their baby, not obstetric services and hospital policy?
So now I say ‘yes’ when ask to comment in the media about birthing issues and I don’t let my shyness stop me from standing up for birthing women and their babies.
I write for magazines and newspapers, which is easy for an introvert. But I have also been on national radio and TV. I even managed to hold my own when I appeared on Hinch Live, The Today Show, and 9 News.
- I was born at home.
This probably won’t really surprise you because of what I do now, but home birth was quite an unusual thing at the time.
The reason I was born at home, wasn’t because my parents were hippies, it was because my Dad wanted to be at my birth.
I realise this makes me sound really old, but you might be surprised to know it actually wasn’t that long ago that Dads weren’t allowed in labour wards.
I am sure, at some level, this has led me to always believe birth is safe and a normal physiological function of the body. But it doesn’t mean I am all about pushing for all women to birth at home.
What it does mean is that I am all about pushing for women to birth wherever they choose. And helping them make sure that that choice doesn’t mean they can’t have a lovely calm, positive birth.
I am also really big on helping Dads claim their space in the birthing environment.
- I have a girl crush on Sara Wickham.
If you have read this far I think you deserve a real insight… I am a Dr. Sara Wickham groupie.
She is an amazing midwife, teacher, author, and researcher.
I have always loved reading her books, blogs, and articles. And last year I got to attend a workshop with her called “Recipe for a Normal Birth”. I also attended every talk of hers at the Passage to Motherhood Conference. I have also done a webinar studies series with her on Post-Term Pregnancy which inspired a couple of blogs.
She is a great speaker, and very funny. But it is the way she cuts through the academic wordiness of the research world to make sense of all those “risks” we keep hearing about, that is her real gift.
She is really inspiring and just makes so much sense.
What Sara doesn’t know about research around birth, isn’t worth knowing. She is now my go to researcher and author. I wish I was half as clever as her, but for now, I will content myself with sharing her work and making sure birthing women get to benefit from her wisdom through me.
I would love to help you get the experience you want.