Down to Birth


What is Down to Birth?

With the deepest regret, our “Down to Birth” magazine is not currently available. If you are interested in supporting the reintroduction of this magazine (either online or in hardcopy), please contact the committee on hbq.secretary@gmail.com. Down to Birth is a grassroots magazine that honours the tradition of sharing birthing and parenting wisdom as it was done in the past – women sharing their experiences for the benefit of other women. In years gone by birthing women would have been informed, nourished and sustained by the women within their community; their mothers, aunts, sisters, grandmothers, neighbours, friends and elders.

Why is Down to Birth important?

Countless decades of medical interference in the birthing process have produced generations of women who are now partially or completely removed from the experience of birthing a baby naturally. They have been traumatised physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, and no longer have empowering wisdom and insights to bestow. This is compounded by the horror stories of birthing that abound in the print and electronic media, which further disconnects women from the natural process of birthing. Women have become fearful and are distrusting of themselves, their bodies and their babies to birth the way nature intended it.

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Our mission

Down to Birth seeks to reclaim women’s inherent and instinctual experiences of birthing, by sharing natural birth stories, told by women for women; to educate, encourage and empower both women and men throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond into parenting. In addition to birth stories, Down to Birth collects in one place articles and stories on a single birthing or parenting topic, which makes our magazine unique. Past editions have explored the issues of breastfeeding, breech births and nurturing new mothers. We have also put together collections of midwives’ and fathers’ stories. See our Articles/Resources page to view feature articles from past issues.

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A grassroots publication

We depend upon the generosity of mothers and fathers across Queensland in sharing their stories and experiences of birthing and parenting. These are the women and men, along with the midwives and doulas who support them, who are at the grassroots of birthing and are in our opinion, the true experts in these areas – not the so called ‘experts’ that we encounter in the medical system or through the mainstream media. These inspiring and insightful stories and articles contribute the bulk of all material presented in each magazine.

We are also ‘grassroots’ because we are dealing with issues and information which is at the grassroots of humanity – to bring our children into this world in a supported, calm and gentle way, then to parent them in an instinctual, peaceful and informed manner.

Lastly, our magazine is put together through the volunteered time, talents and energy of a small, but dedicated group of homebirth Mums on behalf of Homebirth Queensland. We strive to create a professional looking and comprehensive magazine each quarter, and hope that you love reading DTB as much as we love putting it together.

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How to subscribe to the magazine

Become a member of Homebirth Queensland

Membership is $25 a year. Payments can be made by cash at a support group meeting, cheque, money order or direct debit.

For more information on memberships please email membership@homebirth.org.au.

Your memberships help to fund the essential work of Homebirth Queensland in keeping homebirth an accessible and viable option for all Queensland families. We hope you enjoy Down to Birth and we encourage you to share DTB with your friends, family and work colleagues.

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Submitting articles for publication

Down to Birth welcomes submissions of articles, photos, birth stories, artwork, poetry and stories of personal experiences in the areas of home birth and natural/alternative parenting. Each issue is dedicated to one theme of birthing or parenting.

Articles and stories should preferably be sent via e-mail as Word documents or as plain text in the body of an e-mail. All artwork and photographs must be sent through as jpeg files. Please email all general magazine content or inquiries to the Editor, at editor@homebirth.org.au. Enquiries about ideas for articles, or e-mailing articles for submission, to the Features Editor at features@homebirth.org.au.

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Advertising in Down to Birth is an affordable way of reaching a market of like minded readers. Please contact advertising@homebirth.org.au for information and advertising schedules.

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Down to Birth articles to read online – free!

Selected articles from back issues of Down to Birth have been made freely available online, with the authors’ express permission. These are available in pdf format on the Articles/Resources page. Click here to go to the index of articles available!

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Back issues of the magazine

Recent back issues of Down to Birth are available for sale, costing $7-$8 including postage and handling. See our HBQ online shop!

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Issue 2, 2011: Grief and Loss #80

Issue 1, 2011: Premmie and Post Dates #79
This issue explores personal journey’s of women who have had their babes earlier or later than ‘expected’. Article on OBirth stories: Moss and Kutura (premmie twins), Maya (born at 31 weeks), Aurora (born at 43+ weeks at home), Mason (a homebirth story)

Issue 1, 2010: Blissful Birth #78

Issue 3, 2009: Pain in Childbirth #77

Issue 2, 2009: #76

Issue 1, 2009: Siblings at Birth #75
No summary available at this time.

Spring 2008: Recovering from Birth Issue #74
No summary available at this time.

Winter 2008: Preparing for Birth Issue #73
No summary available at this time.

Autumn 2008: On Becoming Mum Issue #72
No summary available at this time.

Summer 2007/08: Sex After Birth Issue #71
No summary available at this time.

Spring 2007: Homebirth After Caesarean Issue #70
No summary available at this time.

Winter 2007: Conscious Parenting Issue #69
An informative anthology of articles covering the practice of conscious parenting, including baby wearing, gentle discipline, elimination communication and co-sleeping. There are also articles on the ‘darker side’ of parenting, such as when your baby does not sleep, parenting in isolation and caring for sick children.
Birth stories: Misha (Homebirth after Caesarean), Anise (water birth after previous hospital birth) and Saskia (second freebirth)
Front cover: Peter Kennedy and daughter Sabriyya Jade, by Karen van Harskamp vanka@bigpond.com

Autumn 2007: Waterbirth #68 
A moving anthology of eight women’s experiencing of in water at home from Dr Sarah J Buckley, Rachael Austin, Sarah Lynch, Tallulla Sandison, Melinda Luxmoore, Maryen Cairns, Zoe Collins and Justine Caines.
Poetry: Kerrie Edmonds, illustrated by Kellie Gough and Nickole Webb
Front Cover: Nickole Webb venus_hybrid@hotmail.com

Summer 2006/07: The Divine Woman #67 
An insightful anthology of articles about the less discussed topic of women’s rites of passage, including yoga and sacred circle work in pregnancy, menarche, menstruation and accompanying rituals. A beautifully illustrated issue, with contributing artists Pauline Steffensen, Kellie Gough, Jeni Drew and resident DTB artist Nickole Webb
Birth Stories: Nina (homebirth after previous hospital birth), Elijah (breech birth), and Eli (first homebirth).
Front Cover: Nickole Webb venus_hybrid@hotmail.com

Spring 2006: The Breastfeeding Issue #66 
An inspiring anthology of breastfeeding articles from women who have struggled and triumphed through many of the issues faced by breastfeeding mothers: feeding a premature baby, continuing to breastfeed with severe nipple trauma, extended (full term) breastfeeding, tandem feeding, emotional elements of mastitis and managing the condition, as well as practical hints for boosting and nourishing a breastfeeding mother.
Birth stories: Jesse (first homebirth to gay couple Asphyxia and Paula) and Luca (first home birth for blended family in Brisbane)
Front Cover: Nickole Webb venus_hybrid@hotmail.com

Winter 2006: Nurturing the Nurturer #65 
An essential anthology of articles on the much overlooked practice of nurturing a mother after birth, including articles on what it means to nurture, dispelling the myth of superwoman, learning how to receiving and giving help, putting yourself first as a mother, baby moon, helping a mother to heal after birth and postnatal massage. This is a must read issue to help pregnant women, their families and friends to understand the support necessary to a woman after birth. This issue has been our most popular issue in recent years!
Birth stories: Olivia (the homebirth after IVF) and Vajra (third homebirth)
Front Cover: Nickole Webb venus_hybrid@hotmail.com

Summer-Autumn 2005/06: The Womanly practise of midwifery #64
The womanly practise of Midwifery is a timely anthology of stories documenting the lives of five midwives from Northern New South Wales, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Far North Queensland.
Birth stories: Harper (waterbirth), Samarra (first birth) and Sabriyya (as recounted by her mother and attending doula).
Front cover: Northern NSW homebirth midwife Jillian Delaile

Spring 2005: Men about Birth #63 
Men about Birth is an important collection of home birth stories, written by men for men – a first birth at home, a home birth transfer to hospital and comparisons between hospital birth and home birth experiences. There are also feature articles exploring men’s role in birthing and why women want to birth at home.
Birth stories: From Peter Kennedy, David Harris, Rogan Hume, James Baird, Andrew Berrington and Dr PJ Jayawardhana.
Front Cover: David Harris and partner Jodi Cleghorn, by Gemma-Rose Turnball

Winter 2005: Breech Special Edition
The Breech Special edition is a unique and unheralded anthology of breech birth stories and breech birthing wisdom. Mercedes Walter, Gwenda Jayawardhana, Rachael Smith and Priya Cornelia Link share their journey to birth their breech babies. A full photographic feature of a footing breech birth completes the birth stories. Related articles from Ina May Gaskin, Dr Sarah Buckley and Erika Hobba complement the birth stories and round out an important collection of fear dispelling information on breech birth. This is a must have edition for all women contemplating their birth options for a breech baby.
Front Cover: Footling Breech birth of Sierra Marion (USA)