Welcome to the online Birth Cartographer Training. We are gathering here from all over the world. This is rather exciting!
Please take a moment to introduce yourself, and share your social media contacts, so that we might follow each other and build our community.
I am Catherine Bell - the Birth Cartographer. I live near Braidwood, in New South Wales Australia. We have 17 acres for our free range children. I have two sons and two daughters. Up until this year I was homeschooling them all, but my daughters have chosen to go to public school this year. I came to birth work in becoming a Mother and being frustrated at the way knowledge was so tightly held. I trained as a doula and a breastfeeding educator in order to access some of this information, that I felt was a birth right. I have four children, and earned my Mother Qualifications between number two and three. It was during this time, between number two and three, that I started to develop what was to become the birth map. I was finding birth plans quite limiting and the idea of having plan A, B, C...to be incredibly overwhelming. I felt that the terminology was limiting and implied a sense of failure the further from A you 'deviated'. The template I was using with my doula clients started to grow as I added more detail, more depth...it became a list of questions. Questions I wished I had ask, and then the questions my mother -friends mentioned...this accidently became a booklet. After my third was born, having developed a intricate birth plan, based on that booklet, I further developed my idea. I toyed with visual concepts, and in doing so mused that what I had was very map like. And in that moment started to use the term Birth Map. I tested this term out, it was new and conveyed so much...it seemed very powerful. I then started to rework my booklet...and it grew into the book The Birth Map: boldly going where no birth plan has gone before. I tested this concept out with my four pregnancy, and discovered that I was indeed onto something.
And so - here we are. This has been an 8 year journey for me. The book in its current format was born in 2018, and it has been thrilling watching it make its way out into the world. Thank you for joining me here, and taking the time to consider how we can improve communication in maternity care and facilitate informed decisions.
You can read more about me here. I can be found on: