Tracey Anderson Askew
How did I become a childbirth
and parenting educator?
I started as a teacher with a deep love and fascination for children. I learned everything I could about child development and what helps build potential. My classes were dynamic and reflected all learning styles, and the kids loved me because I kept it fun and engaging.
I thought I was going to be an amazing mum when I decided to have my own family, with all the things I knew. I knew so much about kids and secretly thought parenting would be a breeze.
Well, having 4 boys shattered that illusion and pursuit for perfection I was so intent on.
I did have a great start though. I had 4 amazing births, not all straightforward, but each one teaching me incredible things– to let go, to trust my body, to accept help, to discover I had more in me than I thought. I had incredible support to do this and I wanted others to have the same. That’s when I became a doula and also ran new mothers’ support groups.
While I was raising my children, I was fascinated by other people’s experiences and realised how poorly prepared we are, and sadly influenced by the myths we perpetuate in the media about how birth actually is. I then went back to study and did a graduate diploma in Childbirth Education.
When I started running my own classes, they were very popular because they were different from the hospital classes and addressed more of the psychology of giving birth. As I watched more and more people go through this, I realised just what a mystery birth is. It doesn’t matter how well you prepare – anything can happen on the day. This caused me to wonder how I can help people prepare for the mystery, the great unknown. What can I do, as a childbirth educator to make a real difference to how women go through birth and be ready to parent?
That’s when I came across a wonderful man by the name of Peter Jackson, who was the founder of Calmbirth. Peter helped me to see more clearly the role of the mind, particularly the subconscious mind, in the birth process. I trained with Peter and brought Calmbirth to Canberra in 2006. Over the years I’ve worked with over 3000 families from birth and often all the way through early parenting, as more and more people keep coming back for more understanding of their children and their own personal growth as parents. In 2019 we changed our name to Transform Parenting, as it encapsulates the understanding that we do transform as parents, and that we can better meet the ever-changing needs of our kids when we become conscious of our own transformation.
I have now left Calmbirth in order to deliver a birth course that is a culmination in my own personal experience and training, working directly with world-leading educators, authors and researchers in this space. There is more information coming out everyday about the power of our thoughts to influence our reality, and I love watching people open up to the realisation that they have a great deal to contribute to the birth process to not just survive it, but to thrive. I’m so proud of the community we have created and I would love you all to be a part of it.
Meet Your Facilitators
Tracey Anderson Askew
Tracey is the Director of Transform Parenting. She has 20
Brendon Le Lievre
Brendon works with dads one-on-one and in groups as a dad coach to help set goals, develop strategies and navigate new responsibilities. He is a dad himself and enjoys working with other dads to help balance parenting, career, relationships and themselves to be great dads.
Emily is an AHPRA-registered clinical psychologist and mum to three young children. She has a PhD in Developmental Psychology and is an experienced lecturer in the area of childhood development. Emily specialises in attachment, cognitive, social, and emotional development, as well as clinical childhood difficulties. Emily is an experienced group facilitator and is passionate about promoting and encouraging emotional intelligence in children.
Cathy Pearson started her professional life as a social worker who especially enjoyed working with people challenged by unexpected or significant changes in their lives. After having her four children, she re-trained as a teacher and spent 16 years at ANU College. She taught English as a second language and worked as a student support welfare officer assisting newly arrived international students and adults to adapt to a new life and culture. This work extended her appreciation of the many ways in which to approach and reframe challenges. Being a life-long learner saw Cathy re-train again as a midwife and lactation consultant. She is particularly interested in post-natal care and has spent the last four years working at QEII. At QEII she assists many new families with feeding and child-related sleep and settling challenges and adapting to parenthood.
Jane is a midwife and mother of four sons. Through her midwifery practice Jane became increasingly aware of the need to extend the care and support for families as they negotiate the many transitions to becoming parents. Jane’s desire to work with families in the postnatal area saw her leave the birthing room to work at QEII Family Centre. Jane’s focus is on working with families to explore their own inner knowing and how to grow into parenting in a way that enables parents to thrive and embrace parenting – even if sleep deprived and in the midst of those challenging parenting moments. Jane’s sons continue provide her with wonderful opportunities to learn more about parenting and herself.
Deb Namara has lived in Canberra for almost 40 years, raised her sons as a single mum and in the last few years has been building her beautiful KaHuna massage and Birth Doula business. She has a particular passion for helping women recovering from womb trauma, as well as gynaecological disorders and fertility issues. Having facilitated Women’s Circles in Canberra for the past 25 years, she thinks it’s wonderful to now join with Tracey to deliver the Thriving as a New Single Parent course. Her own life experiences have gifted her with great compassion and practical skills around raising children alone; and after completing Tracey’s facilitator training, she feels excited to be part of the team to offer this special course to single parents.