It was such an honour to interview well known Australian actress Zoe Gameau (also known as Zoe Tuckwell-Smith) on her natural breech birth in honour of International Breech Week!
Breech week is an opportunity to turn something that often causes fear, panic and overwhelm into a cause for greater awareness, options, and even celebration! It is Zoe’s hope that in sharing her story with Birth Goddess, it will give women an understanding of their choices, will encourage them to research for themselves and do their own reading and learning.
“I can do this! I never felt more exquisitely powerful in my life.” ~ Zoe Gameau
In this incredibly powerful birth story interview, Zoe shares with Katrina Zaslavsky (Birth Goddess) the intimate details of her journey that resulted in an empowered vaginal breech birth, plus vital lessons and tips she has learnt along the way.
Find out in this interview:
- How Zoe’s birth did NOT go to plan and yet unfolded into a powerful, positive and euphoric experience
- How she navigated conflicting schools of thought around Breech
- Why “breech is just another variation of normal”
- The real story behind the often scary looking statistics and the importance of educating yourself
- How she was able to avoid an automatic c-section which has often become the norm in these circumstances
- The importance of midwives in feeling supported and empowered
You will also discover all about:
- Creating a sensual, romantic, intimate, oxytocin-inducing birth environment
- How she discovered the doorway between life and death, a transcendental experience
- Getting in touch with the primal wild woman within
- The power of intuition and how she was able to listen to that quiet inner voice, plus the one key word that kept coming back to her throughout the whole process
- Keys to having a positive and empowered birth in a hospital environment
Actress Zoe Tuckwell- Smith and her partner, actor Damon Gameau, welcomed their first child, last November, and have named their daughter Velvet. Zoe has been appearing in films and on television since 2004. Always with perfect hairstyle and gorgeous fashion bandage dress. She is best known for starring as Rebecca “Bec” Gilbert on the popular drama series Winners and Losers, which has made her a household name.
Got a breech baby on board? Congratulations! You are just another variation of normal 🙂
Want to get to straight to the juicy bits? See special reference guide below so you know exactly when to tune in 😉 Or you can always do it the old-fashioned way and listen from beginning to end. Believe me, once you get started you will want to hear the whole story….!! This story is pure gold; very insightful, inspirational and thoroughly entertaining. Enjoy xx
Quick Reference Guide:
6:30 “Hands off the breech” – a very important mantra
8:14 The real truth on breech stats and why they look more scary than they actually are! The importance of educating yourself and not relying on what others are telling you.
9:30 What piece of information reassured her regarding her breech baby only 2 weeks out from giving birth!
10:38 Navigating the waiting game plus the added stress of breech testing her resolve.
11:45 The mental transition from homebirth to hospital. The fear of being at the mercy of whatever Obstetrician she got. How she avoided ending up on the table.
12:55 When the contractions/ waves stopped for 24 hours.
13:43 Making the conscious choice to avoid internal vaginal examination. The “chain effect” (also known as cascade of intervention) and why this is something every woman needs to look into.
15:12 Getting the right Obstetrician onboard with the help of “divine timing!” Plus one magic word that kept coming back to her and still gives Zoe goosebumps just thinking about it.
16:53 Acupuncture visit and dealing with conflicting schools of thought. Plus a really welcome surprise of total support, encouragement and validation from someone very close to her who ended up being totally in her corner.
18:05 Oscillating with her decision. Husband backing her whichever way she decides to go.
18:42 The coolest Ob ever!! How he embraced the natural process. “Let’s give it a go!” A lesson for all Obstetricians.
19:52 Breech is about remembering something we used to do.
20:32 Who you need on your side; The most valuable thing you can do, especially when things don’t go to plan + personal recommendations.
22:09 How Zoe made the birth space her own – familiarity + oxytocin-inducing things
22:52 Brilliant midwife tip on oxytocin & adrenaline. Getting sensual/ romantic and how her husband helped in this department!! 😉
23:27 Going inward, primal state. Animal feeling.
24:47 Feeling a little squishy bum!!! In this moment all the stress she had to endure, all the indecision was suddenly gone – back in the drivers seat and with new power surging through her to push this baby out! “I can do this! I never felt more exquisitely powerful in my life.”
26:08 A crowd of medical staff surrounded her and watched in awe as she got in touch with her primal woman! Doing the haka. Connecting to something ancient and mythical, the doorway between life and death. Only two times in our lives that we get to experience it and we are the gatekeepers.
27:38 What Zoe did to ease the pain and feeling baby working with her.
28:22 “What is that wild woman doing?!!” No one sees vaginal breech birth anymore. When every man and his dog is watching while you are primal and naked in the shower!!!
29:03 The one magic sentence she exclaimed that made her Obsetrician leave her alone instead of getting her on the bed for monitoring!! (You will LOVE this one – it’s a classic!)
30:18 How baby Velvet came out into the world + that scary moment when she hasn’t taken a breath. Panic in the room yet feeling safe. Assisting her to take her first breath.
33: 10 “Let’s complete this.” Natural 3rd stage. Bubble of euphoric bliss.
36:15 The biggest 3 lessons + What she did well: “I wasn’t afraid of touching myself.”
39:39 Preparation like Olympic training. “ The key ritual she did daily that helped her not to tear.
40:39 Zoe’s shares her tips for women with breech babies who are currently freaking out!
43:52 Having a positive birth experience in a hospital – from someone who gets nervous in hospitals and can’t stand the smell!
46:25 What she used to create an intimate environment in hospital.
48:20 Zoe’s choice of fuel for labour – what snacks and drinks she brought into hospital + midwife health tip to avoid exhaustion + her favourite oxytocin-inducing snack.
50:17 Stress regarding her decision & wise woman tip from a friend gives larger perspective when things are not going to plan.
51:20 Recommended reads + birthing videos. Bringing back the village/ sisterhood. Learning through visuals, witnessing others doing it really well.
55:50 Our bodies are incredible: Birth changes the way you look at yourself. “I have never felt more in awe of my body. We are these walking creation machines.”
56:30 The stigma around having a great birth and not making others feel less. Birth as a transcendental and mythical experience. The different ways we can experience this in our lifetime. How birth changes us and prepares us for the initiation into motherhood.
Did you enjoy this special interview? Then you will love Birth Goddess in the Making ~ your FREE weekly inspired blog series with tips, insights and more, delivered with love! Plus receive 2 bonus online issues of Empowering Birth Magazine with compliments! 🙂
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