14 Aug 2018

18th Birthday Fundraiser: Supporting Maternal & Infant Care

To celebrate PFI’s 18th birthday, we are giving back to a cause close to our hearts.

On Saturday, July 28 we are hosting a fundraising party with all money raised going to the Women and Infants Research Foundation (WIRF) of WA.

The WIRF is one of Australia’s leading independent research institutions, committed to improving health outcomes for women and infants, particularly around reproductive and mental health, and the prevention of preterm birth.

This is the perfect opportunity to re-visit Suzanne’s story, originally prepared for our Pre- and Post-Natal Wellness event last year, and still available to read in full. A powerful read and one we highly recommend.

Suz has taken some time to talk about what this cause means to her.

Mums and Bubs to the Front

-Director and Principle Trainer PFI, Suzanne Newby

I have been pregnant five times, and given birth to three children.

My experience with pregnancy is made up of many chapters including: miscarriage, high-risk pregnancy, ante- and post-natal complications, illness, still-, and live birth. Anxiety, depression, grief, and healing.

Mine is a loaded medical history, and I have had experiences in both the public and private health sectors at each of these points along the way. As a result, I am passionate about infant and maternal care.

This is only part of my story, but it paints a picture of why the WIRF is PFI’s chosen charity. (The rest of My Pregnancy Journey can be found here.)

My eldest son Bo, now five years old, was a high-risk pregnancy. When he was born, he weighed only 2.2kg because his placenta wasn’t functioning as effectively as it should have been. Despite being born at full term, he was sick and required two weeks of neonatal care. Any parent who has had a baby sick in hospital will know just how great a physical and mental toll it takes on families.

It really highlighted to me how important it is for parents to have access to the right clinical interventions and support so they can cope in what is a very stressful time.

In 2015, and after a miscarriage, I fell pregnant with my daughter.

Mika is an incredibly special part of my story. At 19 weeks, I started to bleed and knew intuitively something was not right and was taken into emergency at King Edward Memorial Hospital.

Our daughter Mika was stillborn on 14 April 2015, after a 12-hour induced labour with my husband and the amazing King Eddie midwives by my side.

According to Sands, there are approximately 200 stillbirths in WA every year.

That’s 200 women, every year, in urgent need of compassionate care and ongoing support.

Two hundred women who might suffer in silence with depressive symptoms from a traumatic loss.

The death of an unborn baby deeply affects families, health systems and wider society. Families can grieve for their baby for years, and I know first-hand that your functioning and sense of self is profoundly changed.

Words just don’t do justice to the kindness shown to us by the many doctors, midwives, counsellors and volunteers at King Edward. They stood with us in our grief and helped us navigate the rites of mourning our daughter.

The hospital is where we started our healing and we got a lot of comfort from their grief support, particularly being able to see Mika, hold her, and put together some mementoes: foot and hand prints, photos; and they prepared her ashes for us to keep.

The kindness of strangers shines through my memories of these raw, first days and will stay with me forever.

Mika isn’t just my story, she is a member of our family: she’s a sister, granddaughter and niece. Most of us feel ill-equipped to talk about stillbirth because it is sad, but unfortunately, not talking about it tends to magnify the trauma.

It took time, but I am now able to talk about it. I don’t feel alone in this part of my story because I continue to discover an amazing network of women and men who have been through this too.

I talk about Mika and pregnancy after loss more in my original blog, but I can reveal there was a happy ending for our family.

On 12 March, 2016 our third baby, Zuma was born: healthy and without the complications that affected his brother and sister.

I have three children: Bo, Mika and Zuma.

They have each taught me a lot about myself and made me a better wife, sister, daughter and friend; but most powerfully of all, they made me a mother.

I have seen what research dollars can do. I have experienced what it all means to a mother and baby in real terms. I know, first-hand, how meaningful the work of organisations like the WIRF is to real people. The WIRF is in a position to make a difference in the lives of women and babies, and help them at their most vulnerable. So, at our Birthday Fundraiser on July 28, show your support and give generously!

Attendance at one of the below classes or the Pre- and Post Natal Anxiety Talk is by donation only.

If you’re unable to attend on the 28th, donations can be made via our fundraising page HERE.

Saturday, July 28, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

MATWORK MASTERCLASS – with Suzanne Newby

REFORMER MASTERCLASS – with Frances Cahill

BARRE MASTERCLASS – with Rachel Dekuyer

PRE + POST NATAL ANXIETY TALK – with Cressida Bell



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