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This content is taken from the Trinity College Dublin's online course, Journey to birth. Join the course to learn more.

Welcome to the Course

Welcome to the first week of this six week course on Journey to Birth. We are delighted to have mothers, mothers to be, partners and healthcare professionals on this course, and we hope you will learn something new.

Meet the team

Find out more about the team who are excited to present videos, articles, presentations and lots more in this course. Click on their profile and select the pink follow square to follow their comments.

Prof. Cecily Begley
Cecily Begley is Professor of Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin. Her main research and teaching interests are in the area of promoting normality in childbirth. This means not just encouraging normal childbirth, but also helping each woman to have the most normal pregnancy and birth she can have, even if she has some complications or special requirements that need more intense midwifery or medical help.
Prof Cecily Begley
Julie Horgan
Julie is a Midwife and Researcher in Trinity College Dublin. She is passionate about helping women become informed about their choices during pregnancy and birth.
Prof Julie Horgan
Dr. Deirdre Daly
Deirdre is an Assistant Professor in Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin and Principal Investigator on the Maternal health And Maternal Morbidity in Ireland (MAMMI) Study.
Dr. Deirdre Daly
Dr. Louise Gallagher
Louise is a midwife lecturer in Trinity College Dublin and a mother of one. She has over 20 years experience as a midwife with a special interest in breastfeeding and supporting maternal health and wellbeing during pregnancy.
Doctor Louise Gallagher
Prof. Valerie Smith
Valerie is a Professor in Midwifery at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin who believes passionately in advancing knowledge and evidence for health and maternity care through the conduct of high quality research that has impact.
Prof Valerie Smith
Iryna Pokhilo
Iryna is an Advocacy Officer with Cairde, an organisation that challenges health inequalities. She feels passionately about the right to healthcare and access to reliable and unbiased heath information.
Prof Iryna Pokhilo
Nadia Arthurs
Nadia qualified as a midwife in 2007 and is currently working on a community midwifery team. She has been providing hypnobirthing courses to couples since 2014.
Nadia Arthurs
Kathleen Hannon
Kathleen is a research assistant with the MAMMI Study at Trinity College Dublin.
Kathleen Hannon
Sunita Panda
Sunita is a midwife and Post-Doctoral research fellow in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Having worked as a midwife in the birth suite for over 11 years, Sunita is passionate about decision-making around childbirth, promoting physiological birth and optimising women’s childbirth experiences while involving women in their care and decision-making.
Sunita Panda

Other members of the team include:

  • Krysia Lynch: Chair of AIMS Ireland
  • Lynsey Kavanagh: Policy and Evaluation Worker for Pavee Point

Will Fox will also be on hand to help you with any technical queries and comments.


What will you learn?

As Cecily has talked about in the above video, this course was designed to give you all the information you need about how your body works in labour, so that you may feel more confident and enjoy your labour and birth more.

  • In Week 1, we will ask you to think about what you know already about labour and birth. We will talk about the importance of being informed about pregnancy, labour and birth, so that you can make decisions about the care you would like and the type of birth you want. We’ll also take a look at some of the normal changes during pregnancy that you can expect and give you tips on how to have a comfortable and healthy pregnancy.

  • Week 2 will focus on planning what kind of birth you would like. You will start using the ‘Journey to Birth’ map, which will help you to identify what you’ll need at different stages of your pregnancy and birth.

  • Week 3 will focus on what happens when labour starts and how to manage in early labour.

  • Week 4 will provide you with information on ways to manage and relieve pain during labour.

  • In Week 5, we will talk about how to keep labour going.

  • Week 6 will look at how you can keep positive and focused in the last few weeks of pregnancy and what to do if your baby is overdue.

At the end of this course, you will have gained valuable information and tools to help prepare you for the birth of your baby.

Thank you for joining us, we hope you enjoy the first week of Journey to Birth.

A selection of videos on this course have been translated into Romanian and Lithuanian. You can find links to these videos in the “See Also” section.


Your first task

Now that we have introduced ourselves and the course, we would like you to introduce yourself to your fellow learners. Click on the discussion section below and write a short comment about yourself.

  • Where are you from?
  • Are you an expectant mother, a healthcare professional, or a partner/family member?
  • How do you feel about labour and birth?

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This video is from the free online course:

Journey to birth

Trinity College Dublin