Bronny Handfield is a veteran childbirth educator. She played a key role in the establishment of the Australian Association of Childbirth Educators now called Childbirth and Parenting Educators of Australia (CAPEA). Bronny has been involved in and observed the changing landscape of childbirth practices and education in Australia since 1975.
Her book, “Thrown in at the Deep End”, provided trainee educators with the insights, tools and techniques to be effective childbirth educators. Her latest publication, Birth for Real is created for prospective parents.
The title acknowledges the fact that today’s parents are seeking the real information on this topic. They are critically engaged and routinely use the Internet to check and compare sources.
Birth for Real draws on many years of experience as an educator and health education researcher. Bronny has attended hundreds of births supporting women who were without partners, underprivileged or in difficult circumstances. She has lectured and mentored many new educators while working in maternity hospitals and was appointed as a consumer representative on a National Health and Medical Research Council Committee. Her lectures for medical students and midwives about the social context of childbirth included observations about birth in the popular media.
As a passionate observer of how birth is represented (and misrepresented) in the media, she spent years collecting birth depictions on television, culminating in a DVD compilation titled, “Birth Imagined”.
During her academic research about the dichotomy between the reality of birth and its media depiction she conducted a survey of RANZCOG Fellows (Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists) A&NZJOG 2006; 46:379-383, finding that 80.7% of Fellows nominated websites as having material influence on their patients’ decisions about intervention.
Bronny’s passion for improving educational standards remains focused on parent needs, still committed to ‘face to face’ interaction, but consolidating this with a new resource: easy, fast and accurate: Birth for Real the App.