Hey, I'm Karli

Birth culture revolution flag bearer. Birth Rights Trailblazer.

Curator of indoor plant population (currently numbering 15).

Mother of 2 earthside and 2 angel babies. Wife to incredible man who regularly does an ice cream run for me at 9pm. Lover of the ocean and planet. Advocator and Agitator. Slightly addicted to wit and fun and deliberately obsessed with embracing What it Means To Be Human. 

You can find me hauling the double-pram-beast to the Melbourne bayside for coffee and fresh air no matter the weather, while my beach babies run amok, and where I bump into local mums and we talk about all of the things. You’ll also find me cooking dinner at lunchtime and cleaning up after the kids have gone to bed with a good podcast in my ears, which I look forward to with a dis-proportionate amount of enthusiasm each day. 

After a 10 year career deep in the human rights issues plaguing the international humanitarian sector, I decided to act on the niggling feeling inside that there was something else for me to be doing. After the birth of my own two children, it became apparent to me how much further we have to go to in Australia to uphold and address human rights issues in childbirth. 

I had spent years exposed to maternal health systems in developing countries that were a shambles. Improving, but incredibly lacking in so many places. Women were encouraged to birth at medical clinics but there were many barriers to that experience. So often they were choosing to birth away from clinics with the support of a Traditional Birth Attendant who often was not supported to provide the best available care. In the west, medical centres are the default birthing locations - yet we as well have so many adverse experiences. 

This is where I have turned my attention to, and where the support of a doula during the pregnancy, birth and postpartum period is so powerful. Offering hardcore support in areas of emotional, physical, personal, spiritual health whilst navigating a maternal health system to deliver the best outcome for you that leaves you feeling empowered, heard and respected. Options and choices that are unique to you. Going with your flow, not the institutional flow. 

After both babies, it was glaringly obvious to me that our culture is all about the baby. I mean babies are cool and cute and cuddly and smell amazing AF, for sure. But it’s like the mother (or birthing person) disappears into the background once baby arrives. We visit the baby. We hold the baby. We bring presents for the baby (who doesn’t need a damn thing other than milk and to bond with its primary caregiver. And okay maybe one adorable outfit from PureBaby Organic).

But what about presence for the mother. There is little meaningful direction from our culture or tradition. We navigate our own new internal terrain, largely unaided. There has to be more to this experience - this gigantic shift in identity that happens in an instant but unravels over a lifetime.

So here I am now,

with my babies and my business-baby, busting myths and

bursting with excitement at the potential we have to truly embrace and mark this transformational experience whilst transforming a system that depends on our pliability. And trying to keep my 15 house-plant-babies alive. And making all the toddler snacks. And looking forward to the mummy-daddy-date-nights. And exhaling at the end of all of it, ready to get cracking again the next day. 

FIERCE.  POWERFUL.  BEAUTIFUL.  BIRTH.

© Karli Smith Doula 2019  //  Design by Aquarian Womens Business

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Hey there Come hang out with me

Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, Bayside Melbourne