Tribute to Orgasmic Birth Midwife, Liz Brunton
By Renee Perkins
It is fitting that this week when we celebrate National Midwifery Week and the O Birth Midwives, that I am reminded the legacy of Liz Brunton lives on. Recently, a homeopathic-doula colleague and I were teaching a homeopathy in childbirth workshop to the next generation of Domino Midwives (a midwifery group Liz was an integral part of). As we teachers introduced ourselves we explained that is was Liz Brunton who supported us to birth our babies at home, in the water (10 years apart), and it was Liz Brunton who empowered and encouraged us to then become homeopaths, and Liz Brunton who inspired us to support other women to have their own empowered, natural birth, in the place of their chosing…..and now we were back with the midwives, it was a beautiful circle and Liz was ever present!
Liz Brunton was instrumental in the ‘80’s in developing the unique midwifery care we have in Aotearoa/New Zealand today. First a nurse in delivery suite, she was a National Board Member of the Nurses Association, a representative on the National Council of Women, a hospital midwife, she taught midwifery and was an independent midwife. When Liz became my midwife she had been supporting women in birth for longer than I had been alive!
Her humble wisdom offered empowerment to families to birth their babies without fear, and in the environment they felt most comfortable. She sagely reassured concerned fathers, patiently informed women and laughed and played with children. Her strong, calm presence felt during labour, intuiting when to speak and when to say nothing, all the while nurturing the self-confidence of new parents. She loved us!
Liz passed away on 23rd January 2011 in her home, empowered to do it her way, just as she had empowered so many others to birth their way. Someone recently said to me, “Home death is quite like home birth.” Liz was always teaching us something……
Rest in peace our darling Liz x
Renee Perkins is mother of Jack, age 9yrs. (pictured).