The Unseen Sorrow

Unseen Sorrow reproductive cancer

After a health crisis of my own last year, with breast cancer, I am starting the year of 2024 with a renewed sense of the unexpected and infusing my work with clients with a deeper experience and awareness of the unseen sorrow. The parallels of my work in reproductive loss and grief and my own health crisis have unearthed a new area of professional interest, issues to do with reproductive cancers.

At 58, it may be assumed that our reproductive organs are no longer fit for purpose. I have been fortunate to have two gorgeous daughters, now in early adulthood. Perhaps because of this, I so grieved the loss of the breasts that fed my babies. The interventions that required to rid me of the cancer and give me the best chance to not have it spread and/or return completely collided with my trauma from the childbirth interventions I had endured. It was the thing that I talk to my clients about – that past reproductive grief binds to new reproductive loss and feels so big it might consume you, quite literally.

Confronting the Unforeseen: Journeys Through Reproductive Loss & Cancer

Working with reproductive loss and the grief it carries forth, has expanded in my mind because of this experience. I have already supported those going through hysterectomy grief and certainly an array of fertility-related losses, but I now know many other encounters with health issues related to our bodies can hold profound meaning that hark back to reproduction.

Ovarian and uterine cancers, I imagine, will hold that same meaning making of loss. When we must have a part of our bodies removed, and quite rightly as some say ‘amputated’, it is a part of us that connects who we are and the things that have happened to us that make up our story.

Reproductive Loss: Beyond the Visible, Into the Unseen

Similarly, I can recall supporting those with medical histories such as abdominal surgery unrelated to reproduction that cast doubt about their capacity for fertility. So, our sense of fertility is not solely about our reproductive organs but also about the parts of us aligned in some way to reproduction that make up our whole being. Situations like hysterectomy for medical reasons, Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), premature menopause (under 40yo) or early menopause (40-45yo) can truly stop us in our tracks, particularly if our desire for children or more children has not yet come into fruition.

Coping with Reproductive Grief Amidst Cancer

There is much that is wrong about how we are cared for by the medical profession. How very alone I felt post-surgery on the ward where my every medical need was attended to, but my feelings and sense of identity were ignored so entirely. When the plastic surgeon suggested dressing my own wounds at a time when I could not even look at them, let alone touch them. How do they become so detached from the human experience? A question unlikely to be addressed in my lifetime, it seems, with such a focus on data collection, risk aversion, and the general medicalisation of clinical matters overriding human needs.

Cancer, of course, has much greater visibility than reproductive loss. Even reproductive cancers are much easier to talk about with friends and family than having a miscarriage or how going through IVF might be. Although extremely grateful that my health concern was very treatable, I was stuck in the reality of how incredible the visibility of a cancer diagnosis laid out a path of support and understanding that allowed everyone to know what was expected. The comparison with the invisibility of how reproductive loss is treated is quite stark and yet both are living with the same uncertainty, anxiety, numbing experience that this new reality may not provide you with the life you thought you would have.

Building Your Support Team: A Vital Step in Facing Unforeseen Challenges

As my medical team worked on my physical survival, my survival of the unexpected lay with my chosen adjunct health care team of acupuncturists, a naturopath, my long-term osteopath, specialist oncology physiotherapists and trauma counsellor. That which comforted and provided me with the care that I needed did not seep from within the medical model but from the kindness and compassion of non-hospital-based allied health practitioners. When I am supporting those with infertility, pregnancy loss, abortion support, perinatal mental health issues and parenting themes I nearly always work on building their team. Putting this into place before a health crisis serves us to have those then treating us to know us, so needed when life turns a corner and you are somewhere you do not recognise, without walls to lean into or markers to remind you of that which is familiar.

Can there be room to thrive rather than just to survive these terrible situations? What is it that you might need to help you through it? Is this the time to build your team? Going it alone is risky with life’s complexity and its competing demands. We are primed to be thrown off the scent of meeting our own needs. Experiences in childhood, or from an abusive relationship, or in a toxic place of work, we start to function as though our needs do not matter. Until, that is, a crisis occurs that brings forth this invisible sorrow and we are alone with the unexpected.

I am always here to support you and am grateful for the insights this experience has left with me, which will infuse into my consultations and allow me to continue meeting where you need me me, in the depths of your own experience.

Written by Suzanne Hurley, Perinatal & Fertility Counsellor at Fertile Ground Health Group.

Make a counselling booking with Suzanne

On The Way Toward Parenthood


Understanding the Foundations of Parenthood

Our parenting experience starts long before the birth of our first baby. How we were parented and what happens to us along the way informs the parents we become. Any form of trauma is worth revisiting when contemplating parenthood. Traumatic events in childhood and adulthood can complicate how we feel about many things associated with becoming a parent and many are buried deep, often to enable us to continue to function.

Embracing Fluid Parenting Styles

Yet our parenting style it is not set in stone. The parents we become remain fluid if combined with insight and intention to be the parent you want to be. Each decision and choice we make can be reversed and redirected with reflection and courage.

The Challenge of Being the Parent You Needed

It is not easy to be the parent you needed but did not have. It will stretch you into your own grief, your sadness and sense of loss whilst asking you to be the adult in the room, stronger, kinder, and wise. I can’t think of another life experience that requires this fundamental shift in selfhood.

Recognising Unconscious Patterns in Parenting

I say courage because it truly does take a tangible, felt experience of gut-wrenching clarity that you just did or said something to your child that you thought you would never repeat or hear come out of your mouth. We often don’t want to repeat the errors of our own parents, but it does not have to mean a complete swing away from the model they presented us with. Rather than a knee jerk alternative we would do well to sit with that duality and take control in thoughtful decision making by making different choices that may have been harmful or hurtful in the past.

Impact of Family Narratives on Parenthood

How we were raised may also impact our very desire to be a parent. Family stories can shroud any feeling of delight or reward that might be possible if you were treated poorly, devalued, disrespected, or disregarded. Similarly, the choice to not parent can become fraught if the family narrative only holds parenthood as the established value of worth. Reproductive adversity on the way to parenthood can truly mark us. Much of what can happen can be traumatic. How do you then flip that and suddenly be happy about pending parenthood when the cost has been so great.

Coping with Reproductive Adversity

There is no shortage of material when talking about this legacy in counselling. Many do not realise the mark life has left on them when thinking about raising children. Meeting your newborn baby carries you into your own newborn state of parenthood. Just like your newborn you will need to feel your way with your senses and what your sensible, adult brain thinks should happen often does not transpire. What you want your baby to do does not match with how they are and the adjustments you do or do not make are likely to either make or break you.

Counselling: Navigating Parenthood’s Challenges

How you learn to care for your children will be informed by how you were cared for by your parents. Even the things you cannot directly remember are often held within us to be revealed in time. Big and strong emotions often accompany parenthood in ways that confound us. It is so common to have a client say to me I am so different to how I thought I would be, and I don’t understand where this is coming from. Then the work begins. In counselling, we thread our way through the many experiences life has provided in order to make sense of our responses and take charge of what we want to do differently.

Empowering Positive Changes in Parenthood

It can feel very scary and make us very vulnerable, but it is possible to make great changes. We don’t have to continue to harm and hurt our children just because that is what was done to us. It is possible to hold a profound intention to do it differently just with an intention to do so. Allow the intention to take you into action and demonstrate to yourself and your family what is in your heart. Learning to understand the legacy of your life experiences and how it might impact your behaviour is to be applauded. What better investment is there in caring for those that are considering, trying to, or encountering themselves as parents.

Written by Suzanne Hurley, Perinatal & Fertility Counsellor at Fertile Ground Health Group

Make a booking with Suzanne

Contemporary Birth Culture – a free webinar with Rhea Dempsey

Contemporary Birth Culture

We’re thrilled to announce that Rhea Dempsey (renowned counsellor, best selling author and childbirth educator) is offering a wonderful free event to all practitioners about understanding contemporary birth culture and its impact on birth experience.

Register your spot for this free 45 minute webinar with Rhea Dempsey, going live on Wednesday July 27, 2022 at 4pm AEST.

“I hear far too often of the dismay you feel as a practitioner when the pregnant woman, whose body and being you have been treating and preparing for birth returns with a distressing birth story. A birth story filled with interventions and just-in-time emergencies, leading to distress and trauma – and you wonder what on earth happened?

In this free 45-minute webinar I will introduce you to the key structural factors in contemporary birth culture that hijack so many women’s birth dreams and leave you puzzled.”

Rhea Dempsey


Contemporary Birth Culture

This webinar is open to all health professionals

In particular, this webinar is for those counsellors, psychologists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, doctors, birth workers and all supporting practitioners who are integral to the healthcare team of patients moving through pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.

You’re most welcome to register for this event. Please share it with any colleagues you believe would also benefit.

Rhea’s classes and workshops have long been held in high regard by practitioners and patients alike. She has been doing incredible work in the birth space for decades and we’ve no doubt you’re already a raving fan (as we are).



We are honoured to be launching this digital offering with Rhea and creating a reservoir of her wisdom for people to access. It will feature in the Fertile Ground Legacy Series – an initiative we are creating to translate the decades of collective wisdom that Fertile Ground practitioners have amassed, because we want to ensure that this important knowledge is passed on to you and the next generation of practitioners to come.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Charmaine Dennis & Carly Woods
Directors | Naturopaths
Fertile Ground Health Group
Facebook & Instagram
a: 33 Smith Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 9988

PS – Register now for the Free Webinar with Rhea Dempsey – going live Wednesday, July 27 at 4pm.

Support After a Pregnancy Ends or a Baby Dies

Support After a Pregnancy Ends or a Baby Dies

As a counsellor, listening to and being present to the unfolding stories after a pregnancy ends too early, or when a baby dies, requires me to hold space for another’s sorrow in a way that can seep in, grow, and be held as a deepening sadness. This impact can be felt, yet remain as invisible and silent as the way society responds to these unspeakable losses.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Supporting someone after a baby dies as a loved one requires holding compassion for any perceived failings in supporting the unravelling of another in sinking downwards into an unfamiliar terrain. Allow them to decide whether to rise again or not and just be there alongside, being the doula for the other side of birth where a baby is missing in every part of their imagined shared futures. It is bleak and dark and unbearable and yet bear it you must as it is only a fraction of what the other carries. 

Often the joy of having babies is preceded with experiences of grief, and yet we only see the images around us of blissfully expectant mothers and smiling parents with their children. So rarely do we see the stories of loss, often born shrouded in silence such as with miscarriages, terminations or when a baby dies in utero, during birth or shortly after.

If you visit a maternity hospital, you will likely see image after image of the joy of having a baby. Go seeking a visual representation of the babies that will never be born, die in pregnancy, in labour or shortly after birth and you will notice little to no representation for this reality. With life comes death and the lifetimes in between the two are varied and many, yet we only champion live births and happy parents.

Sitting with

Being alongside such experiences is profound in its sadness, and yet there is honour in being a companion to such grief. Sitting with the love lost and the agony felt in letting go is an enormous task to hold. Forgiveness is needed when you fear you might get it wrong as it comes with the territory where ‘getting it right’ does not really exist. It is as much a fantasy as being a perfect mother. There is only what is.

Be present when others cannot be. Be there because there is a need. Hold self-compassion as you cannot be blamed for any failings as who taught you to hold the unbearable? Who taught you to know what to say, not say and when to do and give instead of speaking?  When you cannot ‘fix it’ there is no room for questioning, only sitting with, being with, sharing the uncertainty.


Allow the depth of despair to be felt and be held. Give them an anchor to secure themselves to. Let them know their rights in honouring the loss, speaking of their loss, to expect to be heard for as long as they need to speak of their pregnancy, their baby, the child missing from the dinner table. Speak their baby’s name, ask them about their cherished one. Find ways to honour this experience, a tree that blooms at this time of year, a memory box full of all that is known and not yet known about their pregnancy, their baby. Allow for meaning making and disbelief to coexist.

Let them know it gets easier, you get to know the grief, recognise its needs, make room for it, be forever changed by it. Know your limits and encourage professional support so they can become more than the sum of their broken parts. Seek help yourself as you begin to feel that deepening sadness seep in and start to grow. You and I cannot ward this off for we are human, and it is too big to wriggle our way out of it. When attending to another’s grief we must attend to our own breaking hearts.

Know that a parent that has endured suffering on the path to parenthood will be better equipped to know something of their child’s suffering and may pass to them what has been learnt in reaching rock bottom and rising again. 

What a gift to give to another to reshape suffering into a way to comfort even if you have never received that yourself. Hold light where there is darkness and know if you only offer kindness, it is enough where there is sorrow.

Suzanne Hurley

Support After a Pregnancy Ends or a Baby Dies

Perinatal & Fertility Counsellor & Supervisor

Fertile Ground Health Group

If you would like help navigating grief and loss please feel welcome to make a booking with Suzanne.

Putting A Pause On Menopause

Menopause with Suzanne Hurley from Fertile Ground Health Group

What to do when the desire to have a baby collides with fertility’s end (menopause)?

Thinking about a good time to have a baby may be considered good family planning, but what happens when reproductive circumstances dictate how and when this time needs to be?  Never more so than when we enter into our midlife years and there is a realisation that it actually needs to be right NOW.

To get to this place the desire to have a baby can have been a source of great ambivalence, entirely missing or lay dormant in some people. At times this will be a reflection on other life circumstances such as health, mental health, past trauma, being unpartnered, partnered with uncertainty about the relationship enduring, partnered with another who does not wish to be a parent or to parent again, or without a clear point of readiness for life as it has been to change.

Your reproductive rights

Many people may have previously experienced a pregnancy they were unable to continue, even though they would have chosen to if the context in which they found themselves pregnant were different. Whether they are adequately supported to continue is often outside of their control. Some have experienced reproductive coercion, either in being coerced into pregnancy when they did not wish to be, or forced to terminate when they would have liked to continue.

A decision to continue any pregnancy comes with it an assessment as to whether a person has ‘enough’ support, be it financial, emotional, health, their partner’s health if they have one, age factors, being adequately housed and feeling safe – not only now but for the life of that future child. These are all common considerations for any child a parent will be responsible for. Parenthood, I believe, begins with these considerations, as does the willingness to make some hard choices for the life of another above one’s own life choices.

With so many factors to interrupt a choice into parenthood what happens when it has to be right NOW? One such example is the medical need for a hysterectomy, particularly potent in someone who has not only not yet had children, but also may not yet have considered whether they want to have children. Imagine the frantic scrambling of thoughts and feelings that need to be explored, all without adequate time to do so. Mix this with the all too often narrow lens of the medical profession that rarely takes on the bigger picture in a person’s life outside of the part they will play in performing their surgical prowess. Add to this gender imbalances of male dominated gynaecological surgical practices and any biases they might hold about age and fertility. What might you expect?

The right to options

If a person in their midlife (40’s) presents for a medically required hysterectomy, has not yet had children, may know they either want to have children or may have not yet have considered if they want children. What might you expect? I know that what I would expect would be to be given options with regard to the surgery, such as, any alternative surgery that may provide additional time for the person to consider, decide and reconcile with their choices and circumstances, a thorough breakdown of medical risks in relation to their medical condition and any delay or alternative surgery, a referral to a counsellor to begin to explore the decision before them, a referral to a fertility specialist to discuss their options (eg. egg freezing, surrogacy, pregnancy, IVF), patience with regard to any indecision, and above all compassionate consideration for their predicament without personal bias or unfounded harmful statements. Basic assumptions you and I might think, but quite the contrary to what I have come across in my practice recently.

Moving into menopause

Moving into menopause is no small transition physically, as we are mostly aware of, with the common symptom picture of hot flushes, irritability, fatigue, weight gain etc. Psychologically it can be even harder, particularly for those whose fertility journey has been fraught with challenges, missed opportunities, losses and broken dreams, but equally so for those whose opportunities have never taken them to the foot of the parenthood mountain to raise the challenge of do I or don’t I. Passing through menopause can be graceful and welcome when one’s reproductive expectations have been met and satisfied, for those fortunate enough to not hold regret for any children unborn.

When a medical event removes your uterus and/or your fertility in one fowl swoop, great care needs to be exerted by everyone surrounding that individual, always giving them control over their choices, supporting them in their decisions even if they seem counter intuitive or differ from your own.  Without this unconditional regard for their right to choose we overlook the wisdom within people to know their own bodies, to make their own choices and know their own minds. Without this basic human right you can expect a very poor mental state and outcome for people and their reproductive rights.

For anyone who has had a negative experience of hysterectomy you may like to contact;

InternationalHERS Foundation

After speaking with The New Daily, Health Issues Centre CEO Mr Vadasz said the body is interested in hearing the experiences of women who were encouraged to undergo hysterectomies.

To contact the Health Issues Centre, call (03) 8676 9050.

For more support, Suzanne Hurley, Perinatal Counsellor, is available for consultations at Fertile Ground Health Group or you can make an appointment for a phone or video session for your convenience. Learn more about Suzanne.

Reach out if you need support: Introducing phone/online counselling

We want to assure you more than ever of counselling availability at Fertile Ground during COVID-19 management and the important role it has to play.

Counselling will be delivered either by phone or via online options such as Skype or Zoom. These options are not new to counselling environments as they are already utilised in order to create greater access for those unable to attend in person for reasons such as childcare, residing in a remote area or wanting access to a practitioner with specialist knowledge not available in your local area.

Our FGHG counsellors, Suzanne Hurley and Rhea Dempsey have many years of experience in telephone counselling and are passionate about its effectiveness. COVID-19 is anxiety provoking and a source of great frustration if planning on or working towards a pregnancy, once pregnant or if needing essential medical care.

Talking with a counsellor about your concerns and accessing emotional management strategies can be very grounding and reassuring so that you are more in control of your thoughts and overwhelm. Please heed the warning signs such as eating or sleeping less, feelings of panic or worry that won’t go away, increase in anger and frustration, catastrophic thinking and overwhelm and do not delay in talking it through.

Protect yourself by getting the support you need rather than suffering alone. As well as remote counselling sessions we are also providing 30 minute naturopathic or Chinese medicine consultations specifically for immune support over the phone, skype or online. Book here for support.

We look forward to being there for you when you most need us.

The emotional rollercoaster of infertility

Emotional Support

by Suzanne Hurley, FGHG counsellor

Anyone in the throes of trying to conceive knows the grueling fertility cycle of hope then worry realised into disappointment, the grief and numbness that takes hold right before a new found fortitude and grit. Each new hope that is a little less sure of itself with each cycle, that if allowed, will vanish and harden into a no expectation kind of expectation.

They will know how disorienting, chaotic, demanding and painful it is to be a part of a world that all too often disallows space for such a massive struggle. Workplaces that have little or no flexibility, friends you simply cannot tell for fear of bringing darkness into their baby making bubble, families that will not or do not understand the what, how and why of what is involved. Your right to privacy and confidentiality that cannot be upheld and the all encompassing feeling of failure and shame, albeit real or imagined that prevents you from stopping the spilling over of grief from your heart, carried as tears that first pool and then pour for all to see.

In times such as these we can benefit from slowing the pace and collecting ourselves long enough to create a simple structure to help keep our vulnerability safe. Establishing some emotional scaffolding can alleviate us of any unnecessary burden we may keep on trying to carry. It can help to ground us in knowing some core well-being skills, either not yet learnt along the way to our adult selves, or are no longer effective. How can we ever be prepared to face infertility when the norm is for our bodies to work when we ask it of them?

No one expects this level of adversity in thinking about starting a family. We may dread it or worry that it may be our story but mostly we expect things to go smoothly. When it does not it can rock us to our very foundations of who we are in the world. It is this crushed illusion of who we are that needs the scaffolding in the same way we provide a stick or trellis for a plant that may struggle to bear fruit if not supported.

Identifying with a fertility counsellor who you are, why you are the way you are and knowing where you are right now when faced with fertility challenges, can be the glue that holds you together. It will be the scaffold you need until you too bear fruit. A task made easier with someone who can hold you lightly as you rise and more tightly as you yield.

The extra bonus is whilst doing all of this you earn yourself a confidant and a witness to the best and worst of you. A person who will see you and get to know you and listen and keep learning what it is that you need. They can plan with you how to have that need met, respectfully and honourably, with compassion and awe.


SuzanneHURLEYCSuzanne Hurley is an exceptionally compassionate, understanding and experienced counsellor with a very specific skill set and deep understanding of the challenging nature of infertility and the path to becoming a parent. Learn more about Suzanne Hurley here.

Are you giving yourself a hard time?

By Suzanne Hurley, FGHG Counsellor

Have you noticed how simple it is to hold compassion for anyone beside yourself?  Simple, in the sense that it just seems to come naturally, unhindered by self doubt or negative self talk and mostly unconditional. When I ask my clients what they would say to a friend or family member if they were in a similar situation the response is a loving, compassionate and giving exchange grounded in love and respect for that person. When asked to hold these same feelings for themselves, I watch a torturous, conflicted and challenging struggle to unearth even a small semblance of compassion that in some instances cannot be felt at all.

So why is it so hard to hold this same compassion for our own experience?  At some point we stopped believing that our challenges deserve our consideration. We seem to only appreciate ourselves in our celebrations and have no foundation on which to value our challenges and how we manage to keep going. This lack of consideration is combined with no training or skill development in acknowledging our strengths when things are not going well.

Finding your way through adversity whether it is valued as a growth opportunity or disowned as not being a part of who we think we are, get through it we must. We will all do it in our own unique way no matter how bleak or dysfunctional it may be. If along the way we can stop and give thanks to our integrity, our stealth, our leave no stone un-turned determination, we broaden our horizon to balance ourselves with the good alongside the bad and move closer toward remaining whole rather than a shadow of our previous selves.

We all need someone by our side literally or metaphorically gently encouraging, supporting and appreciating how we are meeting adversity as the pain turned inwards becomes too intolerable to bear. If that person walking alongside is the part of us that holds hope, appreciation and awe at what we have achieved then in good company we keep.

I bear witness to the shadows of ourselves that enter the counseling room having left it way too long before reaching out. I also see them nearly always leave reshaped and more whole by bringing forth self compassion, insight and acceptance that what is being lived is not what anyone signed up for in spite of adversity being all around us. Somehow we think we are to blame, faulty and therefore unlovable and allow this to become who we are. The perspective of another in hearing our story brings forth the compassion we cannot retain for ourselves at these times. The act of sitting with what our life has become and gently unfolding the truth of what it means to be human. Softening the edges so that the darkness can have shades of light can mean an easier, more loving path forward for if we cannot love our flawed selves can we truly love another?


Experiencing Infertility: Are You a Team?

There are couples who seem to naturally function as a team no matter what their circumstance. Others have very separate lives as valued independent and high functioning adults that happen also to be in a relationship. This difference does not particularly matter until perhaps there is an unexpected event such as infertility.

Do you have support?

One of the first things I ensure when a person experiencing infertility attends for counselling, is to look at the supports around them. Primarily whether they feel they are part of a team with their partner or are they fighting solo for their right to have a child.

The reason this is important is that with any unexpected crisis we often need to lean on others in a way that we may not have had to previously. Some people dread having to be dependent on another for support even if that other is their life partner. But lean we must, as it is just too big to do alone. If you are single and doing it alone it is even more important to figure out who you are going to wrap around you for when times get tough. Often this will be a team of health professionals such as those we have at Fertile Ground Health Group, as you will need your friends to stay friends and your family to remain family. Holding complete responsibility physically is one thing, but holding emotional responsibility is unnecessary and likely to contribute to poor mental health and wellbeing.

Are you in this together?

A firm acknowledgement from a partner that you are in this together is such a simple task and yet over and over I encounter couples who have distanced themselves from each others struggles whilst in the midst of getting on with it. This can often be about not wanting to burden the other with this business of sadness, grief,  loss, feelings of dread, increasing anxiety and or depression for this elusive future goal so desired.

Can you share?

Communication is just so important with direct validation of the other’s experience and sharing what it might be like for you. Sharing big emotions is so human and brings forth closeness and understanding. No one is a mind reader. We need to be told what is needed rather than guessing. One conversation can change everything for the better.

What better way to prepare for parenthood than to up-skill on your communication? Take a direct route to tell your partner what you want from them and find out what they need from you. It can be good to get some guidance from your counsellor about how to go about this, so that you can take into account your particular relationship challenges.  You don’t want an invitation to get closer to become a bone of contention.

Developmentally the relationship should be ready for some challenges, or else why would you be trying to have a baby together? What is more you will need these skills more than ever once your little one arrives!


SuzanneHURLEYCSuzanne Hurley, FGHG Perinatal and Fertility Counsellor

Suzanne offers counselling for individuals and short term couples work through the many stages of fertility and parenting including contemplating pregnancy, unintended pregnancy, during pregnancy, life with a baby and end of reproduction. She has an impressive level of expertise having worked with varying degrees of reproductive loss, including pregnancy options counsellinginfertility and IVF supportperinatal mental healthabortion counselling and in reproductive health issues. Suzanne is available for counselling in East Melbourne at Fertile Ground Health Group two days per week. More information about Suzanne is available here: Suzanne Hurley, Counsellor.

Online booking at Fertile Ground

Post natal care at Fertile Ground Health Group

At Fertile Ground Health Group (FGHG) we love caring for you throughout your fertility and pregnancy journey and when the baby comes the care does not end there! We offer a range of approaches to help support mums as they navigate the often challenging first months with a new babe.

If you have been a patient of FGHG throughout your pregnancy why not take advantage of Osteopathic baby check to make sure bub has bounced back from the stresses and pressures of being born.  And of course, we strongly believe babies need well rested, healthy mums and our “mother roasting treatment”, a regenerative massage treatment is ideal any time after you give birth – say any time in the next 12 years!

Below you will find information on how each of our modalities can help you and your family once your bundle of joy has arrived.  We are here to support you through any hiccups you might encounter or just to support wellness, enhance health and prevent future health issues for both mother and baby.  Prevention is key, but if either you or your baby are struggling in any way, one of our highly experienced practitioners will know how to guide you.

Naturopathic care can assist with energy and nutritional requirements needed for mothers post birth to ensure sufficient milk for breastfeeding.  It also offers a range of solutions for milk supply & mastitis, low mood, fatigue, baby colic or eczema, feeding, sleeping and developmental issues.  Advice on weaning, introducing solids, vaccination support and fever management is also available.  Naturopathic care also provides essential support and solutions for any mum or baby struggling with digestive or immune issues.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can treat many conditions including feeding problems (insufficient lactation, oversupply, mastitis, engorgement, pain, etc.), urinary incontinence, hormonal balancing, abdominal pain, back pain, post natal fatigue, mother and /or baby sleep issues, stress anxiety and depression. This ancient and traditional medicine deeply nourishes your energy like nothing else.  And the Melbourne Acupuncture Multi-bed Project makes appointments super accessible – in and out in 45 minutes!

Osteopathic care is highly beneficial for both mother and baby.  For mothers: helping the pelvis, spine and whole body return to the optimal position and function after the changes induced by pregnancy, labour and birth. For babies: gently releasing any tension in the head or body resulting from  labour and birth can relieve or avoid reflux, colic, unexplained pain responses, altered head and neck position/development or just generally support and relax unsettled babies.

Our Massage therapists offer mums “Mother roasting” for an enriching massage and moxibustion treatment using warming and nourishing essential oils and heat pack application.  This massage incorporates the use of specific acupressure points that have rejuvenating and regenerative properties for new mothers post birth. This makes it the perfect treatment to re balance new mums, increase body energy and relieve any muscular pain and tension.  Appropriate for all mums, no matter how you have given birth or how long ago!

Counselling. Pregnancy and birth involve significant change in a myriad of ways, with different and often unexpected feelings surfacing. Counselling during pregnancy and / or post birth can enrich your parenting experience and ensure challenges are unpacked and moved through for personal growth and a feeling of confidence and freedom. Preparing for labour & birth or debriefing your birth experience through our specialist counselling service is an essential part of this transformative life stage as you birth yourselves as parents.

Call or email reception to book in:

(03) 9419 9988

Gift vouchers are also available if you’ve got someone in mind that would benefit from some post natal care treatments at Fertile Ground.