By Hollie Harris
Beth Newman knows women and is passionate about informing and empowering young girls as they make the transition to womanhood.
The Sunshine Coast midwife of 14 years has brought many babies into the world and is renowned for her extensive knowledge and caring support.
During her work with pregnant women over many years, Beth has noticed a lack of respectful teachings for women and a large gap when it comes to educating young women about their bodies.
The local mum, who is also a celebrant, now hosts engaging and highly important workshops to teach girls the most important aspects of being a young woman.
‘Walking the Emerging Woman’ is a three-hour workshop that brings girls aged 10-12 years in circle. This is nothing new – it’s an age-old tradition of holding space for young girls transiting into a new phase of their lives.
The workshop teaches girls about menstruation education (having a period). It includes discussions about their changing bodies, the 28-day cycle, what it means to have a period, strategies to cope (including an explanation of sanitary products available) and commonly asked questions such as ‘what if I’m in school?’ ‘How does it start?’. The workshops finish with a creative hour to transfer the information received into artwork.
Visual aids are used to help the girls learn about becoming a young woman. There is a handmade poster on the wall to used to explain the female reproductive system and a demonstration of using sanitary products.
“Visual learning demystifies all things about periods and assists the girls to make informed choices, something I highlight throughout workshop,” Beth said.
“Everything is a choice. This workshop highlights respect, confidentiality and kindness when sitting vulnerably with each other.
“Discussion within the circle takes place as much or as little as they individually choose.”
Beth also explains the 28-day menstrual cycle (without going into the heavy chemistry or biology of it) and how the body is always preparing for some part of this 28-day phenomenon.
She said the workshops weren’t about sex education or a place for young girls to be critical about themselves or others.
All participants leave with a booklet containing information shared during workshop, a ‘discreet’ small bag, and their artwork.
To find out more about Beth’s workshops, phone 0412103743, email email@example.com or contact her via Facebook at firstname.lastname@example.org.