About Sarah – Dr Sarah Buckley (2022)

“Discovering Sarah Buckley is like being told, authoritatively, that chocolate is not only good for you, but is guaranteed to make you slim. And also beautiful.”Professor Sandy Kirkman, University of Glamorgan, Wales in MIDIRS Midwifery Digest (UK)

Sarah Buckley is trained as a GP/family physician with qualifications in GP-obstetrics and family planning. She is the mother of four home-born children and lives in Brisbane, Australia, where she is a PhDcandidateas well as writing and lecturing on pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

Dr Buckley’s work critiques current practices in pregnancy, birth, and parenting from the widest possible perspectives, including scientific, anthropological, cross-cultural, psychological, and personal. She encourages us to be fully informed in our decision-making; to listen to our hearts and our intuition; and to claim our rightful role as the real experts in our bodies and our children.

She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland,, where her research is focused on oxytocin in labour and birth and the impacts of interventions. See her professional, peer-reviewed publications as part of her PhD here

Her bestselling book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices, published by Celestial Arts/PenguinRandomHouse (US, 2009), builds on her acclaimed first edition, published in Australia as Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: The Wisdom and Science of Gentle Choices in Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting (One Moon Press, Brisbane, 2005, available as ebook here ).

Dr Buckley has an ongoing interest in the hormones of labour and birth, and this has culminated in her groundbreaking report Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing (2015Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women and Families). This report, available for free online, has been described as “…one of the most revolutionaryand influential publications on maternity and newborn care ever issued.”

De Buckley has contributed to professional texts including Midwifery Best Practice Volumes 4 and 5 (Edited by Sara Wickham, UK 2004 and 2009); Sharing Midwifery Knowledge: Tricks of the Trade Volume 4 (Midwifery Today, US 2004);Essential Midwifery Practice: Intrapartum Care (Edited by Denis Walsh and Soo Downe, UK, 2010), and Squaring the Circle (Edited by Sheena Byron and Soo Downe, UK, 2019).

Dr Buckley’s writing has been published in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, US, and many other countries, including in: The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia), The Australian newspaper (Australia), Mothering magazine (US), MIDIRS Midwifery Digest (UK), Midwifery Today (US), Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (US); The Practicing Midwife (UK); The Mother (UK), The Green Parent (UK); Juno (UK) Byron Child/Kindred magazine (Aus), Natural Parenting (Aus), Mother and Baby (Aus); Playtimes (Aus); Wellbeing (Aus/NZ), Living Now (Aus), Birthspirit Midwifery (NZ) and The Complete Mother (Canada). See below for a fuller list

(Video) Intervew with Dr. Sarah Buckley for GOLD Midwifery 2015

Dr Buckley’s work has been incorporated into parenting books including: Rebel Mama (2021), What Babies and Children Really Need (Sally Goddard Blyth, UK, 2008),Loving Mama (edited by Tiffany Pallisi, US 2004), Heart to Heart Parenting (Robin Grille, Australia 2008), Mothering Your Nursing Toddler (Norma Jane Bumgarner, US 2000) and Lotus Birth by Shivam Rachana, (Australia, 2000). She has also written the forewords for The Wild Feminine (Tami Lynn Kent, US 2008) and the bestselling Pregnancy and Childbirth Secrets (Gail Dahl, Canada 2007).

Dr Buckley has presented at over 120 workshops and conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the UK, the US and Canada, lecturing to midwives, nurses, physicians, obstetricians, doulas, and childbirth educators as well as mothers and fathers. See below for a more complete list.

Seeher upcoming talks

She has been interviewed on issues related to birth and mothering for TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, and also for educational and birth-related DVDs including the films Orgasmic Birth. and Reducing Infant Mortality Dr Buckley is a member of several international editorial boards including International Caesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)and the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA).

Her work has been translated into Italian, French, Spanish, German, Hebrew, Polish, Hungarian and Estonian, and her book is available in Italian and Czech.

Sarah Buckley is one of the few people in this world telling the truth about pregnancy and birth… Sarah’s words are truly a gift to the midwifery and birthing community.”

Jan Tritten: midwife, editor Midwifery Today Oregon

Personal and family background

(Video) Dr Sarah Buckley Interview (FULL) with Tracey Rose

Dr Buckley’s interest in birth was shared by her late father, Timothy Buckley, and grandfather HF (“Buck”) Buckley, both of whom practiced as family physician/GP-obstetricians in her hometown: Whangarei, New Zealand. Both Sarah’s father and mother Nola were born at home, with Nola’s birth attended by her father’s mother as ‘granny midwife’.

Sarah trained in medicine, including studying anthropology and philosophy, atthe University of Otago, where she gained the qualification MB, ChB, equivalent to MD in the US and MB BS in Australia. She gained her Diploma of Obstetrics at the University of Auckland, and subsequently trained as a family physician (GP) in Palmerston North, New Zealand. She moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1987, where she worked in community health, general/family practice and with Dr Peter Lucas at Wattle Park House — a homebirth general practice — for several years. Sarah also holds a certificate in Family Planning.

Her understanding of birth and mothering as a journey of transformation has evolved from her own experiences, and has deepened through her participationin birthing and women’s workshops.

She has experienced almost everything that she writes about, including instinctive pregnancy; ecstatic birth; attachment parenting, co-sleeping, long-term breastfeeding (Sarah has enjoyed being pregnant and/or breastfeeding for more than 15 years), lotus birth, raising babies without nappies/diapers, yoga in pregnancy and mothering, and gentle parenting through the teenage years and beyond.

Her personal interests and hobbies include yoga and meditation, which she has practiced for over 20 years; natural family health and healing; camping; bushwalking/hiking, swimming; world music; and dancing.

Sarah lives with her family in the semi-rural outskirts of Brisbane, in Northern Australia.

Dr Buckley’s published articles and book contributions

  • “Reclaiming every woman’s birth right” The Age (Melbourne), November 29, 1996
  • “The pleasure of extended breastfeeding” Courier Mail (Brisbane), May 7,1998
  • “Attachment parenting- an introduction” Courier Mail (Brisbane), June 17,1998
  • “The cosiness of co-sleeping” (Newsletter of Nursing Mothers of Australia, Winter 1999
  • “Weighing the risks: What you should know about ultrasound” Mothering magazine, Sept/Oct 2000, no 102
  • “Ultrasound scans: cause for concern” Midwifery Today Int Midwife, Winter 2002;(64):29-33
  • “Doing no harm at birth” Courier Mail (Brisbane), Jan 5, 2002
  • “Ecstatic birth- nature’s hormonal blueprint for labor” Mothering magazine, issue 111, March/April 2002
  • “Healing Birth, healing the Earth” Living Now magazine, Winter 2002, reprinted May 2009
  • “Ultrasound- cause for concern” Nexus magazine, Oct/Nov 2002
  • Undisturbed birth: nature’s blueprint for ease and ecstasy” Midwifery Today Int Midwife, Fall 2002;(63):19-24
  • “Epidurals- real risks for mothers and babies” ­­­Birthkit, Autumn 2002
  • “Homebirth in Australia: the personal and the political” Midwifery Today Int Midwife, Summer 2003;(66):49-50
  • “Undisturbed birth- nature’s hormonal blueprint for ease and ecstasy” Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, Summer 2003 (Vol 17 no 4)
  • “Lotus birth: a ritual for our times” Midwifery Today Int Midwife, Fall 2003
  • “Mothering, mindfulness and a baby’s bottom: an introduction to elimination communication” Byronchild magazine, Dec-Feb 2003
  • “A vision of birth” Midwifery Today Int Midwife, Winter 2003;(68):9-11
  • “Ten tips for safe sleeping” Natural Parenting magazine, Spring 2003
  • “Drugs in labour- an overview” Midwifery Today, Autumn 2004
  • “Undisturbed birth” MIDIRS midwifery Digest (UK), June 2004 14(2); 203-9
  • “Unlocking the potential for normality” The Practicing Midwife, June 2004;7(6):15-7.
  • “More on caesareans’ Midwifery Today Int Midwife, Spring 2004;(69):5
  • “Impact of interventions” MIDIRS Digest (UK), Sept 2004: 14(3) 353-59
  • “Normal birth” The Practicing Midwife, Oct 2004;7(9):5
  • “The foundations of gentle discipline” Natural Parenting, Spring 2004
  • “Prenatal diagnosis- technological triumph or Pandora’s box?” Byron Child, Sept-Nov 2004
  • “Maternity care- risks and benefits” Doctor Q, magazine of the Australian Medical Association Queensland Branch, Dec 2004
  • “Throwing the baby out with the spa water?” (letter) Med J Aust, Jan 17 2005;182(2):9 read here
  • “Prenatal Testing” MIDIRS Digest (UK), Jan 2005; 15(1) p7-14
  • “The Amazing Placenta”: Mothering magazine, Issue 131, July/August 2005
  • “Short term outcomes lead to long term questions”: letter about the safety of homebirth published in British Medical Journal (BMJ). 24 September 2005;331:698-699 read here
  • “Epidurals”: Mothering Magazine, issue 133, Nov-Dec 2005
  • “Helping Hands: helpful treatments for a comfortable pregnancy” Wellbeing Baby (Australia/NZ) 2005
  • Extended breastfeeding: the gift for a lifetime” Essence, magazine of Australian Breastfeeding Association, Jan 2006 42(1) 5-6
  • “Homebirth”: Kindred magazine, March-May 2006
  • “Placenta rituals and folklore from around the world” Midwifery Today International Midwife, Winter 2006;(80):58-9.
  • “Prenatal Diagnosis: technological triumph or Pandora’s box?” Midwifery Today International Midwife, Spring 2006;(77):18-9, 61-6.
  • “Epidurals: Risks and concerns for mother and baby” Midwifery Today International Midwife, Spring 2007;(81):21-3, 63
  • “Australian mothers not just to posh to push”- The Australian, May 22 2007 read here
  • “Lack of consistency in safe-sleeping message (Letter) Med J Aust, Mar 3 2008;188(5):319 read here
  • “Leaving well alone in the third stage of labour” Birthspirit Midwifery (NZ), Jan 2009
  • “Sexuality in labour and birth”- chapter in Essential Midwifery Practice: Intrapartum Care (UK, Blackwell, 2010)

Dr Buckley has contributed to the following books

(Video) Depression in Adolescents - Dr. Sarah Buckley

  • Loving Mama by Tiffani Pallisi (US. 2004)
  • Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner (US 2003)
  • Midwifery Best Practice volumes 4 and 5 edited by Sara Wickham (UK 2004, 2006)
  • Midwifery Today: Tricks of the Trade (US)
  • What Babies and Children Really Need by Sally Goddard Bythe (UK 2008)
  • Heart to Heart Parenting by Robin Grille (Aus 2008)
  • Essential Midwifery Practice: Intrapartum Care (UK, 2010)
  • Let Me Out:Making Babies Throughout the Ages by Randy Epstein (US 2010)
  • Lotus Birth by Shivam Rachana, (Australia, 2000, 2010)
  • Wild Feminine: Finding Power Spirit and Joy in theFemale Bodyby Tami Lynn Kent (2011)
  • Rebel Mama:Breaking free from Motherhood Norms and Parenting from Within by Laura Rafferty (2021)

Dr Buckley’s talks and lectures include:

  • Jacob’s Home Birth. Midwives and Medicine Women conference, Melbourne, Nov 1996
  • Epidural Epidemic. Women, Power and Birth lecture series, International College of Spiritual Midwifery (ICSM), Melbourne, August 1997
  • The Science and Beauty of Birth. National Homebirth Conference, Byron Bay, September 1999
  • Leaving Well Alone: A Natural Approach to Third Stage, Festival of Birth, Melbourne, November 2000
  • Giving Birth: The Endocrinology of Ecstasy. National Association of Childbirth Educators Conference, Surfers Paradise, March 2001
  • Natural Third Stage and Lotus Birth: joint presentation with Shivam Rachana National Homebirth Conference Noosa May 2001
  • Birth- Women’s Labour, Women’s Power: Talk at Women as Global Leaders conference, Brisbane Sept 2003
  • Ecstatic Birth Public talk in Byron Bay, hosted by Byron Child magazine, April 2003
  • Keeping Third Stage Normal. CAPERS Conference, Brisbane March 2004
  • Normal birth: Why and How. Keynote address at National Homebirth conference, Perth, October 2004
  • A second look at third stage. International Confederation of Midwives, Brisbane, July 2005.
  • Birth and the hormones of attachment. Keynote address at OC Doulas conference “Bridging the Gap: Addressing Current Birth Practices and their impact on Mother/Infant Attachment”. Irvine CA, November 2005
  • Undisturbed birth: the ecstasy and the evidence. Keynote address at Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health International Congress, ‘Birth and the 21st century family: challenges and opportunities from conception through infancy’, San Diego, November 2005
  • Raising babies without nappies and Healing birth is healing the earth Public talks at Sustainable Living Festival, Melbourne, Feb 2006
  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: public talk in Melbourne, Feb 2006
  • Changing women’s attitudes to pain. Lecture at Preparing for Birth and Parenthood Conference, Sydney, Feb 2006
  • Lotus Birth & Delayed Cord Clamping Talk at Contemporary Issues in Midwifery one-day conference, Brisbane April 2006
  • Ecstatic Birth: public talk in Mullumbimby, April 2006
  • Insight on parenting: panel member for this SBS TV programme, Sydney May 2006
  • Hormones, Birth and Brain Development: What Babies Need. Public talk for Australian Breastfeeding Association, Melbourne June 2006
  • Ecstatic Birth Public talk, Melbourne, May 2006
  • The power, passion, and physiology of normal birth Lecture at Australian College of Midwives (ACM) Queensland State conference, Rockhampton, July 2006
  • The safety of ultrasound- what does the research tell us? Lecture at Birth Issues conference, Noosa, August 2006
  • Gentle Discipline Public talk at Brisbane Independent School, August 2006
  • The wisdom and science of normal birth Talk at branch meeting of Australian College of Midwives, Brisbane Sept 2006
  • Ecstatic Birth: public talks Brisbane and Toowoomba in association with Maternity Coalition, Sept 2006
  • The ecstatic hormones of undisturbed birth and The third stage of labour- Mother Nature’s superb design for mother and baby Keynote lectures at New Zealand College of Midwives conference, Christchurch, Oct 2006
  • Undisturbed birth- enhancing safety, ease and ecstasy for mother and baby Keynote talk at National Association of Childbirth Educators conference, Melbourne Nov 2006
  • Undisturbed Birth: A Journey Worth Taking Lecture as part of Australian tour for Birth International, Future Birth with speakers from Wales, UK and Brazil, in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Launceston, Brisbane and Sydney, April 2007
  • Gentle discipline with young children and Breastfeeding an older child: coming out of the closet Talks at Hot Milk”: Australian Breastfeeding Association National Conference Melbourne, August 2007
  • Secrets of Happy Babies Public talk Melbourne, August 2007
  • Natural Birth, Natural Mothering Public talk at Natural Parenting expo Brisbane, Sept 2007
  • Gentle Birth: the evidence and the ecstasy and The Big Three: caesareans, induction, epidurals; Third stage for mother and baby Lectures at Global Gentle Birth Conference and Gentle Baby Expo, Portland, Oregon, Sept 2007
  • Gentle Birth: public talk in Vancouver, October 2007
  • Birth is safe and intervention is risky: the science of trusting birth: Third Stage Bliss for mother and baby: Prenatal tests and ultrasound Keynote and breakout lectures at Trust Birth Conference, Redondo Beach Los Angeles, March 2008
  • The Endocrinology of Normal Birth– talk at Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) 9th annual conference, Gold Coast, April 08
  • Online lecture series for Conscious Woman 2008: 6 live, archived lectures including The hormones of birth; Impact of intervention; Third stage; Safety of ultrasound; Epidurals; Cesareans. www.consciouswoman.org
  • Third stage pleasure and lotus birth Public talk for Home Midwifery Association, Gold Coast June 2008
  • Pregnancy, birth and mothering Public talk at Home Midwifery Association meeting, Brisbane August 2008
  • The hormonal impact of obstetric interventions Lecture at ‘Breathing New Life: Working Together to Keep Birth Normal’ multidisciplinary conference for birth professionals, Gold Coast Sept 2008.
  • Orgasmic Birth panel discussion with Henci Goer at the first public screening, Brisbane September 2008
  • The Big Three: Induction, Epidurals, Caesareans, Public talk, Melbourne Oct 2008
  • Orgasmic Birth Co-introduced the film at the first public screening, Melbourne Oct 2008
  • Secrets of Happy Babies, talk at Melbourne meeting of Australian Breastfeeding Association, Melbourne, Oct 2008
  • Hormonal orchestration of labour and Third stage of labour (for professionals); Secrets of happy babies (for public) Sole speaker at Birth and Babies conference, Ballarat Oct 2008
  • Birth and Breastfeeding: Mother Nature’s Perfect Partnership: public talk at Vista, CA April 2009
  • Undisturbing Birth one-day workshop at the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) congress, Asolimar California, April 2009
  • Undisturbed birth. mother nature’s recipe for safety, ease and pleasure ICAN conference, Atlanta Georgia April 2009
  • Birth Week two talks in Kallista, Melbourne May 2009
  • Making wise decisions in pregnancy, birth and parenting. Public talk in Melbourne, May 2009
  • Homebirth is safe Talk at the National Homebirth Rally in Canberra Sept 2009 On Youtube
  • Celebrating and protecting homebirth speech at Brisbane Rally for National Day of Action, Feb 2010 OnYoutube
  • Trust your body, trust your baby, trust birth: Conference dinner speech and breakout lectures on Safety and logic of normal birth and When birth goes wrong at Trust Birth Conference, Redondo Beach LA, March 2010
  • Undisturbed Birthwhole-day workshops with Birth International in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, May to August 2010
  • Challenging the Boundaries of Birth Science talk at Homebirth Australia National conference, Newcastle, August 2011
  • Natural Parenting – how connecting with your child can save the planet Woodford Fold festival 2012

Dr Buckley’s interviews include:

Print publications

  • Junior magazine (Australia)- Sex after childbirth- Journalist Kylie Carberry
  • Pregnancy and Birth (Australia)- Epidurals- Journalist Kelly Baker
  • Vive (Australia) April 07 -Prenatal testing
  • Australian Woman’s Weekly April 2007 – Nappy/diaper free babies – Journalist Robin Barker
  • Practical Parenting (Australia) July 2007 on early toilet training – Journalist Fran Molloy
  • Pregnancy, Baby and You (UK), July 2007 Expert profile – Journalist Siobhan Stirling,
  • Readers Digest (Aus) on birth trends- Journalist Alix Johnson
  • Blacktown news, May 2008, feature on ultrasound diagnosing babies’ abnormalities
  • Oh Baby! (New Zealand) Interview and book review, April 2009
  • The Green Parent: information about lotus birth and cord clamping Feb/March 2010

TV, radio, internet radio and film interviews


  • Australia ABC News (QLD) Sept 2002 Interview at launch of National Midwifery Action Plan (sponsored by Maternity Coalition)
  • Australia Channel 9, May 2003 Today Tonight Interview on breech birth/caesarean issue (journalist Lexy Hamilton Smith) with Maternity Coalition
  • Australia Channel 9 Brisbane Interview on controlled crying study published in Medical Journal of Australia March 2005
  • Australia, Channel 9 Good Morning Show Interview on raising babies without nappies/diapers Sept 2005
  • Australia/NZ Sky channel interview about book launch Sept 2006
  • Australia Toowoomba, interview on Ecstatic Birth Sept 2006
  • US: Fox TV Atlanta GA, interview on Gentle Birth April 2009
  • Australia Mornings with Kerri Anne: interview on caesareans May 2009


  • Australia: Brisbane ABC local radio Interview with Susan Mitchell on midwifery campaign with Maternity Coalition Oct 2001
  • Australia: Regional Queensland Interview on ecstatic birth, April 2003
  • Australia: Melbourne, Aus 3LO interview on Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, Sept 2006
  • Australia: Life Matters, ABC Radio National on Birth Choices Oct 2006 Listen here
  • New Zealand: Radio National with Jim Mora on Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering Feb 2009
  • Australia: Radio National interview on the ecstatic hormones for Encounters, Divine Pain episode Listen here

Internet radio:

  • Hypnobabies live interview with Keri Tuschoff Nov 2005
  • The Whole Mother with Pat Jones, Nov 05 and March 2006
  • Timely Topics in Childbirth on Women’s Voice America with Celesta Rannisi, June 2007
  • Healthylife.net with Elizabeth Noble on ecstatic birth and mothering, June 2008


(Video) W14-E Webinar: Hormones in labour and birth Essential information for informed decision making

Sarah appears in

  • Orgasmic Birth 2007 View here
  • The Other Side Of The Glass 2008 View here
  • Reducing Infant Mortality and Improving the Health of Babies 2009 View here
  • Freedom for Birth 2101View here
  • Happy, Healthy Child, 2013 View here

Sarah’s peer-reviewed publications include:


1. Dr Sarah Buckley Interview (PART 1) with Tracey Rose - How To Have An Ecstatic Birth In A Hospital
(Tracey Rose)
2. Secrets of Happy Babies, Dr. Sarah Buckley
(Fathers To Be Patrick Houser)
3. 45: Dr Sarah Buckley on How To Have An Ecstatic Childbirth with Melissa Ambrosini
(Melissa Ambrosini)
4. 51. The Ancient Hormonal Blueprint for Optimal Birth and Bonding - Sarah Buckley
(Amber Magnolia Hill)
5. Natural Birth - Sarah Buckley
(Aaron Olson)
6. (PART 1) Dr Sarah Buckley Interview -- How To Have An Ecstatic Birth In A Hospital
(Natural Childbirth World)

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