FOR many women, the thought of giving birth can be&nbsp;frightening.&nbsp; Everyone's heard a horror story or two, perhaps a loved one enduring a long, hard labour or a last-minute complication requiring intervention. It’s these types of stories which can contribute to a picture of childbirth being a negative experience when often the opposite is true, a group of Bendigo women say. Concerned&nbsp;such fears are preventing women from having the birth experiences they want to have, the women recently formed Bendigo Positive Birthing with the aim of reaching out and helping pregnant women feel more emotionally supported. The group, which consists of six women hailing from Bendigo and surrounding areas, has plans to host a series of three inaugural events coming up on October 14, 21 and 28.&nbsp; The six women themselves -&nbsp;a&nbsp;doula, a midwife in private practice, a nurse,&nbsp;naturopathy student,&nbsp;birth photographer and&nbsp;a hypno-birthing practitioner -&nbsp;bring a diverse set of skills&nbsp;to the group.&nbsp; Each of the women bring their own experiences to the group, too,&nbsp;but perhaps none more publicly than Corinne&nbsp;Cinatl, whose&nbsp;roadside birth to daughter Matilda on the way to Castlemaine hospital,&nbsp;captured by her birth photographer&nbsp;Breanna Gravener, inspired&nbsp;a national and international audience in May. The&nbsp;experience was a positive one and one the pair&nbsp;had been happy to share because it highlighted something they were advocates for. "I’m very passionate for women to have great birth experiences and normalising birth, getting rid of fear," Ms Gravener said. "We're all passionate about the same thing, we just bring a different element to it." Elizabeth&nbsp;Murphy, a private midwife who assists&nbsp;home births, said her experience&nbsp;showed fear had physical implications for women in labour. "I recognise most people don't want a home birth...&nbsp;but I want people to recognise birth can be a positive experience and I’d like to help women to approach their births with courage and joy rather than fear," she said. "When women are fearful, it really does make a difference to their hormonal physiology. "When women are more relaxed... they produce more oxytocin which is the hormone which makes estrogen and the hormones that make the birth procedure easy. "Fear produces more adrenalin and slows the birthing process down and so there's increased intervention." She said a "cultural emphasis"&nbsp;on childbirth being something to dread, and the&nbsp;highly medicalised environments in which they happened,&nbsp;didn't help. "The emphasis is always on safety, and of course we want that, but there's also a degree of emotion ignored in medical establishments,"&nbsp;she said. "Post-traumatic stress disorder is not uncommon (in women who have given birth) because women are so frightened by what happened. "As a group of women, we want to support women, we want them to know&nbsp; our bodies are strong and powerful and built to birth babies. "We want women to arrive at the hospital door saying, great, I can do this, I'm in labour, fantastic." Ren Doyle, a naturopathy student, said the group wanted to help women become more aware of the choices available to them in the lead up to childbirth. "It's about giving women choice, saying these things are going to happen to me, I can do this or this or this," she said. "So wherever they arrive to do their birth they can arrive confident that they know what their choices are and they can express those choices to hospital staff." Ms Doyle said she would like to see women in Bendigo&nbsp;have more&nbsp;choices available to them&nbsp;and the group hoped to serve as an informal referral service. "My first birth was in Melbourne, I found it a whole lot easier to have a natural birth," she said. "I found private birth education classes, doulas, a support person. It's all&nbsp;there. "Before I had my second, I moved to Bendigo. I knew I wanted a home&nbsp;birth, I didn't know if that was possible in Bendigo. "I got on the internet, nothing.&nbsp;No natural birth, no doulas. I struggled.&nbsp; "I contacted my doula from Melbourne and she got me a link and I found a private midwife, I was really lucky I was able to have a home birth. "But there is a lack of that support network in this community." Jasmine Steel, a nurse, said the group also hoped to offer support&nbsp;to women who might not have had great birthing experiences previously. "(It’s) for those who have had negative birthing experiences in the past, to give them support and for them to find like-minded people,"&nbsp;she said. She said she&nbsp;had a positive birth with her second child after a less-than-ideal birth with her first.&nbsp; "I&nbsp;had an incredibly good experience (with my second),"she said. "I wanted to have home birth but ended up in a private hospital, the opposite end of the scale to where you think a natural birth would happen, but I had a perfect, perfect birth in a perfect setting (at the hospital)," she said. "My husband and I planned it for months." Kim Berry, a doula from Maldon, said the group was&nbsp;not about promoting one type of birth, or one type of place for the birth,&nbsp;over another. "It's about promoting positive birthing and it doesn't mean you have to have a home birth or a natural birth, we just want you to have a positive birth experience,"&nbsp;she said. The women agreed while the group&nbsp;did&nbsp;hope to help counter negative impressions about childbirth, it was not about drawing out bad&nbsp;experiences women might have had at various&nbsp;hospitals. "You could have a negative experience and it could be irrelevant to the staff in the hospital,"&nbsp;Ms Gravener said. "You might be afraid and it might be something that your mother's said to you, or your partner's lack of support. "We’re about the women knowing about what they need and what they need to do to prepare."