Yahna Fookes | Mother & Founder of Radiant Birth

Yahna stands in a kitchen wearing a white dress with flowing sleeves, holding her hands out as her toddler clambers across the marble bench. There are heaps of pots and pangs hanging above and a timber pantry in the background.


Yahna Jeong Soon Fookes 

Culturally, my background is

South Korean

I live in

Naarm on the lands of the Wurunderjeri people

I am a mother to

Sunday Amelia 

I aspire to

Live a life of integrity. Make beautiful and meaningful work, build community, support new mothers, connect with enriching people, eat all the things and bring my daughter up in a safe and colourful environment. I aspire to be always present and sit in the uncomfortable, knowing it will pass. I aspire to live in a world where racial prejudice is a thing of the past, where everyone is celebrated for their diversity. I aspire to travel the world with my family and return to the motherland as a family of three. I aspire to live a life full of passion even if I’m poor in my pockets.

On the weekend you'll find me

When it’s hot, we will find us at Harold Holt Pool water, snacking on sushi, drinking coconut juice and licking lemon Caplios. Weekends are for family time and ensuring that Sunday gets to play with her friends, so we are frequently at play parks, gardens or her friend's homes. My ideal weekend involves a day nap cosied up next to her little body, a delicious meal for dinner and, of course, a couple of glasses of my fave wine. It also involves my child in bed before 8.30 (rare but a pipe dream), so Michael and I can watch a film.

"drinking coconut juice and licking lemon Caplios"

Yahna Fookes - Radiant Birth

For fun I like to

Attend a yoga class, get a massage or facial, see friends without our kids, listen to Onbeing (podcast), conquer a new recipe, watch a film in one instalment, read, manifest my dream wardrobe by scrolling online (lol), Binge White Lotus, Take a long bath, listen to re-runs of Slime on NTS, sunbathe, move my body for enjoyment.

I knew I was pregnant when

The party was over... 

My favourite part of pregnancy was

Listening to myself, genuinely tuning in. Unwiring old ways of thinking and self-study

The worst was

When I broke my ankle at five months pregnant and had to wear a child's cast on my leg and use crutches. No joke. In hindsight, this experience led me to the favourite part of my pregnancy; learning the value of being slow.

To prepare for birth, I

Read Ina May Gaskins's Guide to Child Birth, Spiritual Midwifery, Birth with Confidence by Rhea Dempsy and Golden Month by Jenny Allison. I listened to ABS religiously and before breaking my ankle, I was on my mat religiously. I saw my traditional Chinese doctor and obsessed over dreaming about what it would be like to be her mother. On the other side, I could have done more work and emotional unpacking to show up in my birth space with less s*it. If ever have the pleasure of doing this rite of passage again, I’d do things much differently. Birth is much more than writing a birth map and knowing your rights for body autonomy. It is deeply rooted in knowing. I have found that therapy and journalling are great tools to help get you there.

Looking back, I feel my birth was

Like going to the pits of hell, dying and then being reborn, my birth was the turning point to becoming my true self, and I would do it a million times to have her. I believe we are given the birth we need rather than what we want to prepare us best for motherhood. I will always think fondly of my birth. It was just so goddamn powerful and my body is seriously so capable.

3 words to describe my journey from maiden to mother are

Abiterated. Intense. Perfect. 

The biggest challenge has been

It depends on the season; all parenting is challenging, right? Atm Sunday is three and her vocabulary is exploding. She requires lots of attention, hand-holding and explanation and in the same breath, she needs space, independence and autonomy. It’s a constant push and pull. She also talks nonstop lol (from when she opens her eyes to bedtime), so I feel like she takes up much of our household energy. It’s tough to have a conversation or get a word in with my husband these days.

"I feel challenged by the notion of having multiple kids"

Yahna Fookes - Radiant Birth

On a more societal level, I feel challenged by the notion of having multiple kids. It seems in Australia it’s not very common to have a three-year-old and not have another one on the way or be holding another baby. I was 32 with my daughter, so not old but not young enough not to consider my biological clock. The thing is I know that the baby thing lasts for about four months and the parenting gig is forever. When I look down the lens of raising a human I can feel overwhelmed. I question my ability to sit in the chaos and give my best to my kids, my partner and my community. Perhaps I think too deeply or see things from every angle but I have to remind myself that only I can live in the four corners of my walls. I feel far from being ready or even in the headspace. I enjoy this family dynamic of three so much. I have never been one to go with the crowd ever, but that’s not to say being in this space surrounded by births and babies doesn’t give me urges. It’s complicated.

If I could turn back time I would have

Invested in the continuity of care and got a private midwife for my birth.

The thing I love most about motherhood is

Her. I still can’t believe I get to say I have a daughter, what a truly beautiful word. I love, lament and obsess over every part of her. I love her so much, words simply don’t give it justice.

I like to fill up my cup by

Grounding at home and making sure I eat breakfast.

My one piece of wisdom to share would be

Go into your birth space light. Unpack all your stuff. You have lots of expel so the less you have to the easier it will be to fully let go.

My favourite WOOM product is

To me, being a woman means

I am the beginning of an entire ecosystem. 

Photo of Yahna Fookes in early postpartum sitting on her bed breastfeeding her newborn, Sunday. She is beaming with a smile and wearing a tan button up short sleeved shirt.


Founded by Yahna and in it's third year, Radiant Birth is a holistic approach to birth education in Melbourne. Simply put, this course is an immersion for mothers in waiting that combines yoga‭, nutrition, birth education and traditional Chinese medicine.‬

Radiant Birth Educator stands in front of whiteboard frame with baby and pelvis anatomy models teaching a class sat on yoga mats
Radiant Birth Course​​
Radiant Birth educator demonstrates how to use rebozo or birth sling to a class sitting on the floor using bolsters and mats

It is created by professionally-certified health workers that are qualified to support pregnant and birthing people as they journey from maiden to mother. Over three full days, you will learn embodied movement and breath practices to help you during labour, dive deep into the energetics and physicality of what happens during childbirth, learn the nutritional support to help you during this time as well as how to set yourself up for postpartum and life with a newborn.  Each lecture and lesson is designed to provide you with the tools, knowledge and practical skills for the safest, most sacred rite of passage for you and your baby.

With limited capacity, be sure to reserve your spot today.

Yahna wears blue jeans and is topless holding her toddler daughter to her chest in a lush green garden. The view is from behind and Sunday wears a white frilly top.
Black and white photo of Yahna from side/behind holding her daughter Sunday. Yahna is topless and her daughter wears a white frilly dress looking over her shoulder. Yahna is wearing metal hoops and wears her hair in a loose bun.

mother mother mother mother

mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother mother