About Us

CAPERS Bookstore has provided a worldwide mail order service since 1988 (online since 2001). We specialise in books and other resources on women’s health, pregnancy, childbirth, fertility, midwifery, breastfeeding, parenting, childbirth education, grief and loss and also have a range of carefully selected children’s books and toys. We provide educational seminars and conferences for health professionals, primarily midwives, lactation consultants and childb
irth educators. See Our History (below) for more on CAPERS’ activities in the last 27 years, and details of 40 years’ involvement in this field by Jan Cornfoot.

CAPERS Bookstore provides quality resources to assist women and families in making informed choices in their pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting. We also provide a selection of textbooks and educational events for midwives, lactation consultants, childbirth educators and other health professionals; and teaching resources for childbirth and parenting education. CAPERS also sells gifts, novels and biographies of interest to midwives and other health professionals. Finally, our CAPERS for Children section includes special gifts and books for children, aCAPERS Bookstore nd particularly books for children on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and grief and loss.

We are selective in the items that we sell and take pride in our knowledge of our products. We are always happy to help with further information or suggestions – just phone the office Monday to Friday (07 5499 9900) or email from the Contact Us page at anytime.

Sarah Cornfoot, CAPERS Bookstore



CAPERS Bookstore – Our History

CAPERS Bookstore is managed by Sarah Cornfoot. Her mother, Jan, started the business in 1988 and ownership transferred in recent years to Sarah, although Jan organizes our events.

Sarah was actively involved in CAPERS from an early age, and whilst attending Melbourne University, worked in other bookstores. Sarah has a Masters in Gender and Development from Melbourne University (the Masters focused on maternal health in developing countries) and she then worked as a freelance researcher.

Jan originally trained as an accountant, but during her first pregnancy (1974-5) she became involved with local, national and international consumer advocacy and support groups. From 1979-1988, Jan was International Director for the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), then based in Minneapolis USA. In 1987, seeing the benefits of networking, sharing resources and speaker tours, Jan started CAPERS (an acronym for Childbirth And Parenting Education Resources & Services).

In 1992, CAPERS started publishing the journal Birth Issues which was, for many years, the only peer-reviewed journal in Australia and New Zealand with this childbirth and breastfeeding focus. Birth Issues was indexed by CINAHL and the Australasian Medical Index (AMI), and articles are available through www.informit.com.au  Publication of the journal ceased in December 2006 as Jan was seriously ill at that time.

Since 1976, Jan has organised many conferences and workshops (for ICEA and other consumer groups and since 1988, for CAPERS). Invited speakers for CAPERS events in Australia and New Zealand have included: Janet Balaskas, Sheila Kitzinger, Thomas W Hale, Lawrence Gartner, James McKenna, Teri Shilling, Gabrielle Palmer, Rukhsana Haider, Marshall Klaus, Jean Sutton, Pauline Scott, Murray Enkin, Karen Guilliland, Charles Mahan, Steve Biddulph, William Sears, Penny Simkin, Diony Young, Ruth Lubic, Chloe Fisher, Nils Bergman, Jack Newman, Fiona Giles, Sandra Lang, Howard Chilton, Denis Walsh, Peter Hartmann, Donna Geddes, Angela Smith, Ruth Worgan, Mary Lantry, Alison Barrett, Carol Bartle, Jan Roberts, Lisa Amir, Sara Wickham, Shea Caplice, Hannah Dahlen, Sheryl Sidery, Carolyn Hastie, Christina Smillie, Maggie Banks, Kathleen Murphy, Sarah George, Simone Keddy, Sandra Venables, Paula Dillon, Mike Woolridge, Cathy Watson Genna, Rhea Dempsey, Jessie Johnson Cash and Rachel Reed.

Jan assisted with the organizing of Conferences for ILCA (International Lactation Consultant Association) in Australia in 2003 and 2013. In the USA, Jan worked with Diony Young, former long-time editor of the BIRTH Journal (a Blackwell Wiley publication), on several of their annual Conferences.

Our largest event is The Passage to Motherhood Conference, which we have presented regularly over the last 20 years. These conferences are always a wonderful opportunity for midwives to come together and have always featured both invited keynote speakers and presentations by local midwives and researchers. 

The Passage to Motherhood 2013 Conference was held on the Gold Coast, and speakers included Michel Odent, Mike Woolridge, Cathy Watson Genna, Thomas Hale and Alison Barrett. For the first time, we also had The Crafting Womb setting up a knitting circle and participants knitted squares for blankets for the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopa hospital. In May 2015, 250 midwives attended The Passage to Motherhood Conference in Brisbane, with keynote speakers Michel Odent, Sara Wickham and Hannah Dahlen. We look forward to another Passage to Motherhood Conference in May 2017 with invited speakers Sara Wickham, Christina Smillie, Hannah Dahlen and Alison Barrett.

Previous seminars and workshops have included: Breastfeeding Update and Ethics in Lactation Practice with Carol Bartle; Grief and Loss: The Crying Time with Shea Caplice and Hannah Dahlen, and the Midwifery Update workshops, Using our Head, Heart and Hands, with Shea Caplice and Sheryl Sidery. For 15 years we presented Breastfeeding seminars with Mary Lantry, Angela Smith and Ruth Worgan.

In 2012, we introduced a new Midwifery Workshop, Managing Birth Variations and Complications facilitated by Rachel Reed, and these have proved popular around Australia. We also started new Grief and Loss workshops, with Paula Dillon.

In 2016, CAPERS offered new one-day midwifery workshops in Brisbane (plus 2 in Melbourne). These featured some of our previous regular presenters (Sarah George, Rachel Reed, Jessie Johnson-Cash, Paula Dillon, Shea Caplice) and Rhea Dempsey. In 2017, in association with The Passage to Motherhood Conference, we will have 2 days with 4 Pre-Conference Workshops: Labour Progress (Sara Wickham), Spinning Babies (Ginny Phang), Breastfeeding (Christina Smillie) and Childbirth Education (Rhea Dempsey). Christina Smillie will also present workshops in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, and in August, Cathy Watson Genna will present seminars in 4 cities.

In recent years we expanded our CAPERS for Children section to include a selection of quality gifts and toys, and selected books particularly books on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, siblings and family, and grief and loss. Our interest in children’s books and quality toys has been enhanced by the arrival of Jan’s grandchildren, Emily, Georgia, Zoe, Poppy, Noah and more recently Sarah’s son, Xavier, and in September 2016, Riley. Their photographs sometimes appear in CAPERS catalogues. It was the pregnancy and birth of Jan’s eldest son, Scott (father to Emily, Georgia and Zoe), that led Jan down this path in 1975.

In 2013, CAPERS moved from Melbourne back to Brisbane and then Sarah moved to Maleny in July 2014, where Jan also lives.

Jan & Sarah Cornfoot, CAPERS Bookstore