Hypnobirthing can help women prepare for labour in a positive way, what’s it really like to be a hypnobirthing instructor?
What’s your business called?
The Wise Hippo Saffron Walden
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Teaching birth preparation classes to pregnant couples and supporting them throughout their pregnancy, birth and beyond.
When did you Become a HypnobiRthing instructor and what inspired you?
I trained to become a Wise Hippo instructor in February this year. I was inspired after using the Wise Hippo Birthing programme for the birth of my own baby girl, Sia. Prior to doing the course I was so terrified of giving birth that I was booked in for an elective c section! After doing the course I went from wanting an elective c section to wanting and having a home birth! I felt incredibly empowered and confident and I felt strongly that The Wise Hippo was something all pregnant couples should know about!
I am also a psychotherapist and having worked with women suffering from birth trauma, I know how impacting the birth experience can be on a new Mum. Sadly, this is often overlooked and a mum who has been through a traumatic experience is frequently told ‘having a healthy baby is all that matters’ in other words – the Mum doesn’t matter! A traumatic birth experience can have a huge impact on how a new Mum feels about herself, her baby and her partner. I feel passionate about helping women firstly to have a positive birth experience but also supporting them afterwards as well.
How did you fund your start up?
It was a big decision as I decided not to return to my full time job in London after maternity leave and focus on setting up my psychotherapy and Wise Hippo businesses so I got a local temp part time job to bring in some money to fund everything. It was a very challenging time trying to juggle everything but after 6 months I was able to leave my temporary job and focus solely on building up my businesses.
How do you manage working around your children?
It’s a constant juggling act and at first it felt overwhelming trying to fit everything in around being a Mum but now we have settled into a routine. I have my set working days when my little girl is at nursery and then switch off when she’s at home with me. I couldn’t do it all without the help of my wonderful hubby, Anthony. He is an amazing Daddy to our little girl and super supportive. Self-care is really important as well – something I often have to remind myself of! ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ is one of my favourite sayings!
Can you describe a typical day as a hypnobirthing instructor?
I don’t really have a typical day as no two days are the same! But at the moment my working days are jam packed! To describe one day last week, I dropped Sia to nursery, responded to client emails, taught a Wise Hippo class, did an interview with the local newspaper, did a food shop and then home to do some housework before picking Sia up from nursery! Then it was playtime, dinner and bedtime for Sia, dinner with Ant followed by us collapsing on the sofa to catch up on Homeland!
What have you found hardest?
My brain tends to go into creative overdrive so being able to prioritise is always a challenge as I start thinking of a million ideas and then want to do them all at once! Learning to really focus on one thing at a time and stick at that has been challenging but worthwhile.
What’s the best thing about being self employed?
After 6 years of working full time whilst training part time to become a psychotherapist, I am finally doing two jobs that I feel truly passionate about which is the best feeling! I love that everything I do in my work is ultimately about helping and empowering others.
What are your plans for the future?
I have big plans for next year! As well as continuing to build my businesses I will be training to become a Doula and I will also be training to work with women suffering from pregnancy loss. I am also setting up PANDAS support groups for women suffering post-natal depression and anxiety which will begin in January. I have lots of exciting projects in the pipeline and can’t wait to see them all come together!
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?
Believe in yourself and just go for it! The best advice I received when I first started out was: ‘no one really knows what they are doing when they first start a business – we are all just winging it’ – it was reassuring and gave me confidence to go for it and learn along the way! Mistakes are just learning curves – don’t be scared to make them!
Get all the support you can especially in the early days. Find yourself a mentor who is willing to coach you or watch some tutorials online. There are lots of brilliant free business coaching videos on You Tube – Joanna Martin is amazing and this webinar is inspirational and well worth a watch: http://oneofmany.co.uk/befruitful-webinar/
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