This week to continue my series #MumsWhoWorkIt I have interviewed Louisa from Born 2 Birth. Louisa teaches hypnobirthing in Ealing. She is a busy Mum of two and has managed to run her business alongside her day job. Louisa has a passion for helping women to have the best birth they can and it is a pleasure to welcome her on to the blog.
What was your inspiration for Born 2 Birth?
I stumbled across hypnobirthing when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2014. I had no idea what I’d signed myself and my husband up to, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. After learning how to trust my body, and armed with the tools I needed to remain calm and confident during my labour, I went on to have a positive birth which quite honestly changed my life.
People often struggle to understand how you can say that you enjoyed childbirth and I found myself constantly talking about hypnobirthing to anyone who would listen. About halfway through my second pregnancy I just woke up one morning and realised that I wanted to support more women to have positive birth experiences so trained to become an instructor. My son’s birth was so amazing, it blew me away and I knew then that I had to really go for it.
Describe a typical day for you?
With two young kids and a 9-5 job, most days involve juggling the logistics of working family life. My evening’s are either spent teaching or getting to grips with social media while half watching something mindless on the TV. At the weekends we try to spend time with friends and family and do our best to keep the kids entertained. (Wear them out in the hope of a lie in!)
What do you think has been the biggest challenge for you starting your own business?
Time. There is never enough time to complete the to do list and sometimes that can be frustrating. I have lots of ideas I want to pursue but after a day at the office, once the kids are in bed, even sending a simple email can seem like a massive task. I try to remind myself that any progress is good and it’s ok to take small steps forward.
How do you think Motherhood has changed you?
Ok so if we take the obvious city breaks, regular nights out and lazy Sunday’s reading the papers out of the equation, I’d have to say sleep. I now have the ability to fall asleep almost on demand, in seconds. Not only that, I can wake up at the slightest possible sound, go and investigate and instantly fall back asleep again. My children are getting to the age now where I’m not up and down all night but I’m hoping that this is a skill I can maintain as it is really quite useful!
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given about Motherhood that you would like to share?
Try and maintain some perspective. I remember when my daughter was first born I literally spent hours overthinking everything. Long sleeve vest or short sleeve vest? Wake up to feed or leave to sleep? Transfer into the cot or leave in the pram? You’d have thought they were life or death decisions when in reality, it was simply the difference between an extra few inches of skin being covered! The key is to do what makes your life easier.
Where are your favourite places to go with or without kids in Ealing/West London?
With the kids, it would have to be some of Ealing’s parks and green spaces. We’re fans of Northala fields because the playground is awesome and also the Gruffalo Trail at Horsenden Hill is a family favourite. We’re also members at Hanwell Zoo and love going to see the Flamingo’s and getting lost in the maze.
If I get a night off without the kids you’ll find me eating sushi around Ealing Common. We’re spoilt for choice with all the restaurants in Ealing but the authentic Japanese one’s there are my favourite.
What are your handbag essential?
Baby wipes, kids snacks, more kids snacks and a reusable bag in case I buy anything.
How do you see your business developing over the next couple of years?
My main focus up to now has been to teach the Wise Hippo Birthing Programme, a full antenatal course looking at all aspects of pregnancy and birth. My mission is to support as many mums and dads to be as possible and I also have courses tailored for mums preparing for a C-section, or an induction or for babies who are breech. I want to promote these sessions more so people realise that hypnobirthing isn’t just about having a natural water birth, it’s about preparing for a positive experience, no matter what path your birth takes.
On a professional level, I plan to train in birth trauma coaching so that I can also support parents who have been negatively impacted by childbirth and help them to overcome their fears and anxieties.
What advice would you give to other Mums who are considering setting up their own business?
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and accept that everything takes four times as long when you literally have one child hanging off your leg and the other saying the word ‘mummy’ on average 20 times per minute!
What is the one thing you wish you had already known when setting up your business?
So far it’s been a steep learning curve and when there is only you, you have to become an expert in everything which takes time. Aside from the boring stuff like accounting (which is not my forte!) My biggest challenge is trying to get people to understand that hypnobirthing isn’t for hippies, it’s simply about taking the time understand how your mind and body works so that you can prepare for your babies birth in a calm and positive way.
Tell us more information about your courses?
Using hypnobirthing techniques you will learn how to let go of any birth-related fears you may have and become experts in deep relaxation, allowing you to remain calm, relaxed and in control. You will gain the confidence you need to make fully informed decisions throughout your pregnancy and birth, ensuring that you will always look back on your birth as a positive experience.
And let’s not forget your birthing partner who plays a vital role in any positive birth. They will learn everything they need to know to effectively support the mum to be throughout her labour, from setting up the perfect environment to soothing massage techniques.
The practical side of the course results in you developing a comprehensive birth plan, personal to you, to ensure everyone on your birthing team is on the same page and knows exactly how you picture your perfect birth.
It’s important to realise that the perfect birth does not have to be a 100% natural experience, it just has to be the right birth for you on the day. It’s ok to opt for the drugs if that’s what you decide is best for you, although feedback indicates that women who have completed the course are less likely to need pain relief during labour. Achieving the perfect birth simply means looking back on your experience in a positive way, no matter what path your birthing takes.
The Wise Hippo Birthing programme is 10 hours in total, usually split into 4 x 2.5-hour sessions.
You can attend the course at any point in your pregnancy, however, most people wait until after their 20-week scan. Don’t panic if you think you’ve left it too late, I know mum’s who have attended the course at 38 weeks and still gone on to have a calm and relaxed birth.
Small group sessions (maximum of six couples) enable you to learn alongside other local prospective parents which will give you a ready-made support network during the remainder of pregnancy and once your baby arrives.
Courses generally run on a Monday evening from 7pm in a venue in Ealing.
Group courses cost £325 per couple which includes a workbook for you to keep, access to all the Wise Hippo birthing MP3’s and ongoing support from myself should you need it in the run-up to your birth.
A 25% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking with the balance due a week before the course commences.
For those that prefer, I also offer daytime, private courses in the comfort of your own home and will cover the wider West London Area. If you are located outside of London why not consider a private online course via Skype?
My website Born 2 Birth has full details of all the courses I teach and you can also contact me on Facebook and Instagram @born2birth where I frequently post stuff that I think pregnant women will find useful and informative.
If you enjoyed this blog post you might be interested to read another interview from my series #MumsWhoWorkIt click here