“Bodhi” is the name of my son and it means enlightenment or to be enlightened. As well as a nod of love to him and how much he changed my life for the better when he was born four years ago (where has that gone!), it just seemed so apt a name for my business as I believe all mamas can be Bodhi Mamas by choosing Hypnobirthing. AND then add a dose of singing together for better mental health and well-being and jobs a good'un! Check out my Singing Mamas activity
During my pregnancy with Bodhi, I struggled with feelings of fear and anxiety. I knew how I would like to give birth but I lacked the confidence and knowledge to express myself. I wanted a calm and relaxed birth with as little intervention as possible but feared a loss of control of my body.
But then I found out about Hypnobirthing and everything changed - By doing a face to face course and then through regular practice with the support of my husband (your birth partner has a vital role by the way), I was able to replace those uneasy feelings with calmness and positivity. I also developed a new found respect for my body as I learned more about the amazing job it was doing and felt empowered to ask for what I wanted from my birth experience.
By the time River came along late 2021, I had supported many couples through their pregnancy and birth - I had positive birth stories coming out my ears which involved Hypnobirthing and I was actually looking forward to giving birth this time! So much so that decided I wanted it to be at home, the place where I felt most happiest and safe in the world.
My two gorgeous 'Hypno-babies'
Welcome River Hope - Fresh out the oven, only a few hours old on the couch at home
However, my challenge this time around was the unwavering pressure that I felt from a particular caregiver to give birth in a way that I did not want to, and as it turned out, did not need to.
The short story is... I acknowledged that their reason for concern was a valid one, I had suffered a severe tear when giving birth to Bodhi which required a repair operation soon after. However, I made a swift and full recovery and had no issues in the years since. I understood that the likelihood of it happening again was the same as a first time Mum giving birth but that the consequences for my body may be more severe. I did thorough research and spoke to caregivers at length, weighing up the risk of tearing again versus an elected C-Section which was my caregiver's preference, a major operation also carrying risk.
I declined the C-Section and proceeded with my plans for a home birth, taking full responsibility for my decision. It was Hypnobirthing that gave me the necessary skills to find the evidence to support my decision; the ability to express myself, and to stay calm in stressful situations. It also enabled me to achieve my dream of giving birth at home (albeit in the bathroom with not a twinkly light in sight...lol!) but it was amazing none the less and absolutely the right decision for me and my family.
But listen up Mama, Hypnobirthing doesn't guarantee that all things will go to plan or that you will have the perfect birth, actually nothing can. I tore with Bodhi and literally gave birth on the loo with River it was so fast but I had hypnobirthing to see me through! If something happens that you didn't expect or didn't want to happen, you can immediately draw on practiced techniques, decision making tools and an incredible depth of knowledge about birth to help you remain calm. You and/or your birth partner will have the confidence to respond positively and have a greater chance of things going how you would prefer in challenging situations.
A warmly received 'thank you' card and scarf as a gift
How are you one already?
When I'm not being Bodhi Mama and a Singing Mama, you'll probably find me and my little family doing something outdoors related like tramping through the woods, going to the beach, and in all weathers! I love the stress release that gardening gives me...apart from when Bodhi digs my flowers up...! And I would love to cook all day long for people, I've always got my nose in a cookery book. Nothing fancy mind, I'm a cook not a chef. Oh, and I'm addicted to Air BnB - It's like the TV show 'Through the Keyhole' but you actually get to stay there!
Mini Bio, Skills & Qualifications:
I have worked in person-centred, and community-based services my whole career - I'm a passionate advocate, a people person, and enjoy raising people up as opposed to doing it for them.
I have a degree from University of Newcastle in Social Sciences, a PGCE in Primary Education from Northumbria University and an NVQ Level 4 in Information, Advice & Guidance. In the last few years, I qualified as a KG Hypnobirthing Teacher, accredited by the Royal College of Midwives, and trained as a Singing Mamas Leader.
I keep my knowledge and skills about birth, pregnancy and new parenthood up to date via regular CPD courses with people like Dr Sara Wickam (she's a rock star in the birth world!) - Here I am with my 'Gathering in the Knowledge' certificate 2021 (left). I also really value Evidence Based Birth and my local Maternity Voice Partnership.