The next class is The June Group Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Course – Leeds starting 30/06/2024 Find out more

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be supporting families through hypnobirthing, mindfulness  and family support… I wouldn’t have believed you.

 

My story

It often shocks people to hear about my journey from feeling incredibly anxious about birth and pregnancy to having two completely life changing experiences using hypnobirthing. But it really is true – hypnobirthing has completely transformed my life. Twice. 

I’m Laura and I’m a thirty odd year old mama of 2. I’ve got a little girl Charlotte, 4 and William, 1 and we live in Leeds with their Daddy Craig and dog, Betty.

I’m a true Yorkshire lass with a broad Yorkshire accent, a love of getting outdoors, cooking and eating good food and spending time curled up watching the newest film at the cinema.

The Yorkshire Hypnobirthing School

I set up my first business The Yorkshire Hypnobirthing School back in 2019 after Charlotte’s birth and I went on to work with hundreds of families to prepare for a positive birth experience, in my 2nd pregnancy with William in 2021 I started to feel a real passion to support families not only with birth preparation but postnatally too. I was keen to expand my business and later in 2022 I decided it was time and The Happy Little Nest was born.  

One of my main drives is perinatal mental health. Mental health as a subject has always been a passion ever since my teenage years where experiences within my family life really helped me to see what a crucial and fundamental part of life taking time to understand and support our own mental health has. 

Having experienced pregnancy anxiety in both of my pregnancies, and using hypnobirthing, knowledge and mindfulness as a way to overcome them, my passion to support others has grown more and more. 

When I fell pregnant with my daughter Charlotte, I was someone who was terrified of having a baby. Having suffered with medical anxiety for many years – I knew it was an area I would need to work on. I couldn’t go for a blood test without a chaperone, I needed to check in with each new dentist that they were aware of how difficult being sat in the chair was for me… many visits resulted in me holding the nurses hand. 

It wasn’t until I heard a really negative birth story did I really know that I needed help, I didn’t want my fears to have an impact on my baby, I didn’t want them to have an impact on my birth and I felt incredibly anxious that I didn’t want them to impact my relationships too. I wanted a positive outlook about birth – I wanted to be proud of me. 

I was sceptical but the difference I started to feel within myself through using hypnobirthing and gaining more knowledge about birth empowered me – my confidence grew so much to the point that when I did go into premature labour just before 36 weeks, I trusted the process. 

Despite a hospital transfer via ambulance, I was able to use hypnobirthing techniques using a little gas and air and no intervention. For me this was a moment of true elation as I was able to prove to myself that I could control my mind and feel safe throughout the birth. I felt proud of my positive birth. I I had made the decisions every step of the way. 

Proudest moment

As a result of this positive experience, not only was giving birth and meeting my daughter the proudest moment of my life. I was proud of myself in a way that I cannot describe, I had changed from a woman who lived in fear, to a mother who felt like she could do anything. This is exactly how every parent should feel after the birth of their baby and that’s what I’m all about – giving you the tools to have the experience you deserve.

I went on to teach hundreds of families to prepare for birth and my passion for understanding other areas of birth work grew and I made the decision to train to become a doula in 2020.

After working with several families, I very quickly began to fall in love with preparing families for the 4th trimester (or the days, weeks and months after our babies are born). 

Having spent so much of my energy into preparing for Charlotte’s birth, I hadn’t really stopped to consider how important rest, nutrition, communication, being held and nurtured was and I very quickly fell in love with being able to support families in whatever way they needed whilst exploring the whirlwind which is the early days of parenthood! 

I began to explore this further when I found out that I was pregnant with my second child in early 2021, pregnancy anxiety in my first trimester was difficult and I began to further explore mindfulness and hypnobirthing techniques. 

ICP and complications

Towards the end of my pregnancy, my pregnancy very quickly shifted to a high risk pregnancy as a result of developing ICP. Whilst this was an emotional time where I needed to explore options other than my dream home birth for my baby – I felt incredibly in control based on principles I’d learnt through hypnobirthing and through the support of my midwives and doula. 

I told myself the affirmation ‘I take control of what I can and I let go of what I can’t’ over and over. I did my research and I stuck to my guns on my givens at every appointment.

When my waters broke prematurely just after 35 weeks – I tuned into my instincts and demanded a caesarean birth. In my heart, I felt that there was a complication that I wasn’t aware of – I listened to myself and my baby, I felt confident and in control and knew it was the right thing to do. 

William’s caesarean birth was one of the most empowering and proudest moments of my life. Within 48 hours of his birth, I was diagnosed with chronic gallstones and pancreatitis – many people look back at me and go… wow Laura.. That’s a lot. 

It was, but I can’t tell you how empowered I feel about being able to tune into my body, keep my baby safe and do what I felt was right for me to stay in control of my autonomy and birth experience.

In the weeks that followed, I went on to have many tests and procedures and needed my gallbladder to be removed 5 weeks postpartum – my birth team continued to hold me and support me whilst I spent time getting to know my new baby. I was able to continue our breastfeeding journey with their support and it really helped me to heal both in my body and soul. 

Hypnobirthing, mindfulness and feeling supported helped me to stay positive and remain focused on my recovery – I sometimes find it hard to share this story, not because I find it hard to talk about, more because I want people to view all types of birth in a positive way. I had an incredible caesarean birth – because it was right for me, it was right for William – I’m proud of my story. 

One year on and I am now supporting families through a variety of planning and mindfulness workshops, holding space for mothers and parents to be through my pregnancy relaxations and circles. I am also completing my Mindful Breastfeeding supporter training which allows me to prepare parents who choose to breastfeed or chestfeed their babies as well as offering support once your baby arrives too. 

Being able to sit and listen, support or just be there is what I’m all about – whatever type of birth you want or have, whatever your family background or feeding choices – I’ve got your back every step of the way. 

You can probably tell from all of this how passionate I am about parenthood and mental health.. It’s my favourite topic! 

But if I’m not talking about breathing techniques and babies, you’ll probably find me heading out for a meal with my family or finding the cosiest sofa at the cinema. I love to cook, walk, take photos of trees, architecture.. I love to document my life. I love a deep conversation, an amaretto and coke and never turn down Mexican food – I often say I’m a bit of a chameleon and will give almost anything a try..  but my absolute favourite thing to do is being a mama to my two babies and having a bit of a sing song and dance. The simple things are always the best.  

Being able to sit and listen, support or just be there is what I’m all about – whatever type of birth you want or have, whatever your family background or feeding choices – I’ve got your back every step of the way.

 

Want to find out how I can help you too?

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