In 2019, after a battle with the chronic illness, Endometriosis, I discovered I was pregnant with my daughter, Aura. After dealing with potential infertility, I was over the moon to have finally gotten pregnant but, and here is the really honest bit, I was full of fear! I worried about the drastic change to my life, the pressure of parenthood and, most of all, I was petrified about giving birth.
And so, I decided to take action, I got my hands on any book I could, I read them page by page, I watched everything I could, read blogs, listened to podcasts, quizzed my midwife regularly, interrogated my mum friends, experienced antenatal classes and attended a Hypnobirthing course. I felt like I had taken on a part-time degree with all the learning I was doing but, it was working! I was able to relax into the prospect of becoming a parent and even became excited for my birth.
I honed in on the practice of Hypnobirthing, but that alone did not get me the birth that did not go to plan, I also utilised the skills and knowledge I had learned from my copious study. And yes, you read that correctly, my birth did not go to plan, yet it was still magical, beautiful and the most empowering experience of my life. I reflected on my birth experience greatly; I had combined my Hypnobirthing practice, education on physiology and the mind-body connection to ensure I had an informed and calm birth. I decided I wanted to teach other people to do exactly that, and set about to create HelloParent Antenatal.
As I set about completing research, qualifications and business planning I was also in the midst of the most bizarre maternity leave. Covid 19 had forced most of the world into lockdown, and after an international move back to home to the UK with a 10 week old baby, like many in lockdown, I began to feel extremely isolated. Quite frankly, I felt ‘out the loop’; I had managed to attend one baby group and one Health Visiting clinic before the lockdown began but had not yet had a chance to immerse myself in a parent and baby community.
I decided that HelloParent needed to be more than antenatal classes; which, although, give a great foundation of knowledge and are often the meeting point for life-time friendships. I found that many antenatal classes lacked continued care and community; also, second and third time parents who may have opted out of antenatal care, were finding themselves with a limited ‘parenthood’ community. I decided that an online network needed to not only exist for those completing HelloParent Antenatal, but for any new and expectant parents who were looking for a platform of education and community with like-minded parents.
I knew that amazing services existed for parents; my social media was frequently flooded with adverts for pregnancy yoga, birth coaching, sleep consultants, coaches, the list goes on. But, what was missing was one trusted place I could go to and experience all of this. A place I could experience services and hear about new products, where I could attend workshops and keep up to date on the latest information for parents. A familiar place, with continuity and familiar faces; I decided, if a place like this existed, and if it could also be a place where parents could build community then this would support so many people, not just through a lockdown, but throughout the early years of their child’s life.
And so, I set about putting together the HelloParent Hub; an online community for parents and parents to be, a place where experts are sharing workshops, Q & As and sessions… and so far, so good! I am truly passionate about what HelloParent offers, I am so excited to be offering parents a full antenatal and postnatal experience and hope you find good use in it too! See you in the Hub!