Remaining with our January “Health” theme, this week we’re meeting a business that’s new to Tring. The Birth Coaches, (also known as Gwendoline and Mike) bring a completely new approach to the natural, incredible and life changing process of Birth. They are a truly multi-skilled, nurturing pair and I’ve been fascinated by their plans to take a role normally considered to be 1–2–1 and take it both virtually and globally.
So exactly how do they intend to do this? I’ll let them tell you all about it, in their Essential 5:
Tell us about The Birth Coaches — what exactly can you do for pregnant couples?
Every pregnant mother has the capacity to grow and birth their baby without the need for outside help. We help couples to discover and embrace that intuitive capacity, so preparing them to confidently approach childbirth and parenthood without the need for coping strategies or tools. Fears and negative ideas that come from our environment can be released and replaced by more constructive and realistic thoughts through our unique approach.
What was your experience prior to setting up the The Birth Coaches ?
It started with our own experience of birth. We actually spent the second trimester of our first pregnancy in a campervan travelling around Croatia for the summer, which was wonderful! We talk a lot about the fact that we didn’t hear the negative stories most women experience because we didn’t speak the language. We also couldn’t find a hospital that would do the routine checks, so ended up letting go of that too. On returning to the UK we just had time to prepare our home and take a quick two hour class on breathing before it was time for our home waterbirth.
We went on to become Hypnobirthing teachers; Hypnobirthing is a form of self-hypnosis for childbirth, increasing in popularity in the western world. Working as a couple we’ve been able to offer a truly unique perspective to clients. Over the seven years of teaching birth classes we’ve adapted our approach, moving away from hypnosis and towards the understanding that our experience is generated from the inside-out rather than the outside-in. This understanding has had a profound impact on our lives and our clients, both on a personal and professional level.
I’ve also been working as a Birth Doula for several years now, which is a birth companion offering support to women through pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. In addition I’m a Transformational Coach and Yoga Teacher all of which play into my work as a Birth Coach. My husband, Mike is an Osteopath, Acupuncturist, Hypnotherapist as well as a Coach.
What do you love most about what you do?
We both feel very strongly about preparing couples for what happens after baby is born, which is so often ignored. Its an extremely isolating time, fraught with sleep deprivation, tiredness, depression, relationship problems and breast feeding issues among other things. We know our approach brings a new clarity to the situation, making these challenging times easier to navigate for both Mum and Dad. We often find ourselves helping new parents as many people only seek help when things become desperate; when you’re in that dark place it’s practically impossible to see a way out, so we shine a light and facilitate a transformation into clarity and healthy perspective. It is seeing our clients’ transformation that is truly satisfying as they transition into parenthood confidently and full of love and joy!
Is The Birth Coaches your only business?
Mike still runs his Osteopathy practice, seeing clients both from home and at their houses. Locally he also runs a Bump and Baby Clinic, where he combines all of his skills to help pregnant mums and babies with emotional and physical challenges.
I also see private clients as a Doula, which is mainly local and London based. Now that we have three boys (four if you count Mike) I have to slip away quietly in the night if my client goes into labour, but we’re lucky that Mike’s work is flexible enough to allow me to do that.
What do you see in the future for The Birth Coaches?
We’ve taken our coaching business online and now offer virtual coaching sessions as well as seeing local clients. We run a free support group on Facebook, where along with other local pre and post-natal experts we give free evidence-based advice and support to couples across the globe.
Before we started it seemed unrealistic to do this work online, but with the new video conferencing technologies we’ve found it so easy. So, many plans for 2017 including some secret ones, but you’ll be the first to know about it!
Inspirational plans indeed Gwen and Mike! I think we can all take something from the movement of your business to virtual platforms. Do keep us posted with your future plans, we can’t wait to hear!
Here are some testimonials from their previous clients:
Gwendoline and Mike have helped us through the pregnancies and births of our two sons. Their support has been invaluable and has facilitated our own insight and understanding. As an expectant father it is easy to feel removed from the birth experience, but I was empowered to take a proactive and valuable role in the birthing process supporting my wife. (Ryan)
As a first time mum-to-be (like most people) I listened to everyone’s stories of “pain” during labour. The coaching that Gwendoline and Mike provided helped me to develop a more appropriate relationship with “pain” during labour and as such my experience of birth was a beautiful one, experiencing only feelings of pressure despite being induced for our first birth. (Emma)
We would highly recommend Gwendoline and Mike’s services if you and your partner are looking to experience childbirth and beyond in a positive way, wherever it may take place.
Emma & Ryan Norton
You can find Gwen & Mike in the following places: