Breathing Love is a Mother and Daughter run service offering a holistic journey through childbirth and parenting. We are passionate about supporting parents on this wonderful journey allowing them access to a world of communication, love and positive touch for the healthy development of babies and children.
Love is the foundation for our success, and it is through a loving environment that we seek to empower parents; guiding them on their parenting journeys as they grow with their little ones. Through supporting parents emotional health and well being and providing nurturing support through pregnancy and childhood we can help to create happy, relaxed and supportive relationships grounded in love.
Based in Shrivenham on the Oxford/Wiltshire border and Westcliff- on-Sea in Essex our aim is to reach as many parents as possible both through our services and our online community so they too can share in this beautiful holistic journey, and be provided with support, just the way nature intended.
My interest in HypnoBirthing began when I became pregnant with my daughter, Ruby. As a bit of a ‘self confessed’ control freak and worrier, I was anxious about birth. Anxious that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the ‘pain’ and concerned that I would have to hand control over to my Healthcare professionals, rather than relying on myself. HypnoBirthing changed all that! By the end of my first class, I felt empowered, confident about the journey my baby and I were going to embark on and above all else I trusted in myself, my baby and my body. I gave birth to my beautiful little girl at home, without the need for any pain relief on a stormy day in the Summer of 2012. My husband and my Mum were my birth companions and with their help and support I birthed my baby calmly and peacefully; an experience that changed my life. I knew that every woman needed to know about the secret of HypnoBirthing and so I went on to train as a practitioner.
In 2013 I became pregnant again with my son. I knew immediately that I wanted to give him the tranquil birth that his sister had experienced. With this in mind I practised my relaxation daily and when the time came to birth him, with my Mum and my husband at my side, I felt fully confident that my body would take over. Harry was born in less than four hours, again at home in the birthing pool, under the watchful gaze of my wonderful midwife and her student, who couldn’t quite believe her eyes!
It was Hypnobirthing that started me on this route for a more holistic approach to parenting. I had seen the benefits of going down a more holistic approach to birth and I wanted to know more, so I could bring this into my parenting and this was where I came across baby massage and baby yoga. These practices opened up a whole new world for me that Hypnobirthing had planted the seeds of. I loved it for my babies, taking us on a more natural route through parenting, and giving my daughter, in particular, much needed relied from her digestive issues, but the well being it gave me was enormous. It is said that parenting in Western 21st Century is the hardest form ever, and I totally buy into that. We are bombarded with advice from experts, most giving totally different opinions on what you should be doing-co sleeping; crying it out; weaning etc. etc. everyone has an opinion; yet as new parents, we often feel isolated; alone, without our ‘village’ to support us. By doing baby massage and yoga I was able to tune into my baby, I learned to trust my own instincts instead of relying on contradictory ‘expert’ evidence, and in a world where I was living away from my friends and family and my husband was working most of the week, I found a community, a support where I could be honest about my feelings and not be judged. That is why I felt compelled to add these to my practice and to set up a village for parents so that no matter what our Instagram might say, we knew we were all having the same experiences.
It is this personal experience that makes me so passionate about Breathing Love. We have all heard the horror stories about birth and parenting; as soon as you’re pregnant, women queue up to tell you them, but it doesn’t have to be like that. I know this approach works. I have experienced it firsthand; I have heard the amazing stories my clients tell and the statistics speak for themselves. I truly believe it is every woman’s birthright to have a calm, peaceful, comfortable birth and journey through parenting and I am so privileged to be able to play a small part in that.
Joint CEO of Breathing Love, Sheelah’s experience in childcare spans over 35 years. Having spent many years as an early years educator, Sheelah is affiliated with The HypnoBirthing Institute, teaching classes in The Mongan Method, she is also a qualified Breast feeding support worker and Nursery Nurse.
So how did I become interested in HB? I suppose it starts way back with my being born in Africa, living there I saw birthing as nature intended it to be, gentle, calm and beautiful, without fear unhurried and natural, a real celebration. So when it came to the birthing of my own children these were my expectations and indeed these expectations were fulfilled with my daughter being born within an hour and a half and my son within twenty minutes. Both were born without pain relief and although they were both born in a hospital (just!) it was the most incredible and beautiful thing I have ever experienced.
My love of working with children and babies have taken me into many different roles from being a nanny, a housemother in a children’s home, a reception teacher and more importantly working in the Maternity Post Natal unit and Special Care Baby Unit at both Rochford and Southend Hospital where I saw first-hand new mother’s coming onto the ward with their beautiful precious baby saying ‘never again’ after having experiences which were far from perfect, some involving pain relief but very often, much more.
In some cases the repercussions of these mother’s births affected the way the mother bonded with their baby often making my job of helping these mummy’s with their breastfeeding a lot harder.
Over the years I have often questioned why this was happening and realised by speaking to these mothers, that this was the birthing experience that most of these mummy’s had expected because, through today’s media, this was the message that they had been fed from a very early age.
Many changes and opportunities have occurred in hospitals over the years but still for many mothers the beautiful birthing experience that should be theirs does not always happen, so when it came to Catherine expecting her first baby I wanted her to have the same positive experience that I had had. As Catherine has admitted, she is a worrier and, I am sure she won’t mind me saying so, she also has a very low pain threshold. This along with the fact that her husband was away for 6 months which meant that she was living with me during her pregnancy (and not sure whether he would be home for her birthing or not) made me fearful as to how her birthing experience would go so I suggested the route of birthing through hypnosis and after some research Catherine came across HypnoBirthing.
Because Catherine’s husband was away at the time I was thrilled to be able to attend the HB classes with her and to practise the scripts, breathing and light touch massage etc. with her; however the thing that really sold HypnoBirthing to me was seeing my daughter ‘own’ her birth; delivering my beautiful granddaughter in my home with a water birth in a beautiful, serene and positive way. To say that I was and am in awe of my beautiful daughter is an understatement and her experience inspired me so much that I wanted, not just other mothers and their partners to own this same experience, but their beautiful babies too. Mother and baby working together, just as nature intended.