The lovely Lorraine is our mumpreneur feature today. She is offering all my readers a 10% discount when you book a workshop with her. You will also get a free copy of “Effective Birth Preparation – Your Practical Guide to a Better Birth” by Maggie Howell, founder of Natal Hypnotherapy, if you book both Natal Hypnotherapy workshops with me.
Who are you?
I am Lorraine Berry, Experienced Midwife (I graduated in 1998 and have worked for the NHS ever since, on the wards, in community, in birthing units and managing a labour ward) Natal Hypnotherapist and Mum to three boys aged 5 yrs, 3 yrs and 6 months.
What do you do?
I run Birth Affinity, teaching antenatal, birth, breastfeeding and Natal Hypnotherapy hypnosis for birth to pregnant women and their partners.
When did you establish your business?
I started running Natal Hypnotherapy workshops in 2005, after the birth of my first child. I expanded to provide all aspects of antenatal education in 2007 and have recently added breastfeeding workshops to the classes on offer.
What made you start your own business?
I used Natal Hypnotherapy during my pregnancy and was amazed how effective the techniques were during the birth. I had a beautiful, straightforward home birth, with no drugs or intervention – a real “dream birth”! I’d also seen how effective the hypnosis could be for other women during my Midwifery practice, so I knew that it was something that all women could benefit from learning. After my children, I realised how difficult it was going to be to return to full time Midwifery practice, with shift work and on calls both an issue, as I could get called out at short notice to cover home births or the hospital. I now work part time for the NHS and run workshops flexibly at weekends and evenings so that I can still be around for the children when they need me.
The flexibility is a real bonus and so is the ability to work the way that I feel not only benefits me, but also women and their partners. I can give women plenty of time to ask the questions they need to and to give them all the support they need to feel confident and relaxed about the forthcoming birth. I can choose to spend time preparing partners for the birth, so that they too feel confident and are able to give the right kind of support during the labour and birth. I love that I have been able to find a way to continue working with pregnant women and their families; it’s a real privilege to be involved at such a special time in people’s lives and to feel that I am making a positive impact on their experiences.
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
Paperwork! I hate form filling and box ticking – I’d much rather be teaching and talking to families about their bumps and babies than pushing a pen around!
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would like to be able to offer a doula service too, as many clients have asked if I could be with them during the birth, and also as I find it hugely rewarding to be present at such a special time. However, the on call element of offering this service makes child care a bit tricky, but it is definitely something I would like to include in the future.
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
Believe that you can do it. Make sure you network with other Mums and like minded business through twitter, facebook etc. If you are just starting out, do consider build your own website packages and free blogs as a way to get your message out there, but without the expense of hiring someone in to do it – you don’t need to be particularly technically adept so long as you choose a simple package, such as Mr.Site. Finally, don’t forget to thank your family and friends for all the support and encouragement that they offer too!