The very lovely Maggie; founder of Natal Hypnotherapy™ is on the blog today to tell you about herself and her business, she is also giving away a birth preparation CD and book worth over £20 (perfect for anyone trying to get pregnant or who is pregnant 🙂 – see the end of the post for the give-away 🙂
Who are you?
I am Maggie Howell, founder of , the UK’s largest provider of award winning self hypnosis CDs, books and courses on the use of hypnosis for birth. I am 44 and have 5 sons, all born at home using Natal hypnotherapy techniques.
What do you do?
I have created a programme of self hypnosis cds, books and training courses to help women have a better conception, pregnancy and birth experience. Natal Hypnotherapy is a safe, effective and easy technique for women to use during their pregnancy and birth to help them overcome fear, be more relaxed and so have a better pregnancy and birth. Women can attend workshops and then listen to self hypnosis CDs at home which teach them deep relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques coupled with positive suggestions to help them work with their body.
When did you establish your business?
I began working with pregnant women in 2001 but did not create my fiurst products and website until 2003.
What made you start your own business?
When I was pregnant with my fist on in 2000, I was keen to help myself have as positive birth as possible. My husband was an NLP practitioner (Neuro linguistic programming) and had studied how hypnotherapy could be used to help with pain management. Back then there were no hypnosis for birth programmes in the UK and so I attended a general 2 day self hypnosis course (I was the only pregnant person on the course) at Regents college. I learnt basic techniques to put myself in to a deep state of relaxation and then to give myself lots of positive suggestions about the thing I wanted to achieve / change.
I then went away and wrote my own script for a calm, relaxed birth. At the time almost everyone thought I was nuts as the term hypnosis was even more misunderstood then than it is now. Anyway, I went on to have a very long (so normal and OK for first time births) but very calm, quiet and peaceful birth. My midwife was the one that put me on this path as she said that in her 11 yrs experience she had not seen a first time mum handle a the birth so calmly. Now I am no “earth mother” type or naturally calm person, so the only thing I could attribute this to was the hypnotherapy.
After 6 months of telling others about my birth and realising how unusual it had been I decided to retrain to be clinical hypnotherapist to understand what it was that I had done and with a view to helping others achieve the same. The training lasted almost 18 months, after which I did my doula training, lots of birth related study days and masses of reading and then in 2003 I produced my first CD and the rest they say is history.
Since then we have helped well over 100,000 women and trained hundreds of midwives across the UK. I can not imagine a more fulfilling job than this – we get emails and letters from women almost every day who have recently given birth and feel that, because of Natal Hypnotherapy they had a truly wonderful and positive birth experience.
What do you love about working for yourself?
I love the flexibility, the autonomy to make decisions and the rewards! Every positive birth story I get, every CD we sell, every midwife we train – I know that I have made that happen and it feels great. If I have an idea in the middle of the night then I can implement it there and then or the next day If I want.
As I have built the business with my husband, we have been able to work around having 5 boys which has meant I never had to negotiate time off, worry about missing work to attend school functions or if one of them is ill. I could never imagine going back to working for someone else
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
In the beginning there was the element of worry about making ends meet. It has taken a good few years to build up and in the early days it was a challenge to make sure we had enough money coming in to cover what needed to go out. Now that we are established and a recognised brand it is much easier.
Another slight draw back is that we (my husband and I) “talk work” at all times of night and day – it has become an integral part of who we are as a couple so in some ways there is no separation from the business. We can be talking with the boys over dinner about something and then the next conversation will be about the business.
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
Probably seek more professional advice / help in the early days. It was always more tempting to “save money” and try to do it our self. However that was often a false economy.
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
If you have a good idea and you are passionate about it then absolutely, go for it! Make sure you get some professional advice eg go to business links, chamber of commerce etc and get as much advice on marketing as possible. There is no point having a great product if people do not know about it. It is much easier now with social marketing but it is still a HUGE part of what you need to do to make your business a success
If you would like to enter to win a birth preparation CD and book worth over £20 all you need to do is complete the Rafflecopter below…