This growing community was founded in 2013 (formerly HypnoBirthdays) by Keri Jarvis. Chloe Mulholland & Steph Kidd joined in 2017, and 2018 sees Chloe Westmore and Chloe Thompson-Booth coming on board. Yep. We LOVE a Chloe. If your name is Chloe there is a significant chance you will work with us one day...
Keri Jarvis (Group Hypnobirthing and Pregnancy Relaxation in Southend)
Mother (of a 4 year old tyrant, and a big fat baby), Wife, Birth Addict (not that I want to keep doing it forever- thinking 2 littles will be quite enough. But addicted to, obsessed by, totally dedicated to enabling parents to give their babies births that they all feel great about).
In my pre birthy state, I got myself a serious degree in Management and Maths (I am no creative type- I like strategies, and results) and worked in store management for M&S. I actually loved it (mostly), but having had my eyes opened to a world I never knew existed, how could I turn away? After Louis was born in 2013, I retrained with Katharine Graves at The Hypnobirthing Centre, and didn't look back. I am thrilled to have joined The Calm Birth School Family in 2016, as it's an approach that is totally in sync with my thinking.
I aim to tell you my stories in a way that explains what to expect from hypnobirthing with me.
I have been SO LUCKY to have supported around 150 families in welcoming their babies so far, and continue to be amazed at the power of a couple who are well prepared and in it together- always in awe of my amazing gang.
Outside of all of this, I have my little loves, Louis and Rory, with me most of the time, we've just bought our first house (FINALLY!) last year, so trying to make a house a home (all very exciting until you realise 90% of your money goes on stuff you will never even notice, wahhh).
I say it with a straight face- I am seriously jealous of my clients as they prepare to give birth, knowing that if all goes to plan, I'll never get to do it again. It was the most transformational experience of my life. I did not see that coming. I want all the families I work with to come out of it feeling like legends, superheroes, queens and kings.
You can have a read of what some of them have to say about it on the Birth Stories page.
My experience of the early postnatal period this time round has prompted me to grow my offering. Realising how unprepared I had been the first time, vs the access I'd had to other experts and tools on take 2, I'm fairly surprised I survived it. I want all women to be armed with everything they need to make early motherhood as smooth as possible, I want them to know that they are nailing it.
I am also Deputy Chair of the Maternity Services Liaison Committee at Southend Hospital, an opportunity to work with your care providers and the relevant agencies to drive improvement in the care you receive. I like to keep birthy busy...
If you're looking at a few different teachers (and so you should), here are my views on what you can ask us to work out who is right for you.
Chloe Mulholland (Group Hypnobirthing in Upminster)
So, where to start? Well from the beginning I suppose; Born in Newham, brought up in Upminster. From a family of cockneys, I am a Londoner at heart but love a breath of fresh country air.
I embarked into adult life working for the London Ambulance Service taking emergency 999 calls but this wasn’t my true calling. I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity about pregnancy and birth and I distinctly remember having a ‘lightbulb moment’ when I made the life-changing decision to become a midwife.
I did my 3 years of training with Kings’ College, London and graduated with First-Class Honours in 2012.
That was over 4 years ago now and during that time I have had my eyes opened to the immense power of birth. A transformative, yet vulnerable time in a woman’s life. And a time that I am determined to make better for as many families as I can.
I am now working on a midwife-led unit in central London, supporting families to meet their new additions in the most positive way I can.
I am also thrilled to be starting off on a new adventure; teaching hypnobirthing. I have seen many mums use hypnobirthing techniques through many different births and I am a complete advocate of its benefits. When it was my turn to give birth last year I knew that I had to learn more, so I attended one of Keri’s courses and I wholeheartedly believe that her support and teaching helped me to have the mind-blowingly, awesome experience I had (you can read about it here)
I did my hypnobirth training with the Association of Hypnobirthing Midwives and am excited to be teaching using the Calm Birth School method. Classes will be coming to Upminster in spring this year.
Looking forward to spreading the positive vibes and supporting you gorgeous mamas!
Steph Kidd (Private Hypnobirthing and Pregnancy Relaxation in Southend)
Born and raised in Essex, currently living in Leigh on Sea. Mum of one notoriously chatty toddler Florence, aka Flossie (no idea where she got the talking gene from..!), and engaged to my partner of 10 years, Matt. My major passions are birth, childhood, breastfeeding, and crochet. I'm also a self confessed cloth nappy addict!
My career up until now has been in childcare. I spent a short time after qualifying working in nurseries, then 6 months as a home care assistant for children with medical needs, before moving into nannying which I have been doing since 2008. I've been lucky enough to work with some amazing families across Essex and London in this time, mostly those with young babies and toddlers. I've had such a blast doing so, and learned so much about children and their unique personalities / needs at the same time. I currently work part time looking after 2 boys locally, and have been very fortunate that Florence is able to come with me, so she barely leaves my side!
Falling pregnant in 2014 introduced me to the world of hypnobirthing, and I was fortunate enough to be one of the first Calm Birth School students! Although I've never been 'scared' of birth -in fact I've always been completely fascinated by it- I rarely heard anything positive from the women around me. My reading and research over the years had led me to positive birth stories though, and knew I wanted to aim for as natural a birth as possible. What I also knew was that I needed some extra education and techniques to use if I was going to navigate my pregnancy and labour the way I wanted to, as like most of women I had a limited understanding of how best to work with my body.
The Calm Birth School's approach was completely on my wavelength, and with that under my belt I felt in control even when both pregnancy and labour threw a few curveballs at us. The feelings of strength, pride and empowerment that I felt after my labour got me thinking about how I could help more women achieve a birth they feel this good about. So this year I trained with KGHypnobirthing so I can do just that by offering hypnobirthing classes and pregnancy relaxation. Keri has been a fantastic support to me during this time, and I am so happy to be here on the Do It Like A Mother team, and excited to be teaching the same method which I know worked so well for me!
Chloe Westmore (Infant Massage and Baby Brunch Southend)
Born and raised in beautiful Leigh-on-Sea, I still live here with my husband Tom and my two gorgeous daughters Delilah & Aida. I have a degree in English & Drama, and trained in the performing arts from an early age. I enjoyed a few years working in the industry, however as the bills kept rolling in and the auditions slowed down, I became dependant on more regular work. When I fell pregnant with my first little girl, I decided to look into hypnobirthing and was self taught. I managed to have a wonderful birthing experience despite complications, but I realised pretty quickly how transformative yet terrifying becoming a newborn mother was. There were plenty of tears and many a day and night of feeling utterly alone and out of my depth. I remember feeling powerful at my ability to give birth to such a perfect little creature, but felt completely vulnerable and unprepared for motherhood, especially in those precious but exhausting early weeks. Due to financial problems, I had to return to work when Delilah was 5 months old, which was necessary but unfulfilling.
Fast forward 4 years and another pregnancy with daughter number 2 and I felt completely different. I wanted to build my own business doing something that I loved that incorporated my passions, whilst enabling me to be at home with my baby. And that's when I met Keri. I started attending her Pregnancy Relaxation evenings and straight away I not only felt relaxed in her presence, but always left the classes feeling invigorated. Those special evening really illustrated just how powerful women can be, especially when they're lifted up and supported by one another. I had the most amazing birth experience with Aida and through self education on postpartum care, I even enjoyed those special but hectic first weeks getting to know my baby.
That was my lightbulb moment! I had realised I was passionate about supporting and encouraging 'newborn mothers' and their babies in their parenthood journey.
When Keri approached me about joining her Do It Like A Mother team, I seized the opportunity and decided to train under the incredible Peter Walker, an internationally renowned physical therapist who has worked with babies, children and parents for nearly 40 years. Combining my experiences of motherhood with a qualification as a Development Baby Massage teacher, I hope to encourage and equip new parents with the skills and confidence to communicate with their child using the language of loving touch and therapeutic play. The benefits will be seen instantly and I can't want to meet all of you incredible mummys and mummys to be. xxx