Siobhan, founder of The Positive Birth Company, is on a mission – to make hypnobirthing and antenatal education accessible to all. They have created a range of digital courses to help prepare for birth, and to offer post-natal support, and we are delighted to be stocking their vouchers for both the Hypnobirthing Digital Pack and The Postpartum Pack which you can add to the Create a Pregnancy Care Package.
As part of our Spotlight on… series, we asked Siobhan what the last 12 months has been like for her and the business, as well as what the future holds, especially after her successful appearance on BBC’s Dragon’s Den earlier this year.
How did The Positive Birth Company come about?
I’d always wanted to do something meaningful and to help people, so in 2013 I enrolled in a psychology masters, considering the clinical psychology route.
While studying for my degree, I became pregnant with my second baby. I had a traumatic birth with my first child, so I was desperate to find a way to make my second experience better. That’s when I first heard of Hypnobirthing. It wasn’t very mainstream but I’d heard rave reviews and decided to give it a go. I’m so glad I did! I had the most magical, empowering and healing birth. I felt euphoric and invincible! It not only helped me feel confident about my upcoming birth, but helped me make sense of my first birth experience too. It was completely transformative for me.
Afterwards, I was sure that everyone should have access to this type of antenatal education – it shouldn’t come down to a postcode lottery or how much money you have in the bank. In 2015, I trained to be a hypnobirthing teacher. So much of the curriculum is rooted in science and psychology, it was like my personal and professional pathways were aligning. This was my calling! Following my training, I launched The Positive Birth Company (PBC) and threw everything into building educational resources and a community that was accessible for all, because everyone deserves the opportunity to have the best birth possible. The benefits of a positive birth experience extend far beyond the day itself – they are lifelong and improve parental wellbeing, bonding, family dynamics and relationships.
Since PBC’s launch, I had my third son and the business has grown exponentially. Our online courses are now being used in over 150 countries worldwide, I have written a book and created a virtual birth partner app ‘Freya’. The PBC team has also grown and I feel grateful every day to be able to work alongside such a brilliant and committed bunch of people. I’m just so proud to know that PBC are playing a small part in the birth stories of hundreds of thousand of babies from all around the world.
How have you found the last 12 months?
It’s been a crazy 12 months. The biggest win was seeing our business grow 400% overnight when the first lockdown was announced. But at the exact same time as the work rapidly escalated, our availability to work decreased. Most of the team are parents and homeschooling began! We managed to rise to the challenge, and what I’m most proud of, is not the uplift in sales but how we weathered the storm, pulled together and were able to continue to support expectant and new parents across the UK at a time when they most needed it. From free hypnobirthing masterclasses, to free feeding workshops, to hosting daily free relaxation sessions and publishing our anti racism manifesto, we were determined to step up and show up for our community.
Have you learned anything new in the last 12 months that you will be keeping even once life (hopefully) returns to normal?
Running the business from home through lockdown whilst attempting (and failing) to homeschool 3 children has been exhausting on another level. The juggle was real! It made it impossible to feel I was doing anything well enough. But this summer I took some quality time off and I realised how much I LOVE spending time with my kids (when I’m not simultaneously trying to run a growing business). It was a huge stress reliever and it encouraged me to work on putting in place a structure at PBC to help share the mental and physical load, giving me the space to spend more quality time with my kids. There’s no quick fix but it’s something I’m actively working towards and I feel hopeful it’s achievable.
Earlier this year you appeared on The Dragons Den and secured investment. What is next for The Positive Birth Company?
As ever, we have a bazillion projects in the pipeline but our core objective remains the same – to make antenatal and postnatal education and support more accessible for everyone through free, affordable, inclusive resources that can be accessed from anywhere in the globe.
We are currently working on expanding our product offering so we can support our international communities all the way from trying to conceive, through pregnancy, birth, the postnatal period and when navigating the early years of parenting.
A lot of our packages are sent for people going through something, whether that’s illness or a break up or a tough time at work. What’s your go-to product or thing to do when you’re feeling the need for TLC?
I’m a big fan of being in water, I literally feel all my tensions and worries melt away. Whether it’s a lovely deep bubbly bath, floating in a pool or simply sitting under the shower, I find water the perfect antidote for stress. Some would say it’s because I’m a scorpio! For a little healthy escapism, I love to get lost in a good book. And using my five senses checklist to create a spa-like cocoon at home never fails to boost my sense of wellbeing.
What is the best gift someone has ever bought for you, or the most thoughtful thing someone has ever done for you?
My team bought me a NEOM wellbeing pod for my birthday a few years ago and I LOVE it!! I use it every single night and I’ve subsequently gifted the same to other friends of mine. It’s the best thing ever.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a mum-to-be or new mum, what would it be?
Take it slowly. Be kind to yourself. There’s so much to learn in the early days and weeks and so much responsibility it can be overwhelming. Not to mention the fact that you’re navigating this fourth trimester whilst simultaneously recovering from pregnancy and birth, surviving on little sleep and adjusting to a new identity and way of life. It can be tough going but as cliche as it sounds, everything really is a phase and this too shall pass.
What makes you laugh?
My three boys! Children say *the funniest* things!
Words to live by?
You can do anything, but not everything!
In collaboration with The Positive Birth Company we are giving you the chance to win a load of pregnancy pack prizes. Follow our Instagram to find out more.