We feel so lucky to have a team of such incredible women teaching the Babies in Waiting Hypnobirthing and Pregnancy Relaxation courses. Claire is our teacher for Kent. She is a really hard working, inspiring member of the Babies in Waiting family. We asked Claire to share a little bit about her background and why she is so passionate about designing a life she loves, working flexibly and teaching the amazing techniques included in the Babies in Waiting Hypnobirthing course.
'It’s funny how we get to where we are in life. Some of my friends and family are deeply rooted, happy and content in the same job and same home. I’m however always striving for more. It’s not that I’m unhappy or not content, I just like change and thrive on being busy. I feel like I have lots of ambition and drive. I seem to unintentionally have 5 year stints in both houses and jobs. Thankfully I’ve been with my husband for a whole 20 years (since I was sweet 16). Whatever job I’ve done I always put my whole heart and soul into. My mum always told me, 'just do your best' and that's what I do. When I was a teen I worked at the local co op, a Chinese takeaway and as a shot girl at a night club! I think every experience in life teaches us and helps to shape us in to the person we become.
At college, I dreamt of being a fashion designer or an actress. I studied media, drama, textiles and theology. Life had other plans and I got my first job as an NHS receptionist. I enjoyed working in the health industry and a 13 year career took off. I worked as a healthcare assistant, helping with prostate biopsies and ultrasounds. I worked as a medical secretary for some imminent professors in prestigious Harley Street, and then as a PA to an obstetrician and gynaecologist at a private healthcare facility in Chelsea, specialising in all aspects of women’s health. I was soon promoted to the practice manager. It was a very stressful and demanding job, I was responsible for the Care Quality Commission as a registered manager, if we failed there was a risk of imprisonment! It was a huge responsibility at only 27! But I thrived on it.
At 29 I had my first son, and we decided to move from London to the Kent countryside. I returned to work and I found it alot of pressure, juggling the challenges of childcare, the commute and the stress of a full time job in part time hours. My life situation and circumstances had changed and so I left the health sector, and found a local job closer to home, working for a large corporate construction company as a PA to the managing director. I soon was trained up to become a kitchen designer, which I loved.
During this time, we found out my son had a disability. It’s quite complex and complicated, and we don’t know the underlying cause despite lots of tests. He has cerebellar atrophy, which is shrinking of the part of the brain that controls and coordinates the muscles and balance. It’s been a rollercoaster. There have been times when I’ve felt low, and have searched Google for answers to educate myself well into the early hours of the morning, and then there's been times of acceptance and gratitude for the power of positivity. The doctors say my son, who is now 7, is a mystery. Amazingly, despite scans saying the shrinking is progressive (getting worse) he has superseded all expectations, he is determined and courageous.
6 years later, aged 35, baby number two arrived and another career change was looming to fit in with my new life as a mum of two. I went on maternity leave knowing that returning to work would prove more difficult this time around. I really wanted to become my own boss, to be home more for my children, to do the school runs.
I’d attended baby massage classes with my baby from 6 weeks old. We both loved the bonding experience and the one to one quality time together whilst my eldest was at school. I hadn’t done baby massage with my eldest so it was a new experience for me. I absolutely loved it and decided this was what I wanted to learn to do. I wanted to teach and share the skills of baby massage, the benefits and experience. I trained to become a baby massage and baby yoga teacher.
Shortly after this, I attended an event and met the founders of Babies in Waiting, Jo and Emily. Emily was giving a talk on positive mindset and the subconscious. I found it so fascinating and interesting. I was struck by their passion, philosophy and ethos. Hypnobirthing had been on my business plan long term, to eventually expand my services to pregnancy through to baby classes. I just hadn’t imagined it would be quite so soon. I grabbed the opportunity to join Babies in Waiting, commence my training and own a franchise.
I had two very challenging births myself. When I laboured, I hadn't realised there were options or that you could have a say in what you wanted. I hadn't realised the importance of the mind, body connection. I wish I’d met Jo and Emily before, so I would’ve known the fear I had during my labours made me more tense and filled with negative adrenaline. I wish I’d known the power I had to challenge things and ask questions to avoid intervention.
When a baby is born, it is such a magical feeling. It's amazing holding your baby and looking into their eyes for the first time. I want to support women and empower them to use their voice. I want to inform them that they do have a choice and that they can use their powerful inner mind during labour. Your birth story stays with you forever and I want it to be a beautiful memory.
I’m so excited to be able to offer a complete mother and baby wellness practice, from pregnancy through to the fourth trimester and beyond. I want to empower and support women, both in their pregnancy and as a new mum.
Life can take you down different paths and lead you in different directions but I am a firm believer that positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes.'
Claire, Babies in Waiting Franchisee Dartford and Gravesham x