I’m Sophie, founder of the Calm Birth Calm Baby Collective. Let me tell you My Story…
In 2000, I qualified in Aromatherapy, Swedish massage, Anatomy & Physiology and Reiki and have subsequently massaged the elderly in Day Care Centres, Cancer patients at the Royal Free Hospital, the rich and famous in five-star hotels and pregnant/breastfeeding women and babies.
My story begins when my first baby, Oliver, was born in December 2005. My labour didn’t go the way I’d planned it. My husband and I had done an antenatal course, but I had too many fears and preconceptions for that to have done me much good. I went into labour terrified of so much: the belief and expectancy of agonising pain for one, and so I panicked and consequently needed pain-relief and medical intervention to save Oliver’s’ and potentially, my life.
Oliver was taken into Special Care and we were all traumatised. Needless to say, we had a rocky start with the first year being fraught with his colic and my minor post natal depression. However, I was shown baby massage, and from then on I developed a fervent fascination & love for the new world I’d entered into both physically and emotionally which led me to qualify in Pre and Post Natal massage. Indeed after seeing how well my little-one responded to my gentle and loving touch when he was fussy or unable to sleep, I felt that every parent should learn this natural way to communicate with and help their baby. So I trained with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) and started to teach Baby Massage. Oliver is now a strong, healthy little boy whom I love with all my heart and you would never know that his start in life was tricky.
Sophie Burch, mother to Oli and Milo
On discovering I was pregnant with my second son, Milo, I was determined to ensure a very different birth outcome. I knew that (at the time), hospitals made me feel tense and uncomfortable, so I decided to opt for a home birth. The Midwives and Obstetrician took some persuading because of the circumstances surrounding Oliver’s birth, but I felt sure that it couldn’t happen again if I went into labour relaxed and happy in my own environment.
Through my teaching as a Baby Massage instructor, I had met a midwife, Tania Pearce, who also taught Hypnobirthing. A friend had successfully delivered her second baby at home using Hypnobirthing techniques and needed no pain relief, so I was convinced that if she could do it, then so could I! I attended Tania’s course at 28 weeks pregnant and was instantly glad I had. During the first session, I understood so much about what, why and how my first birth had become so complicated. I finally had answers and I started to truly trust in my body, say “goodbye” to my fears and preconceptions and really look forward to giving birth for the second time. I practiced the relaxation and visualisation techniques daily, sometimes for 10 mins, sometimes for 1 hour. I learnt how to deeply relax and easily cope with the final months of my pregnancy.
Milo was born on his EDD (only 5% of babies do this), at home weighing a massive 10lb 2oz (4.6KG), with no need for chemical pain relief or intervention. The NHS midwives present were jumping up and down in amazement, and my husband (my amazing birth companion) was calm, composed and a very proud father. Click here for his version of the story.
So, inspired by my experiences, I have begun on a new path adding Hypnobirthing Childbirth Education to my abilities. I love teaching new and expectant parents. It fills me with joy, passion, empathy and the excitement of what can be achieved if we just set our minds to it. I hope I can inspire you too.
I created Calm Birth Calm Baby to guide new and expectant parents on their experience through pregnancy, birth and beyond. I’m a specialist teacher in Hypnobirthing, IAIM Baby Massage, a Hypnotherapist an Aromatherapist, Holistic Massage therapist and volunteer for the NCT, and have given demonstrations at midwife led Parentcraft classes at Lewisham Hosptital. I have recently formed a collective of therapists committed to bringing South London and now Wiltshire the highest standard of antenatal and postnatal care.
I am well-known for my enthusiasm in the support I can offer women and their partners through pregnancy and birth and I have a wealth of links to health professionals with an in-depth knowledge of local pregnancy and baby groups and professionals.