preparing for motherhood

In today’s podcast episode I’m honoured to be joined by Sophie Brigstocke. Sophie won Doula of the Year in 2017, so this is a real treat – my second Doula of the Year guest!

As well as being a doula, Sophie also runs Nurturing Birth where she trains doulas alongside her co-founder Florence Etienne-Jackson. Together they have trained over 3000 doulas, so she knows a thing or two about birth and supporting women as they approach motherhood.

It was really tricky to pick a title for today’s podcast because we talked about so much. But it’s all birthy and all very interesting!

Some of the things we talk about include;

  • Sophie’s epic 10-day labour – YES you read that right… 10-day labour!
  • her ECV and her difficult birth experience
  • planning her subsequent VBAC
  • her elective emergency c-section

Preparing for motherhood and parenting

We talked a lot about how we can use pregnancy to prepare for motherhood. Often the focus of pregnancy is preparing for the birth, but preparing for motherhood is also important because there are things that can be done during pregnancy to lay the foundation.

Sophie shares with us that a lot of couples come unstuck with a new baby and they say they would have liked to have had help to prepare their relationship for the arrival of the baby. And yet, when classes were put on, no-one signed up. The benefit of hindsight, eh?

  • the case for ditching parenting books and tuning into your baby
  • why the mother is the expert on her baby
  • the importance of tuning into the mothering instinct
  • what women can do during pregnancy to prepare
  • why psychological preparation is important
  • maternal mental health

Let’s take the emphasis OFF what we need to BUY materialistically. Let’s think a lot more about what we need to invest in for our mental and emotional well-being.

Sophie tells us that “in terms of a good head space, preparing for the birth has a big impact. Your birth informs your postnatal period in a big way. I felt like my body had let me down. The positive feelings from having a good breastfeeding journey made such a difference”
We also talk about breastfeeding and touch on some common breastfeeding myths. And any birth conversation is not exactly complete unless oxytocin is mentioned! Sophie feels that “oxytocin isn’t talked about enough. It has an important role in early parenting too; it’s part of breastfeeding.”

About Sophie Brigstocke

Sophie is a birth and postnatal doula, Doula Mentor at Doula UK, Breastfeeding Supporter and Baby Massage Teacher. She was awarded “Doula of the Year” at MaMa Conference, 2017.

Sophie started working with mums and babies in 2004 when she trained as a baby massage teacher with Peter Walker, something she regularly teaches with busy courses around SW London. She also trained as a Therapeutic Massage Practitioner at the London College of Massage, specialising in Pregnancy and Post-Natal treatments. She offers Closing the Bones postnatal massage and ceremony to new mothers, as well as babywearing support.

You track Sophie down at Nurturing Birth.

Webinar for Birth Workers

In today’s episode, I announced that I’ll be running a live webinar for birth workers. I’ve been getting lots of enquiries from birth workers who would like mt to share how I help women to prepare for a fearless birth. So I thought I’d run a webinar. If you’d like to join me on the webinar, then you can sign up here.

Alexia Leachman
Follow me