It may sound dramatic, but it changed my life!
If you are wondering what it is really like being a hypnobirthing practitioner, read this extensive article about Vicki Youdan, KGHypnobirthing teacher and breastfeeding peer supporter who runs Paratoi.
Vicki attended a hypnobirthing teacher training course in Bristol with KGHypnobirthing in April 2018 and is making a real success of her practice and says, “it has given me a whole new career which fits with my skills, values and family life – and THAT is truly priceless!”
Much more than a job – a balanced life making a living
Vicki runs one group course and two or three private courses each month, which means that she is only away from home for an average of six or nine hours per week, so that she can spend time with her children. She is pleased to say that she earns a “really great wage” - an income of more than a full-time NHS band 5 post! Vicki works from a gorgeous, brand new studio in Keynsham which is halfway between Bristol and Bath, typically running four 3-hour sessions on weekend mornings, although she is flexible if a group has other preferences.
Be yourself and bring your unique qualities
Vicki was working as a psychologist in a Cat-B remand prison north of Bristol before having her baby and wasn’t ready to leave her to return to work after her maternity leave, wanting to continue breastfeeding and ‘attachment parenting’. She had invested heavily in her career, financially and academically, and although she valued her role as a mother immensely, was affronted by comments that she was ‘just a mum’ or with people asking her if she intended to return to work. Missing the intellectual challenge of work and feeling like she had lost part of her identity, she was frustrated to feel that she needed to choose between her career and her growing family and then realised she didn’t have to - by becoming a hypnobirthing teacher.
First training as a hypnobirthing mother, the science and logic had appealed to her psychology background and after the birth of her second baby, Vicki decided to train as a hypnobirthing practitioner. It gave her back the intellectual challenge of work, her identity and social interaction, as well as being able to help others with the knowledge she had gained during her own pregnancy.
Research has formed the solid foundation of her practice along with her counselling skills from her psychology career. Being a skilled listener has a huge impact, prompting a recent Dad to say, “Vicki is good at hearing what is said in between the words” and she feels that this sums up what people want. Clients trust Vicki with their past experiences and their future selves, as she holds space for them as unique individuals and meets each and every client in their own world, on their own terms. This respect for ALL people is fundamental to her world view and means she is authentic with all of her clients.
Vicki advises new teachers, “Be yourself. Be confident in your own unique qualities.
You are on your own stage of your own journey with your own skills.” This is how you can really benefit the people you are working with – comparing yourself to others does not make sense, it is having faith in your own abilities that will mean you are the best hypnobirthing teacher you can be.
A rewarding career
“There is nothing quite like getting that elated phone call or message from a woman who’s achieved the birth of her dreams or reading positive testimonials from clients who came to me for calm, positive birth experiences and leave with sound, psychology-based life skills.” Vicki says that it is all the woman’s doing, of course, and having the smallest role to play in helping women have an empowering birth makes the hours spent reading and building her practice so worthwhile. “By providing a calm and gentle hormonal environment during pregnancy they are actively influencing the life-course of their child’s neurodevelopment – the impact of KGHypnobirthing is utterly profound and if you’re there to see that realisation spark in someone, that’s another absolute privilege of this role.”
And the standout experience of being a KGHypnobirthing teacher? Vicki is honoured to make lasting connections, with families becoming friends and one client even calling her the fairy godmother to her daughter! Now that is truly magical.
Practical advice for a new hypnobirthing teacher
Vicki describes setting up a hypnobirthing business as a full-on commitment, especially around a busy family life, but now that she is more established, she has set up processes so that everything is running more fluently. She advises new teachers to get some business advice or training to cover the basics and then “work hard with unwavering self-belief”. She spends a significant amount of time preparing and working hard promoting the business. Facebook is particularly useful with its local community functionality. She explains that she is ‘always on’ and it is important to be disciplined and maintain a work-life balance to switch off and look after yourself and your family, spending time with supportive friends.
One of the biggest challenges can be supporting parents in navigating the NHS system. Having worked for the NHS, Vicki empathises with the demands and conflicts experienced by some staff and recognises that each one of them originally set out to nurture and support new parents with the very best of maternity care. Her advice is to read the research and stay updated within your own evidence-based practice. Continued professional development is essential and Vicki prides herself on her work being informed by the most relevant and up-to-date research.
Deciding to train with KGHypnobirthing
With her love of research combined with health complications during her own pregnancy, Vicki had learnt an enormous amount about birth, made fascinating findings and really wonderful connections to writers both before and after the birth of her daughter. She was delighted to find that there was a KGHypnobirthing training course for teachers of hypnobirthing in Bristol and it was a perfect way to turn her passion for positive birth into a fulfilling career and ‘have it all’ as a working mother. Vicki exclaims, “I could work to empower other people AND care for my own children.”
“Running my own business has given me a level of freedom and job satisfaction that I could never have achieved if I’d stayed within the NHS. I really do believe that peace on earth begins with birth and it’s an absolute privilege to have any, even the smallest role to play in that!”
Hypnobirthing teacher training courses are held regularly across the UK in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, London, Manchester and York.