It’s 5 years since I trained to teach Hypnobirthing, the very beginnings of this company. There’s been progress with every trip round the sun, but 2018 has been really special.
Not least because we doubled the size of the team. Chloe M, Steph and I welcomed Chloe T-B, Chloe W and Lizzie on board.
(If your name is Chloe and you’re looking for work, hit me up).
At the start of the year, we left our first studio, a teeny tiny set up where the possibilities for our community started to become clear, but the logistics were challenging.
The current DILAM HQ appeared, like the miracles I’ve become accustomed to, right on time. It was and is the perfect sized space, in a wonderful location. (Keep your eyes peeled for the studio’s 1st birthday party on 15th Feb).
As I stood in the empty space on the day we signed the lease, I’m not kidding- I could sense the energy of everything that was to come in that room- I felt like I could hear the laughter, the chatter, the babies, could feel the peace and confidence people would have instilled in them whatever they came for. It was like a tingle in the air, and I believed in it.
Much decorating and white spiriting later, we welcomed people for Hypnobirthing and Pregnancy Relaxation with us, and a tonne of other fantastic services from our partners.
In April, thanks to Lizzie, #doitlikeamotherhood Cake Club was born- a free group (we accept donations towards refreshments), where all parents are welcome to come and eat cake and just be. Be heard, be seen, be in a safe space. They can also get help with babywearing and feeding, and hire a sling if they need one.
Since that first session, there have been 416 visits to Cake Club. 416 times someone has thought, I need some support and solidarity and I know where to get it. That blows my mind.
54 women have come for feeding support. When I think back to my doomed feeding journey with my eldest, I could weep with fricking joy that we are providing somewhere to turn up for such a fantastic service led by Clair at In The Club Midwifery.
250 slings have been hired.
15 babywearing peer supporters have been trained.
100 families have been through our Hypnobirthing antenatal education. All those families going from bewildered (sometimes) and scared (almost always) to informed and empowered- so exciting.
10 couples have accepted a “pay what you can afford” space on one of those groups, and many more have been able to choose payment plans that made their education possible.
We’ve delivered tens of free antenatal and postnatal classes in our Facebook community group, and you can order in the topic you’d like- just let us know.
Over 100 women participated in our free challenge in our Work Like A Mother Group, kickstarting a shift in perspective about the way they live their lives, and this group now has over 1,000 members.
35 women have been through our Thrive Like A Mother course, learning how to tune into their purpose, connect to their power and call in plenty of what they want. The feedback has been phenomenal, and the ripples through our community are only just beginning.
There have been 72 visits by women and what’s sometimes felt like 3,786 babies and toddlers have been to our Connect Like A Mother sessions- informal networking and coaching for those in business. The atmosphere at these is electric, and the connection is incredible to see.
24 fathers and their families have attended Baby Brunch, a truly holistic session with Chloe W, where dads learn relaxation and massage skills with their babies, mums relax with a croissant and some fizz, and her special guest dishes out tips and tricks.
(We are responding to your feedback and increasing our offering for fathers in 2019!)
58 babies have enjoyed the benefits of massage after their mothers were empowered at Chloe’s sessions.
25 families have learnt how to use Cloth Nappies with Steph’s support, saving themselves money and helping to save the world.
We were highly recommended in 3 categories of the Essex Mums Awards- Best support Group, Best Blog, Special Contribution to the Local Community.
We welcomed 16 Brand Ambassadors on board- wonderful women who believe in the brand, and what we do, and facilitate the support we offer. Expect to see more from some of them soon…
We’ve raised over £500 for our fundraising partner, Southend on Sea Domestic Abuse Projects, since confirming the link in the second half of this year- with enormous thanks to the generosity of our community. That same community also provided what looked like hundreds of Xmas gifts for those families. It was incredible moving to see families supporting families living amongst them.
So what next?
Whilst I am SO proud of what we, as a community, have achieved and become, we are just getting started! 2019 is a year of growth.
You’re gonna see new collaborations with other local businesses, evolved offerings as we hear your perspectives on what you need, and a real focus on our values.
Equality, education, empowerment, community, connection, change.
Thank you. Thank you, thank you SO MUCH for every time you’ve attended a session with us, engaged with our content, shared us with your friends, donated to our appeals.
This is not mine, or ours, as a team. This is ours as a community- this is what it is because of you. We come together because we are not meant to do it alone. We connect and we share because it’s better this way. We hold the door open for others because we are all the same really.
I would love to see many more families welcomed into our collective in 2019- You in? Spread the word.