Tell us about the business/how did it come about?
I started The Positive Birth Company in 2015 after finishing my psychology masters and becoming a qualified hypnobirthing teacher.
While studying for my masters I attended a hypnobirthing course as an expectant mum and then as a result had an amazing, empowering and healing home birth with my second child. I realised this was what I wanted to do – teach hypnobirthing and help others experience the same, so after my masters I trained to become a teacher.
I was initially motivated to do a job where I could help people, and then in more recent years, I’ve been on a mission to make hypnobirthing more accessible for everyone. Hypnobirthing offers numerous benefits from reducing stress and anxiety in pregnancy to reducing the risk of unnecessary medical intervention, complications and trauma in birth. Hypnobirthing helps women have a more positive birth experience which has been proven to reduce the risk of postnatal depression, anxiety and PTSD, which in turn reduces the strain on the NHS. Sadly it’s not accessible for many.
We’re now the world’s largest supplier of hypnobirthing courses, supporting tens of thousands of women from over 86 countries globally.
Alongside offering in-person hypnobirthing classes in London, Brighton, Birmingham and Devon, we also have an award-winning, affordable online course which, to date, has been used by more than 30,000 women from around the world.
We’ve also created the chart-topping ‘Freya’ app, which was named as one of the Top Apps of 2019 by the App Store. Freya is the world’s first hypnobirthing-friendly surge (contraction) timer and virtual birth partner.
How are you different?
Hypnobirthing is rarely available on the NHS and for those who are aware of it, many sadly can’t access a course due to income barriers or time or geographical constraints.
We’ve been able to make hypnobirthing more accessible through our affordable online course (the Digital Pack) which is priced at just £39, our Freya app for iOS and Android and a series of free videos on our YouTube channel and IGTV.
By making hypnobirthing digital we’ve been able to help tens of thousands of women, if not hundreds of thousands, have a better birth experience and changing people’s lives for the better.
We passionately believe that every birth experience matters and every woman deserves access to the tools, knowledge and support for the best birth possible. Becoming a mother is such a momentous and pivotal moment in a woman’s life, and we’re committed to empowering women and their birth partners with the knowledge and tools to create positive birth experiences.
What are your plans for growth?
We’re on track to surpass 1 million pounds in turnover this year, which feels like a real milestone for a start-up business.
We’re also about to launch our own podcast and will be launching a campaign later this year for hypnobirthing to be made available on the NHS. Something which is long overdue but will be amazing once it happens.
What challenges have you overcome?
Many! The main one being with no investment or savings upon set up, I had to do EVERYTHING myself. And if I couldn’t do it or didn’t know how, I had to teach myself. Initially I took bookings, did the customer service, built the website, created content, taught the classes, built the brand. It was 24/7, for all 365 days of the year, for many years. It involved a great deal of personal sacrifice.
Any industry insights for 2020
It’s just been announced that from April, women will receive free health checks six weeks after giving birth. Traditionally babies have been given a routine check at six weeks post-birth but mothers have not. It’s a start in providing mothers with access to much-needed support but we still have a long way to go in terms of providing greater accessibility to maternity services and postnatal care.
Even in 2020 there is still a long-existing inequality gap when it comes to the availability of and access to antenatal and postnatal services, care and support across the country. Options available on the NHS are often a postcode lottery and private care is all too often prohibitively expensive.
Biography – Siobhan Miller, Founder The Positive Birth Company
In 2015, Siobhan founded The Positive Birth Company, which quickly evolved from a face-to-face hypnobirth training provider to a brand on a mission to make hypnobirthing accessible to the masses by removing barriers such as limited disposable income, geography and available free time.
The business, which is now the world’s biggest supplier of hypnobirthing courses, supporting customers from 86 countries.
Following a less-than-positive birth with her first child, Siobhan enrolled on a hypnobirthing course and, after an incredible second-birth experience at home, she went on to train to become a hypnobirthing teacher.
With an academic background in Psychology, Siobhan is passionate about spreading the word that birth can be better – and not just better, it can be amazing!
Alongside offering hypnobirthing classes in London, Brighton, Birmingham and Devon, The Positive Birth Company also offers an award-winning online course which, to date, has been downloaded by more than 26,000 women from around the world.
Siobhan, now a mum to three boys, has also recently developed and launched Freya, the world’s first hypnobirthing-friendly surge (contraction) timer app and virtual birth partner. She is also the author of the bestselling book ‘Hypnobirthing: Practical Ways to Make Your Birth Better.