Spurs and England striker Harry Kane and wife Kate among celebrities to endorse Hatfield Heath's The Maternity Therapist Sophie Sinclair
A Hatfield Heath woman who has coached celebrity parents, including the wife of Spurs and England footballer Harry Kane, through their pregnancies has expanded her services to offer the ultimate bump-to-baby experience.
Birth coach and doula Sophie Sinclair – aka The Maternity Therapist – has supported thousands of expectant mums through hypnobirthing, which teaches women and their partners to prepare physically and emotionally for the arrival of their child, from bump to birth to baby.
The married mother of two – who trained as a hypnobirthing teacher following her own positive hypnobirth of younger child Mabel, now 10 – believes that with the right techniques and mindset, all women can achieve a positive birth experience by trusting their natural birthing instincts. Her specialism is helping couples avoid unnecessary intervention to ensure they have the right birth on the day.
In 2018, Sophie, a former Herts and Essex High School student, came out in defence of England captain Kane after he was widely criticised on social media for saying he was proud of his wife Kate for delivering their second daughter, Vivienne Jane, without any form of pain relief.
Speaking to Vanessa Feltz on her BBC Radio London show at the time, Sophie made the point that positive birth is not defined necessarily by what happens during the birth, but more how a woman reacts and feels with reflection.
However she delivers her baby, whether naturally, via Caesarean section or with intervention, the most important thing is to equip pregnant women with the knowledge and skills to make informed choices, remain calm and in control whatever turn their labour takes.
"My whole ethos really is empowering women that birth doesn't have to be medicalised and there are so many things you can do to encourage that," Sophie told the Indie.
"Unfortunately, though, women have been conditioned to be fearful of giving birth and it's that fear which inhibits their bodies from doing what it's built to do. However, if you change the way a woman thinks about birth, then the way she births will change."
Sophie, 43, recently started running one-hour HypYoga classes at North Street's Woo Wellness Studio and Fringe Yoga in Epping, offering a blend of the Fringe yoga method and hypnobirthing techniques that enables women to connect with their birthing instincts and their babies.
In addition to creating strength and structure to a mother's changing body, pregnancy yoga can help improve blood and oxygen flow to the womb and placenta, reduce joint pain and other common pregnancy-related ailments, and encourage babies to move into good positions for birth. It also supports the practice of active birth during labour, helping to reduce labour time.
In early March, Sophie will be collaborating with Stansted play café Bear and Eden to launch a new Maternity Social. The monthly event will offer the opportunity to meet other, like-minded expectant parents, enjoy wholesome food and take part in a Q&A session with a range of birth professionals, midwives, doulas and sleep consultants.
"What I really want to create is a community," said Sophie. "I'm a great believer that when you find your tribe, and when you feel like you really fit in, it can change your life.
"I want to be able to bring women together and to help them form friendships going forward, because we can feel so much more supported and confident when we have that like-minded network around you.
"The day we birth our children stays with us forever, and I think we need to start hearing more positive birth stories and for women who have achieved a natural birth not to be made to feel like they're being smug or that they're lying.
"There's nothing more powerful than a friend saying 'Yes, this really did work for me and it can happen'. It's about time more women were empowered to take ownership of their birth."
You can find more information about the packages Sophie offers by visiting her new website at www.sophiesinclair.co.uk.
Celebrity parents praise The Maternity Therapist
"Both Harry and I completed the course with Sophie and it really helped us change our negative expectations into a positive one. When labour started, I was calm, relaxed, confident and in control of my body. There was a period when my labour stalled, so Sophie came over and did some rebozo and reflexology [and] the surges immediately started again. When she left, I felt more calm and relaxed and we left for the hospital an hour later. We had an amazing water birth with no pain relief and Harry was an amazing birth partner." – Kate Kane
"As a business owner, I spent most of my time within a structure and doing all I can to remain in control for my company and people. So when I realised I was clueless when it came to supporting the most important person in my world (my wife) with the birthing process, I looked to Sophie for support. The best thing about Sophie is she was able not only to reassure, but instil confidence and enthusiasm to me during one of the most important times of my life." – Ricky Martin, winner of The Apprentice 2012