Mini Edit Mama is a series of interviews with the women who inspire us most. Join us as we sit down with the mums we love, from famous faces, to friends, family and the women who’ve built our business.
Siobhan Miller ( @thepositivebirthmama / @thepositivebirthcompany )
Siobhan, founder of The Positive Birth Company, author, and mum to three boys, is a hypnobirthing specialist with an academic background in psychology and an all round boss babe. Her passion centres around educating and empowering women and their birth partners to create positive birth experiences.
Siobhan’s hypnobirthing journey began in 2014, when she enrolled on a course while pregnant with her second child. After the first session, she was converted to this logical and natural approach to childbirth and founded The Positive Birth Company with the intention of bringing together women, birth workers and relevant practitioners to foster a community of women supporting women.
Not content with the early success of the Positive Birth Company’s sell out private and group hypnobirthing courses and driven by her belief that every woman deserves the best birth possible, Siobhan started working on The Positive Birth Company's Digital Pack, an online program, designed to make hypnobirthing more accessible for everyone. The now phenomenally successful digital pack was shortly followed by the launch of Siobhan’s app, Freya, the world's first hypnobirthing-friendly surge (contraction) timer and virtual birth partner.
Earlier this year Siobhan released her best selling book Hypnobirthng : Practical Ways To Make Your Birth Better, which is packed with practical tools designed for every woman growing a baby and for every type of birth.
We sat down with Siobhan, who is one of the hardest working and most genuine people we have ever met, to ask her about her life, her work, her beautiful boys and what is the next step in her mission to show women everywhere that birth can be, not just better, but amazing!
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Having spent most of my adult life in London, I now live by the sea in Devon.
My partner James and our three boys; Oisin ( 12 ), Arlo ( 4 ) and Ailbe ( 3 )
WHERE IS YOUR HAPPY PLACE?
Camping! Nothing beats waking up in my camper van, opening the back door to a sea view and sitting wrapped up in a duvet with a hot cup of tea in hand and a slightly chilly sea breeze in the air!
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT?
The Greatest Showman soundtrack, on repeat. Partly because I love it, partly because the kids demand I play it.
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST GUILTY PLEASURE?
Sweets and Chocolate - I’m so bad, I can’t help myself.
WHAT’S IN YOUR HANDBAG TODAY?
All my cards, no cash (who carries cash these days?!), sunglasses (always optimistic), diary (keeping it old school) and my phone (of course!).
WHAT’S YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
I don’t think I have any possessions that I really care so much about… maybe a hard drive with photos on it, dating back to when my first was a baby. I’d be gutted to lose those. But everything else feels like clutter. Sometimes I dream of walking away from it all and starting again and living a very minimalist life - haha!
That said, I’d find it hard to part with my grey Ikea sofa. I bought it 12 years ago from Ikea’s bargain basement and drove it home tied to the roof of my Peugeot 306. But the reason it’s so special to me is because 4 years ago I gave birth to my middle son on it.
WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE PERSON ON THE GRAM?
At the moment it’s Stacey Solomon! She’s just had her third baby and I’m loving her real posts.
WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I mean most of the time it’s PJs and bed hair, the perks of working from home! But if I’m going out (not out out), I am a fan of the relaxed / grungy / slightly rock chick vibe. I recently bought a super soft leather jacket from Hush which has silver star studs all over it and it’s probably my favourite thing in my wardrobe right now.
WHO’S YOUR STYLE ICON?
I’m so bad with famous people - I’m more likely to be inspired by what a friend is wearing or someone I’ve seen on instagram!
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
I’m still trying to figure that out… :s After watching The Greatest Showman, I’ve not ruled out training to be a trapeze artist and joining the circus.
HOW WOULD YOU HAVE ANSWERED THAT WHEN YOU WERE A KID?
A dancer, a teacher, an actress, a librarian :) I LOVED playing ‘libraries’ - haha! I would overturn a cardboard box, label my books and offer them to my siblings for loan, I even had a stamp and ink pad!
WHAT’S THE ONE PIECE OF CAREERS ADVICE YOU WISH YOU’D BEEN GIVEN?
That people don’t have one career for life and you don’t need to decide at 16 or 18 what your career will look like. It’s not possible to know! You’ve not even lived or entered the workplace properly, how on earth are you supposed to know where your strengths lie or what you will enjoy doing. I’m 33 and I’m only learning these things now.
I got an English and Drama degree first time round as those were the subjects I enjoyed. I then fell into marketing and did that for a number of years. I then when back to uni as a mature student and did a psychology masters degree. From there I trained to become a Hypnobirthing teacher, set up my business and wrote a book. In retrospect everything I’ve done has helped me get to where I am today but it hasn’t always been clear to me where I was headed.
I’m also certain that you can create success in whatever avenue you work in, if you care enough about the work you do. And it takes time to find that. So my advice to my children will be, do what you love whilst you’re young, take the time to learn about yourself and find your feet; success will follow. That might sound wishy-washy but I also really do believe in working hard; I always give 100% and strive to do my best and I think that’s the other ingredient required; work hard, doing something you love.
WHAT’S YOUR PARENTING STYLE?
Relaxed. I’m the opposite of a helicopter parent… It’s not always been that way though, but 12 years in, I’ve definitely let things slide.
WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER ONE MUM HACK?
Talcum powder for the beach. Makes brushing sand off MUCH easier. (How Devon am I now?!)
WHAT’S THE WORST DECISION YOU’VE EVER MADE?
I don’t believe in having regrets because even the worst decisions teach you things and where you find yourself now is a consequence of all the good and bad decisions you’ve made in your life so far.
When it comes to opportunities I believe you’re more likely to regret what you don’t do, rather than what you did. I’m a big believer in keeping on trying; better to have failed than not to have tried at all.
WHAT’S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Probably my business…
I started with nothing; no investment, no mentoring and with two children under 16 months!
Now I have a team of people working with me and together we’ve helped almost 20,000 women around the world have positive birth experiences.
I started out teaching couples 1:1, now there are group classes running across the UK, the online course the ‘Digital Pack’ is being used in 80 different countries worldwide, there’s the ‘Freya’ app and most recently my book ’Hypnobirthing: practical ways to Make Your Birth Better’.
Numbers aside, the most rewarding aspect of the business and the thing which makes me most proud, is the fact the business is doing good in the world. We are not only helping women have better births but we are making antenatal education affordable and accessible and by doing so, enabling more women, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access such education, the opportunity to have the amazing birth they deserve.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
I feel inspired by the people around all the time. I love meeting people who run their own businesses or reading about their journey. I might feel inspired by what they have achieved, how they work or how they manage a work / life balance. I also feel inspired by the women and mums I talk to on a daily basis. It might be something they say about parenting or relationships or being less wasteful, they might talk about mental health challenges or exercise or books they’ve enjoyed or body confidence or how they pack away bedlinen. People inspire me all the time.
However if I was forced to pick someone well-known, I’d have to say Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace. What he’s achieved in making meditation simple, has been phenomenal. Aside from being a huge fan and regular user of the app, I’m in awe of how he has transformed meditation, made it accessible and the positive benefits this has had on millions of people.
WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT?
Ideas! And my work. Ideas for my work. I can’t switch off, I’m always thinking of new things I could do, or ways I could do things better.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU TODAY?
I’ve got a meeting this afternoon about my son’s school trip to Normandy! This will be his first trip abroad without me. And he’s going to be gone for a full week! Him going to secondary school has initiated a bigger change than I had anticipated; he’s now so independent. Everyone says it, but it really does go so fast.
AND THIS YEAR?
I’m currently working on producing the Postpartum Pack which is coming this summer. Similar to the Digital Pack, it will comprise of a series of online videos and workshops designed to educate and support women through the early weeks and months post-baby.
I’m also trying (unsuccessfully at the moment) to buy our first house! Having rented for the last 16 years, I can’t wait to have a home of my own to decorate as I wish. I’m sick of magnolia. It’s going to be bright colours all the way!!