I thought I’d be a bit different and start off my “about me” section with 10 fun facts about me! Well, maybe not so fun, but stuff about me nonetheless.
1. I am definitely a cat person rather than a dog person.
2. I dream of living by the sea.
3. I love being outside.
4. As much as I love being around people, I love to be alone too.
5. I love exploring my spirituality and discovering the person I truly am.
6. I love to help things (and people) grow.
7. I think outside the box and truly believe anything is possible.
8. As much as I want to, and try, I do not enjoy hosting children's parties.
9. I have fads. A lot of them. This summer's fad has been stand-up paddleboarding. I LOVE it!
10. I want the best for everyone. I really do. But especially for expectant parents and their babies.
Hi! I’m Helen Discombe and I am the founder of Born Smiling. Well, there’s just me here (plus my partner, Andy, my little boy who is 6 and our cat, Smudge). We live in Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire and thanks to living here I am able to serve pretty much the whole of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and the London Borough of Hillingdon (and beyond if we do video sessions).
I started Born Smiling in 2014. Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been working in the birth world for 5 years now!
Anyway, I started out teaching Hypnobirthing in 2014. I chose to begin teaching Hypnobirthing thanks to the transformation it gave to me when I was pregnant with my child. I went from seriously considering adoption because I was so terrified of giving birth to, upon hearing about Hypnobirthing, realising I could give birth to a baby. Following my Hypnobirthing course, I was actively looking forward to giving birth! I really wanted to share the secret of Hypnobirthing with everyone!
Over the years I have found that Hypnobirthing alone isn’t quite enough preparation for some. Some couples need a more bespoke birth preparation service to truly help them to find the power within themselves to birth (birth partners have a very active role to play in labour and birth too). And so I began to offer a personalised birth preparation service, combining those wonderful Hypnobirthing tools and techniques with emotional support, and traditional antenatal education, information and advice. It is here that I seem to have found my niche. Supporting those couples who really need a friend through pregnancy and birth. Truly helping people to find the confidence and power within themselves.
Many couples have asked me to support them at their births and in the past I had always declined as I felt this wasn’t really a part of my role, so in 2018 I decided it was time to undertake some training to become a Doula so I could offer this service to the parents I support. Becoming a Doula really felt like I’d found home. I love my work with my whole heart. Supporting parents throughout pregnancy, birth and the early days with a newborn is truly an honour.
Throughout my time working with expectant parents, I have found that the people I have most enjoyed working with, have been those who have undergone the deepest of transformations through their work with me. Those who like me have gone from being really quite fearful or even anxious about giving birth, to feeling really very excited about it. It is such a beautiful transformation to witness and I really look forward to working with you as you undergo this transformation.
I run a busy Positive Birth Movement group at Wycombe Hospital. You may have read about Positive Birth Movement in Milli Hill’s Positive Birth Book. We meet between 10am - 12noon on the first Saturday of the month in the antenatal clinic. You can find out more about our group via our page on the Positive Birth Movement website, or via our Facebook page.
I also volunteer with Buckinghamshire NHS Maternity Services. Firstly, I am a Service User Representative with the Maternity Voices Partnership working as part of a team of women and their families, midwives and doctors who work together to review and contribute to the development of local maternity care. I am also a qualified Breastfeeding Peer Supporter volunteering alongside Health Care Professionals giving valuable infant feeding support and time to new mums, however they choose to feed their babies.
Skills, Study Days and Training
HypnoBirthing Practitioner Training
Marie Mongan’s UK HypnoBirthing Institute
Hypnobirthing Practitioner (conversion) Training
Jenny Mullan’s Hypnobirthing Academy (Royal College of Midwives Accredited)
Kicki Hansard’s BirthBliss Academy (Doula UK Accredited)
Doula UK Conference
GDPR Workshop (Data Protection)
3 Step Rewind
Mark Harris’ Birthing Awareness
Bucks NHS Breastfeeding Peer Supporter Training
Birth Trauma Conference
Let’s Talk Birth Conference
Completion of Doula UK’s Birth Doula Recognition Pathway