Mothers Circle: Empowering Women to Take Ownership of Their Pregnancy, Birth and Mothering Journey

Photography: Kimberley Rich Photography

We hear all the time about how important it is to “find your village” – especially when you’re going through the huge transition from woman to mother. Well – we have found your village! Mothers Circle will provide you with heart-centered support and education during your pregnancy and motherhood journey. We spoke to Sophia Paskell, mama, childbirth educator, doula and holder of space at Mothers Circle, to learn more about how she got started.

Sophia Paskell. Photography: Kimberley Rich Photography.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

I started out teaching government funded antenatal classes over 10 years ago. I found facets of the curriculum rigid and missing important elements, such as the spiritual, emotional and heart-centered aspects of the pregnancy and motherhood journey. Women from my antenatal classes who wanted further support began to invite me to their births – which I simply loved! Every birth is so different and this is where I began getting real life experience with all sorts of personalities, circumstances, birth desires and outcomes.

I found many women to be emotionally unprepared and unsupported for the major transition that pregnancy brings. Naturally I found myself helping women to process the very sensitive and complex emotions that arise. I found there was a huge gap in support here.

My work as a birth doula has given me the knowledge to understand how important it is to be well supported holistically, and not just medically.  How a woman feels about her birth experience can affect her well-being, her mental health, her mothering and future relationships.

My personal journey of finding peace in my own life has helped me to design a course that shines the light on the inner unfolding that occurs in pregnancy, birth and motherhood. The Peaceful Pregnancy Circle explores themes using breathwork, meditation, art, movement and journaling to help create space and a gentle holding for women to explore and process her experiences. I teach natural pain relieving techniques and practical skills for labour and birth. There is a strong focus on fostering a village of support and sisterhood among the women.

The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

I started out running a drop-in class at the local library. The Weight Watchers group met in the room next door. My group would be quietly meditating and all you could hear was the women next door laughing loudly over what they ate that day and how many calories are in a muffin! It wasn’t ideal!

I now run two local classes per week and an online class – which means I can support anyone in the world – as long as they have the internet. I also support women with one-on-one sessions during their pregnancy and also postnatally.

Photography: Kimberley Rich Photography.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

My biggest breakthrough has been around discovering my own unique gifts and realising that there is a need for what I have to offer. People are seeking information about natural birth. They want a positive birth experience. They want to heard and not judged for their choices. They want warm emotional support. They want to explore their emotions and experiences. To fully understand that I am very good at the art of support has allowed me to get out of my own way and get on with my work.

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