It was reaching out to a birth trauma specialist to help heal her own trauma that inspired Melissa Smith to want to help others. Finally having someone to talk to that understood how she was feeling and was able to explain why she was feeling these emotions made a huge difference to her healing journey and made the decision to become a certified healing birth practitioner. Melissa advocates for better support and care towards women in New Zealand during pregnancy, birth and beyond. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the passion behind her business and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
After going through my own traumatic birth experience six years ago after the birth of my daughter Charleigh, there has always been this pull inside of me to somehow make some change to maternal mental health in New Zealand.
I really struggled to find help with processing and healing from that birth. The help just wasn’t out there. By chance I was sent a story about birth injuries in New Zealand. One of the people interviewed in the story was by an amazing woman, Carla Sargent, who specialises in Birth Trauma in New Zealand. I contacted her straight away. Finally, I had found someone who understood how I was feeling, who could explain to me why I was feeling those emotions. I felt listened to.
I really struggled to find help with processing and healing from that birth. The help just wasn’t out there.
At the beginning of this year, I studied to become a Healing Birth Practitioner through Carla with an amazing and knowledgeable group of women from around New Zealand. I knew this is what I was meant to be doing. I knew from my own experience there wasn’t enough help for new mothers after a traumatic birth experience. I feel so privileged and honoured to be a part of a growing number of Healing Birth Practitioners around the country offering our support.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Launching my social media page on Facebook. I realised very quickly how in need this work is when I started receiving messages from women telling me their own experiences.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I was given an amazing opportunity recently to appear on the AM show with Greens MP Jan Logie to talk about the ACC Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters Amendment Bill. The support I received from that was incredible and it got everyone talking about this issue, which is exactly what needs to happen for change to happen.
I feel so privileged and honoured to be a part of a growing number of Healing Birth Practitioners around the country offering our support.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
The bulk of my work for now is done the days when my son is in daycare to allow me to give my full attention to the mama in need of my support.