Having always had an easy connection with babies, Dani Potter became a postpartum doula after having her own, shifting her focus to the needs of new mothers. She is here to support women through the postpartum period, believing that planning for matrescence is one of the most valuable things a woman can do as she prepares to welcome her child into the world. She is passionate about helping mothers find themselves, guiding them to tune into their own intuition and to develop the skills and tools they need to flourish in motherhood. From protecting space for you as you recover physically and emotionally from pregnancy, labour and delivery, to supporting you with delicious home-cooked meals, Dani will be there to treat, pamper and listen to you as you navigate this new journey. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about what inspired her to start Beyond Baby, the challenges she has overcome, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I’ve always loved babies, for as long as I can remember. I grew up being one of the youngest in my extended family and so often had family and family friends around with their babies and young children. I found I had, and still have, an affinity with them. Babies seem to naturally relax around me and I with them. When I had my own beautiful babes, I found that love grew and shifted to focus on new mothers.
I had a cousin pregnant with her second at the same time as me and she taught me so much about how to care for myself after birth – something I had never considered or heard anyone talk about. Thankfully, because of this, I wasn’t quite so blindsided by the brutality of postpartum, but goodness, it was still such a shock.
I was so fortunate when my daughter Matilda was born that my mum came round almost daily to support us. She cleaned our home, unpacked our hospital bag, did laundry, prepared meals and sat with me while I cried – I’d had a pretty traumatic birth experience. I was physically recovering, sore and uncomfortable, I had delayed milk drop due to an infection and was triple feeding, and I was navigating new motherhood with a babe diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at birth, so she was in a Pavlik harness which introduced new, extra challenges.
The support from Mum, and some friends who’d also journeyed matrescence recently, really resonated with me. The real honest truth of postpartum was an unknown to me and so many other new mums, until you’re in the thick of it, and that didn’t sit well with me. So much so, that I began looking into ways I could help care for, guide and support new mothers on their journey through matrescence. Hence, Beyond Baby was born.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
The time between the idea sparking and the business launching was close to two years. When I was pregnant with my son Edison, I immersed myself in postpartum education. I listened to podcasts, I read books and researched all I could. When Eddie arrived, I put into practice all that I’d learned and had a beautifully nourished and supported postpartum. The idea of providing a service to help other woman achieve the same was sparked.
One night, I was up for a feed and scrolling social media and I got a targeted ad for Newborn Mothers Collective. Next thing, I’d signed up to study and train as a postpartum doula. It was such a spur of the moment decision but one that turned out to be the best thing I could have done.
After my training, I set about slowly building my business. I didn’t have the financial stability to stop working and just jump right in, nor to financially support outsourcing everything so I had to be quite frugal and deliberate in my actions. Anything I could do myself, or learn how to do myself, I did – I taught myself how to build a website, write a business plan, and manage my finances; then I outsourced logo and style guide and legal documentation.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I’m still waiting for my “big break”. I’ve had to keep my growth and progress slow due to family life, but I’m OK with that. I can’t force it, and if I try to rush it, I fear it won’t be as genuine because I won’t be living the example I want to be setting for my clients.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
It’s definitely a juggle. I’m fortunate that we have great support from our extended family. My parents and my in-laws provide care for our kids a couple of days a week, which are now my “doula days”, and outside of that, I prioritise what needs to get done around what’s happening in the family.