The Birth Sling: Supporting Women in Pregnancy and Birth

The Birth Sling

As an Osteopath, Birth Doula and Birth Educator, Jess Michaels has always had a special interest in treating and supporting women through pregnancy, birth and beyond, but never more so than after the birth of her own daughter in 2021. She initially created The Birth Sling to use for her own birth in May 2021. Seeing the huge potential and benefit of having a product like this available to labouring women, she decided to get it manufactured. Lovingly created for birthing mamas and birth workers as a way to encourage mobile, upright birth, The Birth Sling has now reached and impacted women and families across the globe, helping those pursuing active and natural birth options. Here Jess talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the passion behind her business, how she balances work and family life, and her hopes and dreams for the future.

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

I initially created a handmade version of the birth sling to use for our own birth in May 2021. As an Osteopath, I knew the best way for me to labour was upright and active, which I knew would significantly reduce the risk of interventions including c-section.

I then realised the huge potential and benefit of having a product like this available for labouring women and decided to go for it and get the product manufactured!

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

Since The Birth Sling‘s first official launch in February 2022, it has been purchased by pregnant mothers and birth workers in more than 12 different countries around the world. It amazes me to think that The Birth Sling has reached and impacted women and families across the globe and that it has helped those pursuing active and natural birth options.

Women have used tools such as ropes, hammocks, and slings to assist them in labour for centuries – this really is just a new and convenient take on these ancient and intuitive methods used by our ancestors.

The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

After all the hard work to design The Birth Sling – including making sure it had the right functionality, met all the required safety standards, choosing the fabric, finding a manufacturer and designing the packaging – landing the final design and receiving the first prototype was an amazing feeling!

Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?

I’ve had to learn to say no and not over commit myself!

I’ve also learnt the importance of being flexible and also recognising that achieving a perfect balance between work and family is just not always possible. By and large I prioritise my partner and young daughter, however there are times when work demands a lot of my attention, and we just work through that to make sure everyone’s needs are being met during these times.

I also always try to maintain clear boundaries between work and family time. When I’m with my family, I try to be fully present and avoid checking work emails or taking calls unless absolutely necessary.

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