With over 20 years’ experience in maternity/midwifery care, Lyn Kelson has always had a passion for helping women experience a positive pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. She supports you to become confident in your birth and early motherhood decisions, empowering you to embrace pregnancy, birth and early motherhood on your own terms. And if you are still healing from previous birth trauma, she works with you towards a beautiful birth experience that honours your experiences, your dreams and your fears as you approach your own threshold of motherhood again. Here Lyn talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind B4 Motherhood, the pros and cons of running her own business, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
The inspiration behind all of my maternity/midwifery-based work over the last 20+ years has always been to help women to have the very best experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenting via a woman-centred practice.
The factors behind the decision to start my business are many, but one of the key driving forces was the withdrawal of maternity services by a number of the smaller health services in my region. Not only did this reduce services to women, but it also reduced my options to practise my midwifery profession. I have always delighted in having face-to-face discussions with families in my practice, and have been fortunate to work across all phases of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Being able to have that valuable, ongoing relationship with women as they cross the threshold of motherhood has been an honour I cherish.
Events of recent years have seen the development of different ways of delivering care to families in pregnancy, birth and early parenting via telehealth. It dawned on me that I could still provide my years of experience and skill to be of service to women and families using the same principles of remote service provision. While I could not share the sacred birth space of women, I could still offer my accumulated skills, knowledge and expertise to empower women and equip them to have a beautiful birth on their own terms.
This was the seed that germinated into B4 Motherhood.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I laugh when I think about the term “launch”, because for me it was a series of tiny incremental advancements to fortify my courage to work in a different way, and to formulate a clear dream of what I wanted to offer to women in a way that provided true value to them in such a pivotal event in their lives.
I engaged a wonderful web designer and set to work making my heart’s desire visible in the world of the internet. My website is the backbone of my business and where women can learn more about the services I offer, and where they can contact me most easily.
I soon realised that promoting my small, still voice in the very noisy space of birth in our culture, and in an arena as large as the world wide web, was fraught with challenges, but I trust that women who need me will find me.
My philosophy about my business launch was less about making a splash on entry, but more about creating ripples of change.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I think for me, the biggest breakthrough, or the biggest body of work, centred around how I could take my care, compassion, knowledge and skill into a different format from the face-to-face care I had been comfortable with when working in conventional maternity care.
Packaging up the skills women need to be empowered and knowledgeable about their choices in pregnancy and birth and early parenting was challenging. It was constantly in my mind that I know how important it is for women to feel empowered and knowledgeable, and how to support normal physiology, but many women don’t know they need these things.
I developed my “Dream big birth plan” program to provide this capacity building to women.
Often after a less than optimal first birth experience is when women know they need these things. Unfortunately, one in three women will describe their birth as being traumatic.
The services I offer that centre around allowing women a sacred space to talk about their birth experiences and debrief what that means, to and for them, are a fundamental part of my woman-centred care. Being able to provide trauma-informed birth debriefing is a big part of my calling in working with women. My “Heard about birth” program is how I offer this service.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I’m at a very fortunate time in my life now that work and family are no longer competing strings in my bow. I love being with my family (including a number of babies recently added) and value their joy in my life, but I can devote time to my business, as all my children are independent now.
I’m also a regenerative farmer, so caring for my land, caring for my animals and caring for women in my consultations all fit together well. I like to think that the philosophy of making a better future runs through all of my actions in my day.
Changing my work structure to providing services online has had the bonus of being able to meet women where they are at in their journey, and being able to work online has given me greater flexibility to accommodate various time needs with the women I serve.