Welcome to The Calm Collective

HypnoBirthing® Childbirth Education Classes and Birth & Postpartum Doula Services

HypnoBirthing®

The Calm Collective offers Childbirth Education Classes that will help you tap into your instinctive birth knowledge whilst also providing you with tools such as visualization, massage and breathing techniques, affirmations, deepening and education on the birth process, using the Marie Mongan HypnoBirthing® Method. This toolkit will help you enhance your birthing experience so that you and your family will have a calm, beautiful and empowering birth.

Doula

A Doula can best be described as a birth companion there to enhance the birthing experience for the family, through emotional, informational, and physical support during, before and after the birth.

My Story

First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS on your pregnancy!

What an exciting journey you are about to embark on.

Let me begin by introducing myself, my name is Brigette Verhoef. I am a wife, mommy to a beautiful little toddler, a certified WOMBS Doula and HypnoBirthing® Childbirth Educator. That’s quite a mouthful isn’t it? Really, what it all comes down to is that I am super passionate and inspired by birth, so much so, that I have started my own company with the heart and mind to help birthing families have an empowering, beautiful and calm birth.

“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves” ~ Jon Kabat Zinn ~

The above quote could not be truer for me. I sit back in awe at the journey I have been on since I first saw those two pink lines.

I would love to share my whole story but I am guessing you didn’t come here to read about me, you came here because you are curious about what I have to offer for your birth journey.

It is, however, important for you to know why I am so passionate about what I do.  This is a very personal journey for you and it’s a very personal service from me that I offer.  So here is a brief introduction to my story.

I realised I was pregnant 2 weeks after I had resigned from my job, with the intention to take a year off to complete my BA… Ha! Ha! good one ol’ Murphy! Being (voluntarily) unemployed with a baby on the way did not stress me out near as much as the thought of needing to have an epidural – I thought they came standard with labour and the hospital bed.  I had to find another way! I am sure it wouldn’t be a far stretch of the imagination to figure out I soon discovered HypnoBirthing®.  What I read sounded interesting but a little too airy fairy/floating with the pixies for me but the more I researched the more I read positive testimony after positive testimony.  Almost every single story read of no epidural, being beautiful, calm and empowering births, and what’s more, there was a legitimate science behind it as well.  Hey, these “fairies” were onto something here!

I eventually bought the HypnoBirthing® book and was blown away by what I read. It was a riveting read that left me convinced that my body was more than capable of giving birth and I had been given some invaluable insight on how to best prepare my mind and my body for my birth. What was great is that it also included my husband, by giving him a role to play in the birth and walking alongside me, helping me make decisions for my body and our child. I’ll be honest, I did not spend much time doing the relaxation techniques, they were still a bit far out there for me but what I did walk away with was a sense of empowerment and that was powerful!!!

I am not one for confrontation and will almost always revert to a state that is most convenient for the other person/s. You can well imagine that it would be near impossible then for me to have my dream birth if it did not fall in line with what the doctors or hospital staff expected of me. HypnoBirthing® gave me a voice, it made me realise that this was our birth and that we had more of a say in it than what we realised. It was the birth of a more confident and empowered me.

On the 10th of May 2016, my beautiful darling Ava was born. It was a magical day, I was so in love with my husband, my daughter and the maternity staff, yes, you read right. It is no exaggeration when I say that I cried the day we left hospital. I felt such a deep sense of connection with the maternity staff, they were incredibly respectful and supportive of my choices and that contributed to me having such a beautiful and calm birth. Rudi, my husband, was a rock star, he was my very own Doula, so incredibly supportive and my anchor. One day, I will share my full birth story.

A few days later, another birth happened, the birth of a dream. Whilst laying and staring at my perfect little squishy, who had kept me up all hours, I daydreamed about how I could help other birthing families start this incredible journey of parenthood and so began the research into how I could make this happen. I spent countless hours (breastfeeding through the night gives you plenty of free time) researching everything and anything about birth, babies and the courses I could enrol in to be qualified to support birthing families.

In July 2017, I began my Doula training with WOMBS (Women Offering Mothers Birth Support), after each class I left on a high. The birth of a child and a family is such a miraculous and beautiful event and I knew that with the journey I was on, I would be able to share in that with many others. Part of our WOMBS training is that we observe and attend a certain amount of births before qualifying, so as to put the theory into practice. I did my birth observations and support at Stanger Government Hospital, whilst there was language gap between myself and the labouring mothers, there was a deep instinctive bond that was created as I stood holding the women’s hands, massaging them and gently encouraging them. What an honour and blessing to be there as each baby took their first breath and to witness the mothers laying their eyes on their babies for the first time.

In April 2018, I attended my HypnoBirthing® Practitioners’ Training in Cape Town under the tutelage of the inspirational Kim Young. Again, I am honest to admit that I was still a bit sceptical about the relaxation and mediation and you would be forgiven for thinking that it was strange that I would still pursue and advocate a program I had not used in its entirety. I feel that it is more testament to how wonderful the HypnoBirthing® program is, there was enough in it for a sceptic like me to still have had an incredible birth. However, that all being said, having had the opportunity to now really explore the relaxation tool of HypnoBirthing® (the calmest training I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of), I am even more positive of how HypnoBirthing® can be an asset to any birth as well as an invaluable tool for life.

And so, The Calm Collective, was born. I am incredibly excited to be able walk alongside new birthing families as they become aware of the new possibilities that are within them.

(P.s. That epidural I thought came standard? Well it doesn’t – it is entirely your choice!)

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Get in touch with me

Brigette Verhoef
WOMBS Doula & HBCE