You deserve to have a truly positive experience as you follow your journey through pregnancy, birth and beyond. That means being informed, confident and listened to. I am here to help you feel totally ready for what lies ahead.
Hi, my name is Meg Brierley founder of A Gentle Journey. Mummy, wife, birth geek, ex-volcanic hazards researcher and lover of a good quiz.
Originally from Yorkshire, I now live in East Lancashire with my husband, Pete, our 3 children and 3 cats. My children are my biggest inspiration. I don’t ever want my children to feel lost if they choose to become parents themselves. I want my daughters to know they have choices and options, especially where their bodies are concerned. One day my son might support someone in birth, I don’t want him to ever have to fight to have his partner’s voice heard. They are already creating beliefs about what lies ahead, and I see people every day with beliefs about birth that have been with them since childhood. My passion is to create positive and normal expectations of birth as my children grow up. For the people I support, my passion lies in giving them exactly the same.
Pregnancy, birth and me
Before becoming pregnant I thought giving birth would happen TO me, with the help of doctors and midwives. My assumption was that it was something uncomfortable that you endured in order to get to the best bit; becoming a new parent. I thought people who wanted home births were mad, why would you ever give birth without a hospital?!
After getting pregnant my thought process began to change as I uncovered a world of options I never knew existed. I realised I wanted the pregnancy and birth to be something more than what I’d first thought. I wanted to feel connected to my baby and my husband to be involved at every step. Ultimately, I wanted to feel confident and have faith in the birth process. As much as it went against what society seemed to want me to believe, I wanted to enjoy it!
I discovered Hypnobirthing and the whole philosophy fit with what I had been thinking about. Hypnobirthing gave me calm confidence I’d been looking for. As a result, I could enjoy my last months of pregnancy. For the most part anyway! She arrived at 40+13 so I went through A LOT of frustrated ball bouncing in those final weeks! However, the birth of my first daughter, Harriet, was the amazing experience I had hoped for. And, contrary to what I thought about home births, I had one myself! Not just for mad people after all…?
Why I do what I do
I became a Hypnobirthing teacher so that I could help other families experience what I had. Not a carbon copy of my birth, but that exhilarating feeling of “I did that! I can do anything!”. Seeing people discover for themselves just how much power they had was amazing. Through my sessions I could inform, advocate and empower. But, I became increasingly aware that there was more I could do. The modern world has left us distant from the tribe which once protected and nurtured us. We are not supposed to birth and parent a baby in isolation. It takes a village.
After the birth of my second daughter, Philippa, I committed full time to supporting women and families in preparing for positive birth and early parenthood. I completed training to become a birth and postnatal Doula and resigned from my job as a secondary school teacher. In the years that followed I worked closely with a Doula mentor and am now a fully recognised Doula with Doula UK. I have had the honour of working with many many individuals and couples as they prepare for becoming new parents. I have witnessed them at their most strong and powerful as they birth their babies in ways that were right for them. In pools in living rooms, on beds in labour wards, on birth stools in birth centres and in theatre for Caesareans, and everything else in between. Birth is amazing, however you choose to do it.
Since becoming a Doula, and taking on A Gentle Journey full time, I have had my third child, my little boy Ezra. After all this, I can honestly say that I am still learning myself, with every pregnancy and every birth. From my own experiences as a birthing woman, and as a Doula, I recognise how important it is to feel supported, informed and cared for. And, even better if that is by someone you trust and can feel comfortable with.
If you are looking for someone to walk alongside you, listen to you, inform you, advocate for you and enable you to advocate for yourself, reassure you, respect you and empower you then get in touch. I would love to meet you and your family and we can discuss if I am right for you and design a package that fits YOU.
It is important to me that everything I teach is up to date and evidence based. I love to learn and so I will always continue to build my knowledge and expertise in order to provide you with the best support possible.
My training Includes:
- Hypnobirthing Childbirth Educator training with the HypnoBirthing Institute – June 2015
- Doula training with Nurturing Birth – March 2017
- Rebozo workshop with Selina Wallis of Unlocking Birth – August 2017
- Closing the Bones with Sophie Messager – September 2017
- NCT Breastfeeding Peer Supporter training – January 2018
- Bursting the Bubble II: Bereavement Care and Support in Maternity conference – March 2018
- The 3 Step Rewind Technique for easing birth trauma with Mia Scotland of MAM Learning – April 2018
- CPD and mentorship for 3 Step Rewind Technique with Mark Harris of Birthing Awareness – March-April 2020
- Self Massage using a Rebozo with Sophie Messager – April 2020