I started a business with a baby: Claire Rocuzzi of Better Birthing

Tell us a little about your business

Better Birthing offers a wide range of antenatal and postnatal services, from antenatal classes to doula support both postnatal and in labour and breastfeeding advice too. It is important to me that all women receive information that they need, when they need it.

My dream would be to ultimately see the whole “process” of birthing become natural and led by the instincts that we are given rather than how we are told to do it. All in all, the whole childbearing process is a wondrous celebration of all that is woman. My calling is to add to this experience, making it a memorable one by providing emotional support and knowledge to the mother-to-be and partner. Who knows, maybe one day my dream will come true? Part of my dream is to treat each mother as the unique woman that she is, and to walk with her, besides her, on this wonderful journey that she is on.

What was your job before starting your business?

Before Better Birthing I worked part time in a private baby clinic helping out with admin but prior to that and prior to having children, I was a national HR consultant for a large bank. I had stopped working when I had my children as it was something my husband and I decided that I needed to do, was to be there for them.

How did you go from your old career to your new business?

Since I had already formally stopped working after the birth of my first child it was fairly easy and I kind of just started working for myself. I did have to resign from the baby clinic as my time was precious and the business was taking me away at odd hours, as it was focused on me being a doula and as we know babies come in the middle of the night.

What were your reasons for starting a business?

I started Better Birthing as it grew from a passion of mine for childbirth and being able to assist and empower women with their birth choices. I never dreamt that I could actually make a living out of something that I love. My reasons were more that I had the passion, saw the need and started off offering free assistance and then moved to my own practice.

First and foremost to do something that you love!

Did you use any childcare?

Childcare has always been tricky for me, I have no family living close by so I don’t have babysitters that are on call. I had to work around the times my youngest was napping but now that she is in preschool and my eldest in school, I do all admin and marketing during the day and teach antenatal classes in the evenings. I do believe that the afternoons between 3pm and 7pm are my children’s time with me so I try to limit work between those hours.

How did you get your business idea?

I guess it all started when I had my eldest daughter and I was not at all happy with the birth and how it went and I thought “If only women could be more empowered or have someone with them during labour that is knowledgeable”. I started working at a private baby clinic and the midwife there saw my passion for birthing and suggested I looked at becoming a doula. I made a few calls and that was it, I trained and started up my practice as a doula. When we moved to the UK I had to leave that behind and started looking into antenatal education too. So it all started from a passion and a dream and now I am able to do something that I really love and believe in.

What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?

I have huge challenges in getting my name out there, advertising can be so expensive so I have had to be creative and try other avenues to get my name and services out there. It’s actually amazing what you can do for very little money if you network with the right people.

What training, information or advice did you need to get started?

I trained as a doula and had to do that before I attended any births, from an antenatal educator side, I am in the middle of formalizing my experience by studying part time while I work. Which in itself is a huge challenge on time but I know it’s well worth it. As for business advice, I guess I am blessed that my husband worked in a family business and my parents ran their own while I was growing up so I have been exposed to the mentality and ways of doing it yourself for a while.

believe in yourself and believe in what you do and have fun doing it!

If you could give one piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?

First and foremost to do something that you love! While working for yourself has its perks in that you set the hours and you set the pace, it needs to be something that motivates you. I don’t think I could do anything that was just for the sake of it. Also, you need to set boundaries and make sure that you have time for your children, yourself and your partner. I think that there is a danger of the work taking over, especially if you work based at home. Finally to believe in yourself and to believe in what you do and have fun doing it!

You can find out more at www.betterbirthing.org.uk

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