In this episode, I’m talking about how to create the circle of support that you crave and need during this pregnancy.

I believe that having a circle of support is one of the best things we can have in our lives. It’s important to have positive, empowering, and supportive people in our lives who will lift us up and make us feel safe, and with who we can talk to.

As we navigate our way through a world altered by COVID, it can be challenging to create meaningful connections and build friendships, especially for mums who are often pulled in multiple directions.

In today’s digital age, it’s all too easy to rely solely on messaging platforms to stay in touch, leaving us feeling disconnected and unsupported.

But here’s the thing: true support comes from a safe circle of friends who are there for you through thick and thin, whether it’s through a phone call, an in-person visit, or a text message.

You can listen to this podcast episode below

A safe and supportive community for women

As a passionate advocate for homebirth, I understand the importance of having a supportive community to lean on during this journey of pregnancy.

After working with my business coach for two years, we finally had the chance to meet in person.

We got to hug for the first time in real life – it was truly amazing. There was something special about feeling her energy and being able to look at each other. It reminded me of the power of in-person interactions.

I never really had a good circle of friends around me, I used to convince myself that I didn’t need a circle of support, and the negative energy from some friends was dragging me down.
I realized I believed in a world where women support each other, and that’s what I was looking for. Safe spaces where women could come together and be loving and helpful to each other, without tearing each other down.

When I became a mother, I realized there weren’t many safe Facebook groups around, and I found myself in groups where there wasn’t a supportive environment. As someone who stands up for others, I found myself in trouble when I spoke up against bullying and injustice.

But I didn’t give up. I reached out to local mum groups, offering my help to create a safe and supportive space. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciated it, but that didn’t stop me from looking for and creating safe circles of support for myself and other pregnant women.

Building a circle of support during pregnancy is essential for emotional and physical well-being. I urge you to seek out safe and supportive communities that align with your values and beliefs.

Don’t settle for anything less, because you deserve to be surrounded by loving and compassionate women who uplift and inspire you.

 

The Importance of Safe and Positive Environment

Back in 2016 Facebook groups were a lot different.

It was challenging to find a safe space where people weren’t tearing each other down or being rude. But, after much searching, I found a group run by a caring admin who made sure that everyone was respectful to each other.

Being part of this large, supportive community was an incredible experience, and it gave me hope that finding a tribe of like-minded individuals was possible.

I was so inspired by the experience that I decided to create my own safe space where people could come together and share their experiences without judgment.

In life, sometimes it’s necessary to remove ourselves from negative environments and put our energy into places where people appreciate us. That’s precisely what I did, and it has made all the difference in my life.

I’ve learned that advocating for certain behaviors can be challenging, and it’s okay to step back and focus on cultivating relationships with people who appreciate me for who I am.

I remember when I was seeing a psychologist to help me with weight loss and family trauma, I didn’t feel worthy of friendship.

But then, I met this amazing woman who became my birth doula with my second baby. I was hesitant to reach out to her, thinking I would be wasting her time, but my counselor asked me, “Do you think she would catch up with you if she thought you were wasting her time?” And that question changed everything for me.

Boundaries and the relationship we build along the way

I started to see the value of quality friendships and relationships with people who share similar values and behaviors. I wanted to surround myself with people who uplifted me and made me feel good, rather than drag me down or make me feel like a bad person.

Through counseling and self-reflection, I have created my own circle of support with women who I adore and who adore me. We have open conversations about all sorts of topics, and even if we don’t always agree, we respect each other enough to explore those conversations in a respectful way.

This is what true boundaries look like – the ability to communicate honestly and respectfully with those around us.

And I am so grateful for my circle of support, because I came from a place of never asking for help and never wanting to be vulnerable and I have come a long way.

I used to be afraid of rejection, having grown up in a dysfunctional and at times toxic family environment where rejection was a familiar feeling.

But with the help of a counselor, I learned to let go of relationships that were causing me pain and to seek out those that would enrich my life.

Now, I have a group of friends who I absolutely adore and who adore me in return. We share similar values and behaviors, and we support each other through all the ups and downs of life. It’s a beautiful thing where we give and take.

Of course, sometimes friendships are only meant to be for a season, and that’s okay too. I still cherish my past friendships and would help them if they ever needed it. It’s just that sometimes, people grow apart or have different views in life, and that’s okay.

If you’re struggling to form your own circle of support, don’t worry, there are ways to do it. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make connections.

Three Ways To Form A Circle Of Support

1. Believe that you’re worthy of support you crave

So first of all, you have to believe that you’re worthy of the support you crave. I think a lot of us, especially highly sensitive people, women who have gone through trauma, or dysfunctional families, or we haven’t had the support, quite often we can feel like we don’t, we’re not deserving of that support.

So we need to heal sometimes. And we need to take the step and realize that what we see other people having doesn’t mean it is an example of yes, this can be available to you as well.

You can create and cultivate exactly what you see in the world. And I do believe in that. Before I found my husband, I was always on a mission to look for couples who had been together for a really long time, and who were happily married.

Because to me, that was my evidence that it was possible for me because my parents divorced when I was 17. So I was kind of like, well, they didn’t rush into their marriage. They were together for four years before they got married.

So I wondered how I could create a formula where I’m going to be compatible with someone and stay with them for a long time? I mean, all of that’s out of my control. But is it possible? I found that I couldn’t really find many people who were happily married together. And then I found this woman at work and she adored her husband.

She told this story of how the first moment she met him, she knew he was the one and they’ve been together for over 20 years. And she was in her 40s on her way to her 50s. And I just was in awe of her story. And I would always ask her questions, because I wanted to learn from somebody who had what I wanted.

I listened to her intently. I was intrigued, I asked her all the questions I could because she had what I wanted to have. And it was a great lesson, it was a great thing for me to witness.

If you struggle to connect with others, don’t let fear hold you back. Start by connecting with people in a way that feels comfortable to you, such as meeting up in a local coffee shop or inviting them over to your place.

As your relationship grows, try new things together in different environments. Remember, it’s not just about messaging on social media – being physically present with someone and sharing experiences is important. Invest in your relationships and build connections that can last a lifetime. You never know who you might meet and how they could change your life.

I want to share a story with you that taught me something truly amazing.

I have a dear friend who I’ve known for over eight years now, and when we first met, I was convinced that I could never be more than just an acquaintance to her. She had a close group of friends that she’d known since high school, and I felt like I just didn’t fit in. But something inside me told me to stick around, and I’m so glad I did. Over time, our connection grew stronger, and we went through so much together – including two pregnancies – that we built a bond that will last a lifetime.

Building strong friendships takes time, trust, and consistency. It’s not something that happens overnight, and sometimes it can take years. But if you choose to invest in those relationships and keep showing up, not only will it help you in this area, but it’s going to help you in every area of your life.

2. Put yourself out there

Connect with people, you have to put yourself out there when people offer.

If you struggle to connect with others, don’t let fear hold you back. Start by connecting with people in a way that feels comfortable to you, such as meeting up in a local coffee shop or inviting them over to your place. As your relationship grows, try new things together in different environments. Remember, it’s not just about messaging on social media – being physically present with someone and sharing experiences is important. Invest in your relationships and build connections that can last a lifetime. You never know who you might meet and how they could change your life.

3. Be generous and Vulnerable

It’s important to give of your time and energy to your friends and loved ones, and to support them just as they support you. Think of it as a dance, where you’re giving just as much love as you’re receiving. When my friend and I were pregnant at the same time, we supported each other emotionally through the postpartum period. And now, as our friendship has grown, we continue to support each other in new ways.

Recently, I was able to help her out by preparing some food for her and her family. It’s what friends do for each other, and it’s not about keeping score or taking more than you give. It’s important to have boundaries and know your own values, and to communicate openly with your friends about what you can and cannot do.

I recently saw this in action at a mentor meeting, where an extrovert invited people out for drinks and dinner, but also respected the boundaries of introverts who needed to recharge after a long day. By understanding and respecting each other’s personalities and boundaries, we can build deeper and more fulfilling relationships with those around us.

The Value Of Support And Emotional Connection

As a homebirth coach, I love talking about the importance of support and emotional connection during your pregnancy journey. It’s something that I deeply value and prioritize for all my clients.

In my homebirth workshop, I delve into practical ways to cultivate support during your pregnancy and birth. I provide step-by-step guidance that is specific to home birth and being pregnant. However, even if you’re not pregnant or planning for the future, the value of deep connections cannot be underestimated. They are essential for our overall well-being.

If you’re looking to connect with other women who share your desire for a homebirth, I have exciting news! I will be launching a program after April, and I would love for you to join me. I have created a VIP waitlist where you can sign up to receive information about the program and the special price I’ll be offering during the launch. This will be a unique opportunity to work with me in a group setting, and I can’t wait to share more details with you.

If you prefer one-on-one support, I would be honored to work with you over four or six months. We can work through any fears, worries, or mindset challenges you may have and ensure that you are fully prepared and confident for your homebirth.

I believe that celebrating your pregnancy is crucial, regardless of whether it’s your first, second, or third child. That’s why I encourage my clients to connect with their pregnancy and intentionally celebrate this sacred time. It’s a time to feel all the emotions, cherish every moment, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’re struggling to connect with your baby or recognize that you’re pregnant, please know that you’re not alone. I would be honored to support you and help you celebrate this incredible journey.

I hope this episode has helped you take another step forward in your VBAC home births journey. Enjoy!

Ashley x

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MORE FROM ASHLEY:

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Ashley x

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