Zoe Challenor – Birth Confidence Summit

Some useful social support groups that get mentioned.

The Positive Birth Movement - a global network of free to attend peer groups to discuss positive birth

Facebook Groups - Home Birth UK, VBAC support group UK  who also support elective caesareans. 

Zoe Challenor Bio

Zoë Challenor is a founder and director of B'Opera, a Birmingham-based children's opera company who make beautiful music for tiny ears through interactive performances for babies, toddlers and their grown-ups.
Zoë combines a career in singing with a passion for education. A prize-winning graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she was a conductor and teacher at Trinity Laban Junior Department in London until recently, and delivers singing workshops and projects for Welsh National Opera.

Time Stamps 

Becoming pregnancy with her second was when Zoe realised that she needed to do things differently to avoid the trauma of the birth of her first child. She spent a lot of time unpacking beliefs and blocks and had a very different experience second time around.

2.44 How common it is to be well educated in many areas, yet still know nothing about birth or that there is a need to know certain things about the system you are giving birth in. Second time Zoe, sought information, someone to support in labour and to choose her provider carefully. Someone who would respect her choice to have a vbac.

6.20 Becoming aware of the deeper context of a system built by men for men that does not serve women well and how to make the system work for you despite that.

8.10 The beautiful empowering feeling of taking charge that made a difference despite the postnatal period being hard and less than a bed of roses.

 9.50 Birth and Fear of dying  How giving birth is connected to dying and helped release Zoe's fear of dying.  Being scared of dying  is not weird, birth death and life are close together and intimately entwined.

12.25 Zoe's advice to her younger self.  Be around birth more and learn it is a part of ordinary life not scary. Release fears. The fears and conditions around the birth caused the pain of the first.Particularly, let go of any  'good girl' conditioning. She who doesn't want to take up space or rock the boat or question authority too much.

20.52 The ongoing journey of stopping heaping guilt on herself for what happened in the first birth. Learning our children have some say in this and how her second birth has helped the relationship with her first child too.

25.59  Alexander Techniques teaches that education is a process of drawing out what is within and Zoe would like to see a way of building bridges through education that draws out the confidence in women that they are made to give birth and can do it. 

28.40 Parallels of singing and giving birth and the connection between  your jaw and your vagina.  Connection of breathing and birth. In singing using the breath to do breathing exercise and the way we harness the breath and energy applies to both singing and birth.

37.36  Read more positive stories is a good starting point, such as those in Ina may gaskin's book, Guide to childbirth  Process what happened in any previous birth experience and learn to say no if that is a problem for you.  Invest in your birth, and invest in you as a woman as it will make all the difference. It is really important, will stay with you until day you die don’t forget. Respect it.

42.00  Be conscious with what you surround yourself with as although you are designed to do this the conditioning is powerful and takes work to unpick it and it is necessary to do this work which I was unaware of first time round.

Charlotte Kanyi