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In our Spotlight series, we talk to entrepreneurial mums from around Brunei and find out more about them, their families and their business. This month, I sat down with Nora, who is the mother of 2 teenagers and a pre-teen and the owner of Birthlings. Birthlings is a privately owned space that focuses on prenatal wellness (prenatal yoga) and conducts childbirth classes for expectant parents.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I started my passion for wellness in 2006 when I became a registered Yoga teacher. I then pursued a certification in Prenatal Yoga in 2014. In 2016, I became certified as an AMANI Birth Educator. From 2014, I embarked on Birthlings full time. Before this, I was an Education officer and also worked in a Telco company as a corporate communications manager. I have 3 children aged 16,15 and 9.
For those parents who are unfamiliar with pregnancy and childbirth education, can you highlight what expectant parents can gain from joining a birth class?
With Prenatal wellness (prenatal yoga) - we focus on developing strength and flexibility during pregnancy. A mother to-be’s pregnant body changes a lot during this time, hence we teach mums the value of being active to help support these changes. Prenatal Yoga is also relevant as it emphasizes on breath & relaxation and poses that can help mothers find relief during pregnancy aches and also during labor.
With the childbirth education classes - we teach mums and dads to-be about the amazing birthing body, the foundations to labor and birth. Equipped with this knowledge, parents will then be able to plan and have the confidence to manage challenges that may come.
What exactly is AMANI birth?
AMANI stands for Assisting Mothers for an Active, Natural and Instinctive birth. It was founded by Aisha Al Hajjar who is trained midwife. AMANI educators and doulas are found throughout the globe.
What inspired you to start Birthlings?
Before i became a birth educator, i was solely focussing on my yoga classes. When i started becoming active with expecting mothers, i was faced with another challenge as i was confronted with mothers to-be who were clueless about labor. A majority of these mums i found were also aspiring to have natural births. This prompted my search in getting certified in childbirth education. AMANI was introduced to me by my sister in law who happens to have the same name (Amani) :)
What obstacles have you come across?
The obstacle i would say right now is getting recognition by relevant authorities on the services that we offer as it is still very new in Brunei. I would also like to see more participation of women in Brunei who are passionate about helping other mothers in this area. The services that we offer is only a small portion of what needs to be done to help new parents. I also feel that there is still a lack in breastfeeding education.
Is there any advice you would give to mums who are interested in starting a business?
I would say to have a plan and have a very good support or network around you to help you start and grow.
Check out the Birthlings Facebook Page
for more information.