My name is Lisa Sykes and I am the owner and creator of HomeBirthers & Hopefuls.
In 2009, I began to plan the birth of my third child, Sidney. After the difficult hospital birth of my eldest daughter Emily, I enjoyed an empowering experience when giving birth to my daughter, Hebe, in a birth centre. To me, home birth seemed an obvious choice for our third baby, but my husband and family were not as instantly convinced.
I started a thread on a parenting forum in the hope I could find support and information with the intention of using it to try to convince my husband that home was the right option for this birth.
The title I gave the thread was ‘Homebirthers & Hopefuls’ – at that time, I was a ‘hopeful’.
I have now graduated to be a ‘homebirther’ and an experienced and recognised birth doula having walked the path to home and hospital birth with over 50 families to date. I have educated many more families both in the UK and in Switzerland through my Birth Positively programme. I help to run the European Doula Network and I am part of the Developing Doulas training team alongside other voluntary birth work.
My aim for the website is to pull together as much information on the questions that regularly come up about home birth. I want it to be concise and easy to understand, well referenced and with links to further reading – a ‘starter for ten’ from which people can set off on their own journeys to research things further. I also wanted to share real stories and photos to inspire.
When I wanted my husband to read about and understand something, I needed to present it in this fashion to be in with a chance of keeping his attention! Bombarding him with text, links and studies just switched him off and made him believe that planning a home birth sounded like a lot of hard work and I can imagine this isn’t something exclusive to my hubby!
I would like women and their families to see home birth as a normal birth option that really doesn’t take a huge amount of organising. Not just the choice of a certain ‘type’, what ever that may be. I want them to read this site and say ‘oh… That all sounds quite straightforward, I think it might be a good idea for us.’
Most of the pages have been written by me unless stated otherwise. The women who have written sections for me have extensively researched those areas and are well educated women with backgrounds in research, science, law and education. I have also had input from fellow doulas and respected midwives. I encourage you to use the information as a spring board for your own research. I am not qualified to give medical advice and while I encourage you speak with your care providers and listen to what advice they have to give you, I also encourage you to go away and do your own research and make truly informed choices.
Best wishes for a peaceful birth,