My name is Brandi Ellen Hendricks. I am a proud mother of two smart, independent, beautiful children. My oldest, Gavin, is turning six and my youngest (my Hypnobabies baby) Neema, just turned three. My husband, Jesse, and I live in Florence, KY. We have three dogs, a cat, three kittens, and a chinchilla. I grew up on a tobacco farm in Southern Indiana graduating from Rising Sun High School in 1998. It left me with a powerful work ethic and overwhelming love of animals, nature, and the cycle of life (including birth.) In 2002, I earned my degree in English from Marian University and I also hold a minor in Biology. After getting married in 2010 and starting my own family, I realized the importance of education surround birth and pregnancy for every woman that chooses to take that journey. It led to my overpowering passion for all things related to birth and my focus to always help to empower women in all aspects of life.
Why did I become a doula?
I became a doula because of both my pregnancy and birth experiences with my first and second child. They taught me the importance of having proper support during pregnancy and birth.
My first birth did not go as I envisioned. I had studied every book/website/method and learned everything about birth that I could. I took 6 weeks of natural childbirth classes and hired a doula. I made my birth preferences and knew what I wanted my birth to look like. However, when I had unexpected medical issues, I did not get the support I need for my new birth path or my new choices. I was surround by people that only wanted to support me if things went according to their plans and if it followed what they felt were acceptable. I know now that this is the exact opposite definition of doula. My unexpected c-section and the chaos that surrounded it ended up being a negative experience, and one that I did not intend to ever repeat.
About two years later, I became pregnant again and found Hypnobabies and it changed the entire way I viewed pregnancy and birth. It did not have to be an experience of apprehension, stress, and fear. I could be a process of growth, bonding, self discovery, and healing. It was such a complete education. I learned so many new things and it showed me how to deal with changes to any plans that I may encounter while still maintaining complete control of my birth. It helped me clear away my fears and stress. I learned to enjoy my pregnancy again! This allowed me to experience an empowering birth that helped me heal from the negative experiences of my first birth.
The birthing experience was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. It was absolutely surreal. It was so peaceful, calm, and fun! I laughed and smiled. I trusted my body 100%. I knew that I had all of the tools that I needed and never felt scared or unsure. I knew what steps to take and was always in control. The experience was life changing. I learned more about myself, my power that I had, and about the strength of my body and spirit during my birth than I had learned during my entire life time before. I knew as soon as I experience it that I wanted it for all women. I wanted everyone to be able to feel that way.
It also made me realize how important it was for all women to be completely supported. A birthing mother must find someone that will support ALL decisions that she makes at all times because they are always hers to make.
I knew once I used the program that I had to become a doula and an instructor so that I could make sure that the pregnant women around me would have access to this same amazing information. I wanted to shout it from the roof tops for any mom that needed it! I also realized that I could take what happened during my first birth and turn that negative event into something positive using my personal experience to relate to others… to advocate for other moms, and to be able to support them with understanding as they pursued their own VBACs and ways forward to heal. I also wanted to make sure that they would always feel respected, supported, and would have a doula that totally understood them and the way they wanted to birth.
How long have I been a doula?
I have been supporting moms since July 2016 and received my Hypnobabies doula and instructor certification in August of 2017. I am just getting my business started locally and I am thoroughly enjoying supporting my local Hypnobabies moms and providing them with the knowledge that only a Hypnobabies certified hypno-doula can provide.
What is my education, training and experience?
I graduated from Marian University of Indianapolis, in 2002, with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Biology. I took my official instructor and doula training in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April 2017 through Hypnobabies. I also take continuing education courses through Evidence Based Birth monthly and have attended workshops on Spinning Babies to further my education.
I conduct live Hypnobabies classes from my home and also from my classroom space at Meridian Montessori. I also provide Home Study Advantage (HAS) classes and support for Hypnobabies homestudy couples. I have attended two local births as a doula. I have also helped support hundred of mothers electronically via Skype, instant messenger, and other electronic means all over the country during their birthing times through the Official Hypnobabies support group which I am the administrator. These couples contact me privately and keep me with them to answer questions during the process. It has been amazing to witness the power of Hypnobabies births in so many settings and locations with so many different couples. Each birth is truly unique and it is amazing each time to be there to support them as they use their tools and find that inner confidence… When you support a couple during their birth in any capacity, you are watching the birth of a baby but also the birth of the parents as they transform… becoming wiser, more powerful and empowered during their birthing time.
What is my philosophy about birth?
I believe that moms should be able to birth in way that makes them feel most supported and comfortable. What that looks like will be different for each mom. I feel that together the mother and her birth partner should always be in control as a united front. They should feel calm and confident about all of their choices. Birth is unique for each woman and each baby and it is my job to be there to help guide and encourage a couple on that journey no matter what directions it takes. I am there to remind my moms to never forget that they are always in control and empowered by making decisions regarding their pregnancy and birth.
How do I see the role of the birth partner?
I feel that our birth partners are the most informed, involved and supportive that I have ever seen. My fathers are always a very important part of the birthing time. They are not observers or just “there.” They have roles and tasks that are theirs alone. They are to observe and watch for when their birthing mom needs reinforcement. They are to protect her bubble of peace and maintain that space. They should be her mouthpiece and answer all questions, fill out documents… allowing mom to simply concentrate on her hypnosis and be free of distractions. If anyone within that space is impacting mom negatively their role is to recognize that and neutralize it to protect their partner. Their role is crucial to the entire process. My job is to support them on their journey and guide them. I do not replace the birth partner. I help whenever needed and hold space for both of them during this sacred time.