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  • Tara Foulkes

Why I set up alloquor?

Following on from last weeks “Time to Talk Day” many of us will have had an experience of struggling with our mental health at some point in our lives. But, as a nation we don’t talk about it, therefore, many of us think that we are alone.

This was a great day in raising the profile and reading the stories. Twitter provided an excellent way of sharing experiences, it is great to see that many who have experienced mental health difficulties have gone on to set up businesses to support others.

We are becoming more open and honest about this and the shame that may have once been associated with mental health is reducing. Any one of us at any time can suffer with our mental health, it is not bothered about our social status or educational achievement. Our mental health is on a spectrum which may change according to our genetic make-up, environment, traumatic events, illness, gender etc.

I wanted to take the opportunity to share my experience and why I set up Alloquor;

I had a difficult pregnancy and terrible birthing experience. I was pregnant with twins and rather large, for the last 6 weeks I was bedridden as I had no energy to do anything. Even going to the toilet was a struggle! The first 3 months of my pregnancy I couldn’t sleep, worrying about how we would survive. The pregnancy was unplanned (my husband was cured of cancer following 9 weeks of intensive chemotherapy, so we thought it wouldn’t happen!) and my husband was out of work, at that time I was the sole income earner.

On reflection now, I was totally unprepared for their delivery. I’d watched countless episodes of TV programmes about this but rather than help, I think that this hindered my experience. A friend had twins and she had no problems with delivery. So, based on her account and the “research” watching TV I thought that I was set. I had attended everything offered by midwifery services, all appointments, all scans, and the look around the maternity unit which included a brief explanation of delivery.

I was admitted at 39 weeks on the Friday evening ready to be induced, they arrived early hours of the bank holiday Monday morning. Parts of my care were excellent. Parts of my care still give me the shivers now!

My preparation for delivery, “my research” did absolutely nothing to prepare me for my birthing experience. It made me realise that we are all completely different from each other and whatever I had been told or seen on the television was a load of rubbish – to me. You may have had a different experience? It is all individual to us.

Afterwards, I followed a strict routine from the Gina Ford Contented baby book, which I credit with keeping me sane at that time. Regardless of the chaos I could check the time and the routine and know what I should have been doing! I appreciate some of you may hate this rigidity, but it certainly helped me. However, there was a time that I had to let the routine go which was difficult. As humans we like order and routine, so changes to this can be difficult.

Sometime later, I realised that I had post-natal depression, I thought that my family would be better off without me. I thought that they did not need me around. I thought that I was making their life more difficult. I would go off on my own trying to rationalise my thoughts but I kept sinking deeper and deeper. I would think about suicide and different methods, thank goodness it did not go beyond the ideation.

Through my own experience I knew that I had to do something. My confidence was at rock bottom, I started looking online learning how to manage my head, I attended talks and training, eventually, I became a qualified hypnotherapist. I learned how the brain works, I learned about negative self-talk and rumination and the damage that this can have upon people’s state of mind and well-being.

From this I set up, I want to educate and support people so that they do not struggle or suffer unnecessarily. We do not know much about our brains, even neuroscience is moving slowly as our brains are all different and so vast. What we do know however, is that we can change our brains by the messages we give ourselves and that those around us give.

The brain is literal in its understanding and takes words at face value so we must be careful with our language. If someone says to you “don’t think of an elephant” what is the first thing that you think of? This is why I love hypnotherapy as it can change the neural pathways in the brain. Our brains have ‘plasticity’ they can change according to what we put in!

Back to my pregnancy story, this is why I set up Alloquor as I wanted to use all my knowledge, skills and experience in writing a fantastic hypnobirthing course to prevent women going through the same experience that I had. I want to help women with their pregnancies and deliveries through education and hypnotherapy so no one suffers unnecessarily.

Pregnancy is a natural process, women are built to have babies. Whether we choose to or not is obviously personal choice, however, we have the framework there and the body takes over flooding us with the hormones at the right time. If we understand what is going on we can negate any fear and turn it into excitement about the process and ultimately meeting our new baby/ babies!

So, I’ve joined forces with a fellow hypnotherapist and retired midwife with over 40 years’ experience to write our new hypnobirthing course. This is in its final stages and if you would like to find out more information or register please click here.

There are times in our lives where we need to assess and look at the negative experiences and think “I can either continue to allow this to have control over me, or do something about it?”

You can take back control.

Thanks for reading today. If you like what you read please share.

Have a great day

Tara x


07859 907963

United Kingdom

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