These little girls are the reason why I do what I do today – helping couples have a positive birth experience and women achieve the life they want and deserve.
Passion for pregnancy and birth
My name is Sam Upcraft. I am a warm, caring and intuitive woman, wife and mother of two (two daughters, one born in 2008 and the other in 2012) and I am passionate about providing continuity of care, from menarche (first period) to menopause (yes, even when your baby is actually a teenager or even a fully grown adult!).
On this website, you will find out how I can help you have a great pregnancy and birth, experience fantastic motherhood and womanhood, and live the life of your dreams, free from your long-standing and deep-rooted issues.
I have had a passion for helping women solve their problems and achieve their dreams for around 25 years. It is such an honour to have now done this for a living since 2011.
I first heard about birth doulas (professional birth companions) when I was pregnant with my first daughter, in a book called Blooming Birth, by Lucy Atkins and Julia Guderian, a doula, and I thought what a great job that must be (the book wasn’t about doulas, just pregnancy, and I had assumed it was a job for a privileged few, nothing I could train to become myself!) Then I forgot all about doulas for three years, consumed by early motherhood, its joys and its challenges, until I went on a women’s retreat and heard someone mention that she was a doula. I talked to her about her training and experience and a month later, I attended the Paramana Doula course and became a doula. This was in June 2011.
When I read Marie Mongan’s book HypnoBirthing a year later, I knew that I had to take the HypnoBirthing training course and become a practitioner – the perfect complement to my doula training!
Birth can be comfortable, peaceful and enjoyable, no matter what the circumstances are. I want every woman in the world to know this. Being a few weeks pregnant myself at the time, it made perfect sense to do the training while I could (i.e. before baby arrived!). And so I did.
My second daughter was born 6 months after my training, so I can say that I am a hypnobirthing mum. I experienced first-hand all the benefits of hypnobirthing and can honestly say that I don’t know how I would have coped with pregnancy with an active 3-year-old and with labour, and even less postnatally, without all the tools that hypnobirthing has to offer. For different reasons, I had a C-section for both my daughters, and I can testify to the many advantages of having done hypnobirthing because I can compare the two experiences very precisely – two daughters born in November by C-section, one without hypnobirthing and one with hypnobirthing (when I desperately wanted a VBAC and had planned a home birth (also known as a HBAC)). I am now even more passionate about this wonderful method and antenatal programme, and hope to spread the word about it further. (Read my full birth story here.)
Don’t be put off by the word ‘hypnosis’ – it is simply a state of very deep relaxation, the one we go into just before we go to sleep or when we’re engrossed in a book or film. With hypnobirthing, you learn to use many tools from a huge toolbox containing breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, affirmations, self-hypnosis and visualisations. You can find out more information about hypnobirthing here.
Passion for motherhood and womanhood
Having had no practical or emotional support (apart from my husband’s, thankfully) in early motherhood, I am also passionate about helping you plan this period of your life as best you can and helping to celebrate it, so that you feel supported, nourished, nurtured and cared for. We have lost many rituals in our cultures in the West – I believe it is high time they were reintroduced.
I became a HypnoMothering™ practitioner in 2014 and have helped many women prepare for motherhood. I don’t teach this so much any more, but do feel free to enquire if you would like to attend this class.
I do however offer relaxation sessions and the wonderful Closing the Bones massage, at all stages of a woman’s life, but in particular in the early postnatal period. I also offer Mother Blessings, Birth Reclaiming Ceremonies and Closing the Bones Ceremonies, as ways of celebrating women as mothers-to-be and as mothers.
Recently I have developed an interest in crystal therapy and reiki and will soon be trained in both, which will be two more ways that I can help you, as part of an even more holistic approach to your treatment.
I specialise in helping women with emotional eating and body confidence issues, anxiety and stress because I know these issues very intimately, having suffered from all of them. I also specialise in trauma (including PTSD and trauma) because I love seeing women recover so quickly from issues that had felt so deep and irremediable, far too often for years or even decades. The techniques I use are safe and offer quick, effective and long-term resolution of any kind of trauma.
I am French and have been living in the UK for over 20 years, in the Oxfordshire area for 14. I qualified as a birth doula (professional birth companion) and postnatal doula (mum’s help) in 2011 (I trained with Michel Odent and Liliana Lammers on their Paramana Doula course) and as a HypnoBirthing™ practitioner (the Marie Mongan Method) in 2012. In 2014, I became a HypnoMothering™ practitioner, an IEMT practitioner (Integral Eye Movement Therapy) and finally a Professional and Clinical Hypnotherapist and an EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming™) practitioner. In 2015, I retrained as a hypnobirthing instructor with The Wise Hippo Ltd.
As part of my continuing professional development (CPD) and my own personal development, I read a wide variety of books and articles and I regularly attend seminars, workshops, lectures and courses, whether online or face to face:
- Reiki I and II with Sophie Messager (2017)
- The Doreen Virtue Certified Crystal Reader course (2017)
- The Sheila Granger Brain Training for Sugar Addiction Programme (2016)
- Closing the Bones (Ecuadorian abdominal massage, ceremony), with Sophie Messager (2016)
- The Mindfulness Summit (2015)
- The Sheila Granger Virtual Gastric Band Programme (2015)
- The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme and Prenatal Parenting (ex-Bond with Baby) training courses (2015)
- Hypnosis for IVF – Learn the essentials (with the Fertile Body Method) (2015)
- Mindfulness meditation 8-week course (2014)
- The Tongue Tie Workshop – What, Why and How?, with Maddie McMahon (2014)
- The Rebozo Workshop – Wrapped in Love, with Stacia Smales Hill (2013)
- Oxytocin – Tapping the hormone of calm, love and healing, with Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg (2013)
- Inspirational Birth Workshop, with Liz Nightingale (2011)
My hypnotherapy and NLP training was with Thoughtitude. The courses are run by June O’Driscoll and Geoff Rolls, who are valuable members of the trainer assisting teams for Richard Bandler (co-creator of NLP) and for Paul McKenna.
My Diploma in Professional and Clinical Hypnotherapy is validated by the General Hypnotherapy Register and the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (this means you can find my details on the GHR website and thus verify my qualifications) and I am licensed with the Society of NLP (founded by Richard Bandler). I am thus bound by the GHR and NLP Codes of Ethics.
I am also listed on the Hypnotherapy Directory (which checks all therapists’ credentials) and I am fully insured with Arthur J. Gallagher/Royal & Sun Alliance for all the therapies I provide.
A bit more about me…
- My mother tongue is French, I speak English fluently, my Italian is good but my Spanish is a bit rusty 🙂
- In another life, I was an editor and proofreader in educational publishing (mainly humanities and languages).
- I love reading, going to the cinema and theatre, photography, walking and cycling.
- I am a keen hatha yoga practitioner and meditator, and believe I bring my experiences in these fields into my interactions with clients – a kind, caring, attentive, mindful, stress-free, intuitive attitude to life and people.