My name is Joy Horner and I was a Registered Midwife for 21 years and nurse for 17 years , caring for thousands of families and attending hundreds of births. I have worked in consultant led labour wards, birth centres and at home births, including 16 years as an Independent Midwife. I now provide pregnancy, birth and postnatal coaching, education and support services as a Sacred pregnancy and postnatal consultant and Birthkeeper.

Despite my Nursing and midwifery trainings, my education about pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period really started when I had my own children and read Spiritual midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. I realised that my UK midwifery training had missed out a big part of what being pregnant, birthing and becoming new parents was all about, culturally, spiritually, and socially. I had learnt the anatomy and physiology, the skills to deal with emergencies, and knew how to care for people compassionately, but had never been taught about birth as a right of passage, or as an important spiritual or transformative part of peoples lives.

When I returned to midwifery practice after having my children in 2002 I visited The Farm in Tennessee to learn why Ina May Gaskin and her team have great birth outcomes.    What I learnt was really quite simple, it was that if midwives believe in birth then Pregnant women and birthing people do too! It becomes a positive feedback loop with all participants gaining confidence and trust in each other and the process.

Ina May Gaskin and Joy Horner

I took this ethos into my work in a co-located birth centre and witnessed truly uninterrupted birth for the first time. I saw my first homebirth, waterbirths and physiological birth of placentas. I had been qualified for 2 years and had never seen true normality!

After working 3 years in the birth centre I became an Independent Midwife and embarked upon an even steeper learning curve. Being wholly responsible for providing someone’s care certainly made me research everything, to be able to back up all my recommendations with good evidence. I learnt many things including the skills of breech birth from Mary Cronk MBE, who I worked with for 5 years, and taught breech skills alongside at universities and conferences nationwide.

My thirst for knowledge was never quenched, so I have attended and taught at international conferences with Midwifery Today, and grass-roots projects like Da A Luz in Spain, learning even more tips and skills from traditional birth attendants and other birthworkers. I’ve learnt about nutrition and natural pain relief, as well as hands-on skills for encouraging babies out of difficult positions.

I attended a 2 day course with Penny Simkin in 2013 called “when survivors give birth” to expand my knowledge of helping people who’d suffered previous trauma, before or during their births. This is a subject close to my heart as I suffered a traumatic birth with my first child in 1993. Working with families who have suffered previous trauma, or who needed support with breech birth became my specialist areas.

In 2015 I attended a year long training with Jane Hardwicke Collings on her then called Shamanic Midwifery course (now renamed as Shamanic Womancraft). I learnt about the interconnectedness of all our previous experiences, the moon and sacred cycles, as well as intergenerational trauma and how to heal it through awareness and rituals. Her ten moons book is on my recommended reading list to help prepare for truly conscious birthing.

I am an advocate for individual choices, an ally for LGBTQAI+ people. and provide fully inclusive care for all. I grew up with queer and gay family and friends so never saw this as anything unusual. I define as a  woman and use she/her pronouns. I am aware that every person needs to be treated as a unique individual, however they define and whatever their gender or sexuality. I am lucky to have gay and trans family members who have helped to further educate me, but I don’t mind being corrected if I occasionally get it wrong. Please let me know what pronouns and language for body parts you’d prefer.

I provide Professional appointments for Antenatal education, Birth planning, Birth debriefing, VBAC, and Breech birth planning. I specialise in supporting people who’s previous maternity experiences have been traumatic, as well as caring sensitively for those who have suffered adverse events in childhood, or as an adult.

Whatever your needs  please feel free to contact me for friendly, unbiased information. I provide a range of Support, Education and Mentoring services, online, by phone, or in person.

I do not provide clinical midwifery care as I am no longer a registered midwife.

  • Phone or email me for a free 15 minute consultation to discover how I can help you achieve the birth and postnatal experience you hope for.

  • Contact me if you are having difficulties getting the care you need, or have been given conflicting information by health professionals.

  • I specialise in helping women and birthing people who have complex needs or a history of previous trauma. 

For my full range of services  see additional services

 Contact Joy Horner to discuss or book an appointment on 0793924746 or email joy@birthjoy.co.uk