As well as being a Mindful Mamma® practitioner, I am also a qualified National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Advanced Antenatal Teacher & NCT Birth Companion.
Each of my three births were very different experiences. During my first pregnancy I had a thirst for information regarding anything related to maternity. I read every book I could get hold of and searched websites for more. As a topic, I found the whole thing fascinating.
I really enjoyed giving birth to my son and learning to parent in the early postnatal period so I decided to train with the NCT as an Antenatal Teacher. The idea of supporting other parents-to-be through this time of transition felt like a million miles away from my career as a project manager in the city, but I knew that’s where my heart was. It took five years in training and having given birth to two more babies along the way, I finally graduated from Bedfordshire University in 2008.
Since then I have gone on to achieve Advanced Teacher status (2010). This means that as well as being acknowledged by the NCT as attaining the highest levels of excellence, I am able to facilitate study days for other practitioners, hand-hold newer colleagues as they qualify and build strong links with local healthcare professionals.
Without knowing it at the time I used mindfulness and self hypnosis in labour to make each one the best birth for the baby on the day. Particularly with my second birth, I used what I now know are standard Hypnobirthing techniques to visualise what was happening in labour.
I literally visualised my baby being born and before I knew it, she was born. She had a very calm birth and I loved every minute of it.
So when I had my third child, I wanted a calm birth for her too. Again using Hypnosis for birth methods, I was able to make her birth quick, easy and enjoyable.
This started my interest in Hypnobirthing and lead to me qualifying as a practitioner with Mindful Mamma. I now offer the Mindful Hypnobirthing course all over the Sussex region.
My greatest belief is in women’s innate ability to give birth. This belief coupled with regularly attending births allows me to relate evidence based practice with real experiences of supporting families in labour; especially those where Hypnobirthing and Mindfulness for birth has been central.
With a firm belief in there being no rights and wrongs within birth and parenting, I will not tell you what or how to do anything. Instead I will provide evidence based information and guide you, helping you to make the decisions that are right for you and your family.
I have spent many years building relationships and rapport with local healthcare trusts by attending meetings and arranging private visits in local hospitals, and I use these opportunities to contribute to improving maternity services in general.
Having built these strong and close relationships with local NHS trusts, I actively and voluntarily engage in improvements for maternity services across the Surrey and Sussex regions through meeting regularly with maternity staff and through Maternity Services Liaison Committees (MSLC). Developing my good reputation with both local hospital and community midwives allows midwives to trust me to work co-operatively alongside their team. Proof of this is that I have been privileged enough to interview midwives for team leader vacancies and contribute to general maternity improvement programs including Unicef Baby Friendly accreditation, audits and Productive Ward initiatives.
Graduating from Worcester University in 2010 as an NCT Birth Companion I was one of the first cohort of nine NCT specialist workers in the country to attain this qualification after the most extensive training course of its kind.
This was, and remains, the highest qualification (Level 4 cert HE) available for doulas (NCT only) and is accredited by Worcester University’s midwifery department.
Both Mindful Mamma and the NCT insist on their practitioners maintaining continuing professional development by attendance of study days, both mandatory and voluntary.
Periodic assessments and reviews of a practitioner’s teaching, quality and methods also form part of the relicensing process.