SO WHY ME?
I have over 40 years experience in childbirth education, (practicing both here in the UK and in the USA) and as a pioneer NCT teacher. I have taught approx 1500 women and supported over 200 of those in labour in many varied settings from London SWI to rural West Virginia. In particular, I am confident in teaching the most effective birth preparation methods developed and practiced during the last 70 years. This I know – one size does not fit all. Hypnobirthing is the latest, trendy and effective programme for many women; it even has Royal approval – but it doesn’t suit everyone.
I have acquired decades of birth wisdom and can offer you a full Hypnobirthing programme and also other effective birthing techniques to suit you.
Giving birth to a baby is life’s “Big experience”. A huge physical experience but also a huge emotional one and many find profoundly spiritual. It is both deeply personal but also universal; it turns women into mothers and all mothers into sisters.
I would be privileged to help you with your own journey through labour, birth and into parenthood”. This is what people kindly say about me.
I endorse Ina May Gaskin’s affirmation:
“More than forty years of experience have not lessened my awe and respect for the efficiency and beautiful design of the female body as expressed in labour and birth. In fact the years only increase my sense of wonder about how well our bodies can work – given the right circumstances.”
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
I had my first baby in 1969 having read an article about Grantly Dick Read and his book “Childbirth without Fear” and mentioning the newly formed National Childbirth Trust.
I travelled 60 miles each week to attend classes which provided me with a very sound preparation for birth. Those classes covered, as now, physiology, coping strategies, relaxation and breathing techniques, birthing choices and how to negotiate with the hospital.
I had a natural birth and although a very young woman, I felt completely in control and empowered, at a time when maternity wards were run like a military operation by the doctors and nurses. The birth of my first baby was the then happiest day of my life.
However, I soon learned I was the only one on the post natal ward who had been fortunate enough to have had that positive, experience. I resolved to train as an antenatal teacher for the NCT to enable other women to give birth “happily and free from fear”.
Over the next 12 years I had 3 other babies, happily putting new preparation techniques for labour, birth and evolving ideas on early years parenting into practice. Not all my births were straightforward, but still wonderful, affirming experiences and without exception the best and happiest 4 days of my life.
Being part of the very active Childbirth Movement during the latter part of the 20th century has been my own contribution to feminism by advocating (together with like minded strong women) improved maternity services and choices for women in how and where they give birth.
In recent years, I have prepared my daughters and their friends for their births and motherhood in the 21st century and have supported at the births of all my grandchildren. I feel I have always been able to pass on my enthusiasm and wonder at the miracle of birth to the pregnant women who have attended my classes and given them the knowledge, confidence and skills to equip them to have a positive birthing however they give birth.
“Not all my four births were straightforward, but still wonderful, affirming experiences and without exception – the best and happiest four days of my life”
My four labours of love.
Daughter with newborn tiny granddaughter.
“I have been fortunate in having benefited from the wisdom and association of some of the great childbirth educators, Ina May Gaskin, Michele Odent, Frederick Leboyer, Marie Mongan. My main influence and inspiration has been Sheila Kitzinger (the grand matriarch and activist of the childbirth movement for over 60 years) with whom I trained and who imparted in me her own “Passion for Birth”
Antenatal classes at NCT HQ Bayswater, London 1992.
I initially trained as an early years and primary teacher. I was Head of a Teaching Support Service for East Sussex and Brighton & Hove for 18 years. Now, semi retired, I am currently an educational adviser and trainer, for Brighton & Hove Children’s Services.
- I was the first person in England to introduce Aqua Pregnancy exercises, brought it back from America.
- Since the 1970s – 2000 accredited teacher/advanced teacher for the NCT and
- Associate teacher for the International Childbirth Education Association of America (ICEA)
- Since 2005 – Freelance and Independent Childbirth Educator additionally trained in both American and English Hypnobirthing techniques
- Since 2016 Volunteer birth mentor for NHS working with specialist midwives for The Royal Sussex Hospital
- I keep my skills updated and relevant by regularly attending seminars, workshops and conferences and training courses
Attending home birth. Woman in transition stage of labour. Baby born soon after.
Aquanatal classes Kingston on Thames.
Aquanatal exercise in Kingston pool.