I have three beautiful and challenging teenagers! Zaiah was born Vaginally Breech (Bottom first!) Isaac was breech for a while and then I had him turned (by ECV) and subsequently had him at home, and Otto was born premature at 32 weeks, also Breech and by Emergency C-Section.
My personal birth experiences and the ways in which I was cared for during my pregnancies and births have shaped me as both woman and midwife.
My journey to Midwifery began in 2008 where, as part of my IBCLC training, I attended a 'Womb to World' conference. At the conference, one of the speakers included a wonderfully funny and engaging lady called Ina May Gaskin, the author of 'Spiritual Midwifery'.
I was already a Breastfeeding Counsellor with the charity the 'Association of Breastfeeding Mothers', and was working hard towards my International Board Certified Lactation Consultant qualification. My own babies were all approaching school age and I was at a milestone in my life, deciding whether to return to secondary school teaching, or to try something else. Ina May Gaskin opened my eyes to Midwifery, through the way she presented pregnancy, birth and motherhood, and I left the conference having decided that I was not going to return to teaching (which actually I hated!) I was going to be a Midwife! I commenced my training in 2009, qualifying in October 2012.
In Aug 2012, I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to The Farm Midwifery Centre in Tennessee, (where Ina May lives and works) and witness the amazing work of Ina May and Pamela Hunt (another original 'Farm Midwife') first hand.
At The Farm, I completed the Advanced Midwifery Workshop, and the course included many aspects of how to keep birth as physiological as possible.
At the end of the course, there's a ceremony in which the Farm Midwives Bless the participants hands. At each Birth I have attended, as my hands are poised, ready to receive the new life, I am reminded of the ceremony and -I truly believe- my calling to be 'with woman'.
For me at the time, travelling to The Farm, symbolised the completion of a circle of events that led me to finding myself as a Midwife. However, I was naiieve- my journey to Tennessee wasn't the end of the journey-it was a new beginning.
My passion for a holistic approach to midwifery care has never left me. Once, I commented to a more senior NHS colleague that I had found it quite a surreal experience to be supporting a woman in labour, during a thunder and lightening storm, and the woman had been smiling and laughing throughout her birth process and had literally radiated with joy. The senior midwife simply said to me that I "had spent too much time watching the woman" In my mind...what else was I to do?
I am humbled by the birth process and the families I serve.
I am proudly a Registered Midwife, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Tongue Tie Specialist. I also volunteer for the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers as Regional Supervisor for the East of England, and as well as being a Trustee for the charity, I run a weekly support group for Breastfeeding Families.
My current blended family life finds me as a single parent to my daughter aged 17, and two sons, aged 14 and 12 and I have an incredibly supportive partner, who has two grown up children. In May 2018, we welcomed our first grandson, at whose birth I was honoured to be present, and little Noah is now my cover star!
Our family time includes eating too many roast dinners and camping in our VW called 'Old Bill', and in my spare time enjoy swimming, walking and running with our crazy rescue puppy 'Blue'.
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Breastfeeding Counsellor 2007
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) 2010 - re certified 2015
Frenulotomy Training under Mr Mervyn Griffiths at Southampton 2011
Registered Midwife 2012
Trustee and Regional Supervisor for the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers
Member of IMUK and My Midwife and Me
Member of the Association of Tongue Tie Practitioners
I offer visits on Postnatal Days 1,2,3,5, 7, 10, 14, 21,28, (and additional visits as needed) All these visits are included in the Full Birth Package.
At each visit, care for the mother includes top to toe health checks for postnatal well being, including perineum health, breast care, self care and healing and recovery.
For assistance with breastfeeding issues, one to one postnatal sessions are tailored for you and your needs.
COST : One off - £160. Full postnatal package - £1600
Care following the booking appointment, includes routine Antentatal appointments throughout your pregnancy, again at your home and lasting around 45mins. This is usually 10 appointments, and I can arrange blood tests, scans and consultant appointments if needed.
Care also includes access to me as your midwife by telephone throughout your pregnancy, and also resources (relaxation CDs, Books etc) if needed.
COST : One off - £140. Full antenatal package - £1400
Labour and Birth Care
Full Midwifery Care throughout your pregnancy (booking ideally from 8-12 weeks) regular monthly antenatal appointments until 31 weeks, then fortnightly until 38 weeks then weekly until your baby's birth. Also includes Birth preparation, breastfeeding antenatal session, On call from 37 weeks of pregnancy, support for your hospital or homebirth and full postnatal care for both mother and baby for up to six weeks.
Also includes Birth Pool (and liner/pumps/hose and attachments) and TENS machine loan.
COST : £5,000
Antenatal Breastfeeding Session
Positionning and attaching your baby,
What to expect in the early days,
Normal newborn behaviour,
Signs that feeding is going well.
COST : £125
Postnatal Breastfeeding Support
121 Postnatal Consulation and follow up support.
Group: Available at the clinic in Eton. This runs Every Thursday 12-2pm
Austin Leigh Baldwin Institute, Eton High st. SL4 6AQ
To attend the group is free (although we do ask for a £2 contribution towards Hall hire)
Postnatal home visits are available, and happen at a time convenient to you and in your own home:
COST : Initial 121 visit: £60, follow up £50
Tongue Tie Division
Frenulotomy Service includes Consultation, Division of the tongue tie and Post procedure feeding plan, Including telephone support.
COST : £150