about do it like a mother
This growing community was founded in 2013 (formerly HypnoBirthdays) by Keri Jarvis.
Chloe Mulholland joined in 2017, and in 2019, Chloe Westmore and Chloe Thompson-Booth came on board.
Yep. We LOVE a Chloe. If your name is Chloe there is a significant chance you will work with us one day…
Mindfulness was added to the roster in 2019 with Natalie Cahillane.
In early 2020, Charli Davies took the reins from Keri and shortly after Kelly Woodyatt joined adding Pilates too.
Ashley Dole joined in early 2021 with The Better Birth Club and in June 2021 Dawn McCarthy joined as our Funded Places Coordinator.
Hi there!! I’m Charli and I’m going to jump straight in and get this out of the way first. I’m Northern. A Yorkshire lass, although I’ve moved around so much since I was 18 you may just about miss my northern twang, maybe.
You may think this strange but my first taste of parenthood was as a 7 year old when my little brother was born. He was the brother I’d always wanted & with my mum (I won’t say only or just as she was more than enough to be 2 parents) to take care of us, I made it my mission to teach my brother everything I knew. I also wanted to help my mum as much as possible.
When I was 16 I gained 3 half brothers I hadn’t know about. This was a pivotal part of my life and my family’s, when I not only gained a whole new extended family but I learned a lot about myself.
With nursing and support in various guises on both sides of my family from my grandparents to my aunts & uncles and my parents, support and parenting has been woven into my life from a very young age. All that with a BSc, partly in Business and partly in Childhood studies meant buying DILAM needed very little thought.
I have two children with an eight-year age gap. Both test my patience at times but I could eat both of them up in one mouthful. I’m well aware of the equal amounts of love and despair a child can bring. At 23 I was sucked into the IVF process when I donated some of my eggs to a family member. A process I look back on with equal amounts of love and hate.
I’ve worked in the media for many years having started out training as a Broadcast Journalist, I ended up in business management at the BBC. Supporting my colleagues and encouraging others are part of who I am so it was a natural job to move into. I’m also no stranger to small business having started a kids company many moons ago and running another business alongside DILAM, built around adult sleep. That first business didn’t quite fit with a new baby, working full time and studying for a BSc. What it did teach me was we can have it all, just not all at the same time.
My family & work life have taught me a whole lot about mental health, care, support, openness, being real and allowing everyone to be who they want to be.
I want to bring this to DILAM in as many ways as possible to support all parents and their children as we all navigate this thing called parenthood. I look forward to meeting you and having a chat over a cuppa.
Born and raised in beautiful Leigh-on-Sea, I still live here with my husband Tom and my two gorgeous daughters Delilah & Aida.
I have a degree in English & Drama and trained in the performing arts from an early age. I enjoyed a few years working in the industry, however as the bills kept rolling in and the auditions slowed down, I became dependant on more regular work.
When I fell pregnant with my first little girl, I decided to look into hypnobirthing and was self-taught. I managed to have a wonderful birthing experience despite complications, but I realised pretty quickly how transformative yet terrifying becoming a newborn mother was.
There were plenty of tears and many a day and night of feeling utterly alone and out of my depth. I remember feeling powerful at my ability to give birth to such a perfect little creature but felt completely vulnerable and unprepared for motherhood, especially in those precious but exhausting early weeks.
Due to financial problems, I had to return to work when Delilah was 5 months old, which was necessary but unfulfilling. Fast forward 4 years and another pregnancy with daughter number 2 and I felt completely different.
I wanted to build my own business doing something that I loved that incorporated my passions, whilst enabling me to be at home with my baby. And that’s when I met Keri.
I started attending her Pregnancy Relaxation evenings and straight away I not only felt relaxed in her presence but always left the classes feeling invigorated. Those special evenings really illustrated just how powerful women can be, especially when they’re lifted up and supported by one another.
I had the most amazing birth experience with Aida and through self-education on postpartum care, I even enjoyed those special but hectic first weeks getting to know my baby. That was my lightbulb moment! I had realised I was passionate about supporting and encouraging ‘newborn mothers’ and their babies in their parenthood journey.
When Keri approached me about joining her Do It Like A Mother team, I seized the opportunity and decided to train under the incredible Peter Walker, an internationally renowned physical therapist who has worked with babies, children and parents for nearly 40 years.
Combining my experiences of motherhood with a qualification as a Development Baby Massage teacher, I hope to encourage and equip new parents with the skills and confidence to communicate with their child using the language of loving touch and therapeutic play. The benefits will be seen instantly and I can’t want to meet all of you incredible mummys and mummys to be.
So, where to start? Well from the beginning I suppose; Born in Newham, brought up in Upminster. From a family of cockneys, I am a Londoner at heart but love a breath of fresh country air. After a couple of forays into a microbiology degree and a stint working for the emergency services, I found my true calling and became a midwife.
I did my 3 years of training with Kings’ College, London and graduated with First-Class Honours in 2012. That was over 6 years ago now and during that time I have had my eyes opened to the immense power of birth. A transformative, yet vulnerable time in a family’s life. And a time that I am determined to make better for as many families as I can.
Of course- I had a baby of my own too (her birth story is here if you’d like to know how that went down) and that only continued to add to the magnitude of my own transformation as a woman in this modern world.
Unfortunately, working as a midwife within the NHS wasn’t the dream I had hoped it would be. It was preventing me from looking after families in the way they truly deserved. I felt forced into carrying out one medical procedure, after the next, with no time left to listen to women and really give them the true care and attention they needed.
Over time, constantly feeling able unable to serve families took its toll on me and I burnt out. I was emotionally frazzled and felt completely lost. Thankfully, I am surrounded by an amazing support network and I managed to find my feet again. I wasn’t going to let a failing system get me down, my dream was to make birth better for as many families as I possibly could and that is exactly what I intend to do.
I am now offering bespoke, one-to-one support for expectant parents. I offer private antenatal classes and also doula support, for anyone that wants my in-person support at the birth of their baby and in the days that follow. I’ll be there reminding you of what a wonderfully, powerful human being you are and showing you that all the strength you needed was already within you.
I am also dedicated to improving maternity care on a wider scale, too. I am part of my local Maternity Voices Partnership and I am active member of the campaign Make Birth Better. My legacy will be that our daughters look forward to birthing their babies, instead of fearing it, they will truly know their own power and the world will be a better place for it.
Hey I’m Natalie; I’m mum to the brilliant Frankie (whose nearly 3), meditator & ‘practical mindfulness’ obsessed type person, ‘creative’ (couldn’t face not putting ‘air quotes’ on this, but it’s shorthand for what’s been a big part of my career as a Creative Lead/strategist, designer, picture researcher/ editor & occasional copywriter), intuitive eater in training, nondrinker (coming up 5 years now – wood), Vegan (tho how is there milk powder in eeeeverything?), and general all-round ‘mental wellness’ enthusiast who bloody loves her coffee.
Goodness that was a list and a half, AND also one that reads as far ‘holier than thou’ than the reality of my life.
True talk – my enthusiasm for the world of ‘mental wellness’ was born out of necessity.
Depression & anxiety have been part of my life since my teenage years and the journey to try release trauma and live peacefully alongside my mind has been ongoing for some 20 years now. It is exactly because of this that I wanted to train in ‘Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction’, which as a programme, combines practical techniques for managing the stresses of daily life. I am BIG believer in having a mental health ‘tool kit’, and never has this been more prevalent than in the midst of a pandemic, let alone being a parent in the midst of a pandemic. So that’s what I do, I am here to try help you feel calm, collected and grounded in your ability to weather storms. My classes & courses will be coming back as lock down eases and I will also be bringing a host of workshops in mindful living for little ones. If you’ve got any questions or would like to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.
Hi everyone! My name is Kelly and I’m the resident Pilates instructor here at DILAM.
I’m thrilled to be a part of the DILAM community and love helping women to improve their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing through Pilates. I started practicing Pilates years ago! (more than I care to admit!) and I loved it straight away.
I’d consider training to become an instructor a few times over the years but the timing never seemed right. Then one day, not long before starting maternity leave with my eldest, I came across an advert for training as a Level 3 Pilates Instructor. I had that feeling you get when you know something is perfect for you and the rest as they say is history.
Whilst training, I started attending a Postnatal Pilates class with my baby. I quickly realised just how valuable this class was, firstly to my recovery but also, it was pitched at just the right level! I knew then that I would complete my training so that I could teach pre and postnatal Pilates. And that’s what I did.
A couple of years later, when expecting my second child (there seems to be a pattern here) I came across a franchise called Adore Your Floor which is all about pelvic floor health. Again, I had that feeling that this is what I should do next and felt very passionate about being able to provide this knowledge and assistance to others. It tied in perfectly with my pre and postnatal classes as we know this is a hard time for the pelvic floor!
And that brings me here… I absolutely love the variety of classes that I teach as I can really support women through all walks of life, whatever their current physical circumstances.
Hello! I’m Ashley, and I live here in Leigh-on-Sea with my partner and our two little boys.
I’m a Royal College of Midwives accredited hypnobirthing instructor, member of The Hypnobirthing Association, and a complete pregnancy & birth nerd!
I used to work in digital marketing, spending most of my day at a desk, on a laptop, on my own. It wasn’t until we turned our lives upside-down – literally! – quitting our jobs and moving to sunny Australia, that I found my true calling.
There I had my first baby. I loved being pregnant and was fascinated by the magic happening inside my body. I read everything I could on the physiology of pregnancy and birth, and couldn’t get enough of it! I found Hypnobirthing and started to learn what I could do to help my body to birth my baby in the calmest, most straightforward way possible.
When the big day came around, I knew that every single part of my new-found knowledge and preparation was worth it (you will too! There’s no magic here!). Labour was such a powerful mental and physical feat. I was sure that I wanted to do all I could to help others to prepare themselves for that life-changing day.
I retrained as a Hypnobirthing teacher as soon as I could; studying hard under a leading UK specialist, volunteering with young mums-to-be, and shadowing an independent midwife. I loved every second. Since then I have helped parents-to-be on both sides of the planet to approach their labours with excitement, a toolkit of techniques, and a calm confidence.
This is what I know, what I am good at, and what I love.
I’ve just had my second baby – an entirely different experience in all ways possible! But one that has deepened my trust in what I do, and broadened my first-hand knowledge in the most useful ways.
Want to talk bumps and birth? I’m here for it! Anytime!
I can’t wait to meet you and help you to achieve the type of birth you want – whatever that might be, and wherever you choose to do it
FUNDED PLACES COORDINATOR
Mum of two boys and returning to the world of work.
Simple pleasures are my thing, a nice cup of tea & cake or lunch with friends.
I’m the Funded Places Coordinator at DILAM so if you need help contact me and I’ll see what I can do.
Looking forward to meeting you x