This growing community was founded in 2013 (formerly HypnoBirthdays) by Keri Jarvis. Chloe Mulholland & Steph Kidd joined in 2017, and 2018 sees Chloe Westmore, Chloe Thompson-Booth and Lizzie Start coming on board. Yep. We LOVE a Chloe. If your name is Chloe there is a significant chance you will work with us one day…
The Do It Like a Mother Team
KERI JARVIS (GROUP HYPNOBIRTHING IN SOUTHEND, MINDSET COACHING ONLINE)
Mother (Louis is 5, Rory is 2, they do not sleep and ), Wife, Birth Addict (not that I want to keep doing it forever- thinking 2 littles will be quite enough. But addicted to, obsessed by, totally dedicated to enabling parents to give their babies births that they all feel great about).
In my pre birthy state, I got myself a serious degree in Management and Maths (I am no creative type- I like strategies, and results) and worked in store management for M&S. I actually loved it (mostly), but having had my eyes opened to a world I never knew existed, how could I turn away?
After Louis was born in 2013, I retrained to teach hypnobirthing, and our course has evolved MASSIVELY during that time. If you missed them, you can check out each of our hypnobirthing experiences here, Louis (Eggle, Loubags, Bagsy, Louis Pig, Piglet) and Welcoming Rory.
I have been SO LUCKY to have supported around 300 families in welcoming their babies so far, and continue to be amazed at the power of a couple who are well prepared and in it together- always in awe of my amazing gang.
I say it with a straight face- I am seriously jealous of my clients as they prepare to give birth, knowing that if all goes to plan, I’ll never get to do it again.
It was the most transformational experience of my life. I did not see that coming. I want all the families I work with to come out of it feeling like legends, superheroes, queens and kings. You can have a read of what some of them have to say about it on the Birth Stories page.
My experience of the early postnatal period the second time round has prompted me to grow my offering. Realising how unprepared I had been the first time, vs the access I’d had to other experts and tools on take 2, I’m fairly surprised I survived it. I want all women to be armed with everything they need to make early motherhood as smooth as possible, I want them to know that they are nailing it.
On from there, I can’t ignore the way that finding and embracing my purpose work has brought me incredible joy and fulfilment, and ultimately has made me a better mother. I honestly believe that the world will become a better place for everyone as more women step into their potential, and so coaching them into their power is off the charts fantastic.
chloe mulholland (Private antenatal education and doula support)
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 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.
CHLOE M'S blog
Today is Easter Sunday, however it’s also Mother Earth Day. A day to celebrate our planet and it all does for us, whilst also raising awareness
In a patriarchal society is is possible for us to truly support each other?
Here’s the second of letters from midwives, I am so grateful to these midwives for speaking up, telling the truth and calling out our current
Steph Kidd (Private Hypnobirthing & Pregnancy Relaxation, Cloth nappies and sustainable living support in southend)
Born and raised in Essex, currently living in Leigh on Sea. I am engaged to my partner of 11 years, Matt and mum to chatterbox Flossie (3.5 years), and danger magnet Lenny (8 months). My life passions are birth, childhood & education, breastfeeding, low impact living and crochet. I’m also a self confessed cloth nappy addict which I am now putting to good use in the community (see below!)
My career up until recently has been in childcare, primarily nannying which I started in 2008. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing families across Essex and London in this time, mostly those with young babies and toddlers, and I had such a blast doing so whilst learning more about child development and caring for young children in a nurturing way. I have obviously grown upon this even further this since having my own children – understanding more about infant feeding, sleep, babywearing and the realities of biological norms vs social norms.
Falling pregnant in 2014 introduced me to the world of hypnobirthing. Although I’ve never been scared of birth -in fact I’ve always been completely fascinated by it- I rarely heard anything positive about the experience from people I knew or met. Phrases like ‘leave your dignity at the door’ ‘just listen to the doctors’ and ‘you’ll soon realise you want an epidural’ rang in my ears, but my reading and research over the years had led me to positive birth stories so I knew it was possible to give birth confidently and in my chosen location. What I also knew was that I needed some extra education, and techniques to use if I was going to navigate my pregnancy and labour the way I wanted to, as like most of women when they fall pregnant – I had a limited understanding of how best to work with my body!
I had a fantastic experience with my first birth and felt able to navigate changes along the way with ease – accepting care I felt was needed and declining interventions I didn’t. I came away feeling in awe of myself – at no other time in my life had I felt so connected to myself and able to stand strong in my beliefs. I knew I had to share this with more women and when Florence turned 2 I did my training in London and started to teach. Very soon after, I found out I pregnant again. We found the tools I knew more essential than ever as I was navigating a pregnancy considered ‘high risk’. Once again I felt able to make sure I made informed decisions which were right for our family.
I currently offer 1:1 Hypnobirthing in the comfort of your own home – ideal for those with busy schedules or keen for a course which can be focused on your individual situation. As well as Breakfast Birth Prep Saturday morning’s – a chance for mum’s to be to get together for connection, a relaxation session and empowering education over breakfast. I have now worked with families preparing for birth for over a year and I’m filled with joy every time I hear of a new arrival – women filled with confidence and birth partners working with them to create their optimal birth experience regardless of how things go on the day.
I recently took over Southend Cloth Nappy Library, offering monthly workshops for parents looking to make the transition, and hiring kits out so you can try before you buy. Kits are graded and priced accordingly and more info can be found here.
I have also started to offer sustainable living support groups / workshops as have become more interested and passionate about leaving our planet in as great a condition as we can for the next generations. I am hoping to evolve these next year, but currently once a month I hold an informal coffee morning with a topic of focus and I recently announced my first kids sessions – a Christmas Special!
If you’ve got questions, just get in touch.
Chloe Westmore (Infant Massage and Baby Brunch Southend)
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 evening 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. xxx
CHLOE W'S blog
Chloe THOMPSON-BOOTH (Emotional wellbeing)
I am a mother (to my lovely [most of the time] toddler), lover of mothers, and wellbeing warrior; fiercely passionate about supporting and promoting emotional wellbeing in parents. I have worked as a Psychologist for nearly 10 years, initially in Child Development research and later training as a Clinical Psychologist.
My training involved working in a variety of services across London, ranging from child to adult mental health, sexual health and psychosexual therapy, dementia services, and paediatrics. However, I soon developed a specialist interest in perinatal mental health, conveniently around the same time that I found out I was expecting my son.
I started running groups to treat anxiety in expectant parents as part of a research project, which I absolutely loved doing – it was amazing to be able to support women and their partners as they made their journey into parenthood.
During my own pregnancy I was lucky enough to meet the awesome Keri Jarvis when I completed her amazing Hypnobirthing course. When Keri said she was looking to expand her team, I jumped at the chance! I feel very fortunate to be part of a team of wonderful women who are using their various talents to support mothers (& partners!) in a variety of ways.
I am so excited to begin my work offering Emotional Wellbeing Workshops for mothers; these groups are designed to offer support and resources for promoting psychological wellbeing and resilience in the postnatal period.
Because, let’s face it, being a parent is as hard as it is wonderful, and we could all do with a wellbeing boost at times?! I am so looking forward to meeting and working with lots of lovely Mums and sharing my top tips for wellbeing in Motherhood.
CHLOE T-B'S blog
Today is Easter Sunday, however it’s also Mother Earth Day. A day to celebrate our planet and it all does for us, whilst also raising awareness
lizzie start (sling hire and babywearing support)
I am Lizzie, an experienced educator and mother of two (Big Brother and Baby Brother) living in Westcliff-on-Sea. My background is in teaching, and I’ve worked in the fields of childcare and education for over fifteen years. I’m a qualified babywearing consultant (aka slings!) and have trained with both School of Babywearing and Slingababy.
Big Brother was born in June 2014, and he was a classic “high needs”, “clingy”, “Velcro” baby (i.e. a totally normal human infant) who wanted to be held most of the time and hated being put down. We quickly learned that a sling helped to calm and comfort him while also allowing us to get on with the practicalities of life – planning a house move, travelling to see family and friends, hanging out the washing, etc. We had a basic stretchy wrap which did the job, and in October 2014 it was how I managed the flight to Norway as we made our move to a new country with a four month old baby!
Babywearing was a real lifesaver through our first Scandinavian winter (our decidedly English buggy was no use whatsoever in the snow and ice!) and I made friends who introduced me to different types of slings and helped me to settle into our new life. I was also privileged to meet a number of amazing women who were supporting the international community of mums living in Oslo, a community I was welcomed into with open arms.
While slings and carriers were and are a lot more mainstream in Norway, there were no sling libraries, and nowhere to really get any support or to learn how to carry safely and comfortably. I had visited a sling library while I was pregnant and again after Big Brother was born, and I knew that they were a great source of support to many families across the UK. Together with my very special friend Magz, we set up Oslo Sling Library in early 2015, and in July 2015 I flew to London for my consultancy training.
Fast forward a year and I was pregnant with Baby Brother and preparing to return to Essex. We had grown from a fortnightly meet in my living room with 12 second-hand slings and a pot of coffee, to a busy drop-in session twice a week as part of a local community group supporting parents in various ways (not too dissimilar to Do It Like A Mother), with a collection of over 150 slings.
I knew I wanted to continue to support other families when I got home, and made plans to set up my own sling library and consultancy once Baby Brother was born. He made his arrival in September 2016 and was in a sling by day two! With a toddler to run around after it just made sense to keep him close while we got on with daily life, and carrying enabled me to meet both boys’ needs simultaneously. Sling Start was launched shortly afterwards, and I started offering sling library drop-ins in Westcliff, Southend and Hockley, and consultations across Southend, Rochford and Castle Point.
In early 2018 I began to work with Keri and her lovely clients at Do It Like A Mother, and in April we launched Cake Club, our weekly drop-in session combining the sling library, infant feeding support and parenting solidarity – with an emphasis on tea and cake at all times too! I joined the team officially in September 2018 and I now have a permanent base at HQ. I offer regular parent workshops on a range of topics, including newborn babywearing and feeding in slings, and attend as many of our regular group sessions as I can to support the parents that are part of this amazing community.
In addition to the services that we offer locally, I also run Born to Carry peer support training courses around the country (and further afield, if required!) and am able to offer bespoke training to sling libraries and other professionals.
I cannot overemphasise or underestimate the positive impact that babywearing has had on my life and the lives of my children and family. Learning about slings and meeting other “slingy” people made my life infinitely easier and more enjoyable as a new parent back in 2014. I love being able to give new parents their hands back, reassuring them that it is completely normal and totally ok for their tiny new baby to want to be held all the time. I get a kick out of hoisting a toddler or pre-schooler up on their parent’s back for the first time, giving them the freedom to go for a hike or travel without needing to rely on a buggy.
I am a bit of an advocate for instinctive and responsive parenting, whatever that may mean to each individual family. Many of us come to parenthood with the weight of a thousand opinions upon us, being told how and when to do things, feeling that we have to conform, and that our babies need to behave and develop in a certain way. I meet many families who just want to be told that they’re doing a good job and that their baby is normal. I have spent a lot of time learning about infant behaviour, biological norms and the societal pressures that parents are dealing with today, and it gives me great satisfaction and comfort to be able to support other parents through the challenges of modern parenting.
A year ago, when our summer-born big one was just three years old and we were waiting to hear about school places, I was full
I get asked quite a lot, “How did you get into all THIS?!” Slings and stuff. I don’t have a particularly profound answer, but here
NATALIE CAHILLANE (MEDITATION TEACHER)
Hey, i’m Natalie, a new Mum (well new-ish mum) to Frankie (now 8 months), wife (to Joe), mediator & meditation evangelist, ‘creative’ (couldn’t face not putting ‘air quotes’ on this, but it’s shorthand for what’s been most of my career as a Creative Lead / director / strategist, designer, picture researcher / editor & copywriter), intuitive eater in training, non drinker (coming up 3 years now), almost vegan (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 it’s a list that reads as far ‘holier than thou’ then the reality of my life. True talk – my enthusiasm for the world of ‘mental wellness’ was born out of necessity. Depression and anxiety have been part of my life since my teenage years. At first I didn’t know what it was or why it was there, I had no language for it, then overtime I learnt how to acknowledge its presence, then gradually how to talk about it, slowly how to not fight it then how not to hold on to it too much, and finally to accept it and work with it. Don’t be fooled though, this is a journey that started some 20+ years ago and is still very much a ‘work in progress’.
But it’s been through all this that my love for meditation was born. I began mediating 9 years ago at the Bethnal Green Buddhist Centre – I wasn’t instantaneous but within a few weeks I was hooked and went on to try out as many different practices as I could find the years; transcendental to silent retreats I lapped it up. This culminated in my training to teach meditation which brings me here.
I’m a big believer in having a ‘tool kit’ to help you deal with the trials and tribulations of life and never has this been as relevant as in the transition to parenthood. Whether you’re trying for child, newly pregnant, planning the birth, or entering parenthood; being able to confidently face the thoughts and feelings that arise allows for you move through this period with less resistance. Meditation is the practice of strengthening the mind and even in short daily bursts it can have dramatic effects, with countless scientific papers confirming its ability to lowering stress levels, (as well as reducing the inflammation in the body caused by stress), promote better quality sleep, help control and manage pain, increase kindness and positively affect relationships as well as improving concentration.
There are many types of meditation practice and I will be bringing a number of them to Do It Like Mother, but it’s always best to start at the beginning, so come May 2019 i’ll be offering a 6 weekly course introducing the mindfulness of breathing and the cultivation of loving kindness. There’ll also be a number of drop in / taster sessions. The combination of these two practices aims to bring a deeper awareness and empathy to your journey as a parent (prospective or current) allowing you the space for greater compassion towards yourself and others as you go.
I can’t wait to get started -and to meet you all for some lovely quiet time – eeek.