The Blooming Bunch’s dream team of renowned Antenatal Experts.
The Blooming Bunch’s dream team of renowned Antenatal Experts.
I became a birth junkie after my son was born ten years ago and have spent much of that time writing, campaigning and talking about birth and parenthood as a journalist and broadcaster. For pregnant women, knowledge is power. Honest, supportive ante-natal education in a fabulous location alongside other growing bumps is the best way to begin the craziest journey of your life. When I am not drinking tea with my beautiful Blooming Bunch, I write a weekly Daily Telegraph column; campaign for better maternity services for all women and look after my kids (10, 5 & 3). I am so proud of this course: there are no rules, no embarrassment and no finger-wagging – but laughter is obligatory.
There is nothing that The Blooming Bunch’s Special Advisor does not know about the very latest information on pregnancy and birth. She has been a midwife for over 20 years and is famously credited by Davina McCall for her three “amazing” births. Pam became an Independent midwife 14 years ago and specializes in woman-centred care. Her aim in life is to help women get the birth that they want: Vbacs, pre-labour sections, waterbirths or homebirths. She is an expert on post-natal care and breastfeeding. And also a whizz on social media. Pam doesn’t have a website but you call her directly on 07860752651 or send her an email.
Donald may have a million letters after his name but that’s not why I chose him for our team. He is ideal because he is the calmest, most insightful, woman-centred obstetrician in London. He has more than 35 years experience in NHS and private practice at The Birth Company. Our couples are privileged to have such a small gathering in which to benefit from his wisdom. He now delivers babies at The Portland Hospital and continues to run Harley Street’s ‘The Birth Company’ which he established in 2000 and treats over 2,500 women per year for scans and expert care. He also tells a great tale or two!
Hannah is one of London’s top women’s health physiotherapists. Now based at Bodies under Construction at The Riverside Gym in Chiswick, she has worked on Harley Street and the prestigious Royal National Orthopadic hospital. I knew she would fit in perfectly with our ethos when she arrived smiling on her bike and talked with such passion about helping women to preserve their pelvic floor health in pregnancy. A real expert who works daily to ease debilitating post-natal problems such as incontinence and pelvic pain. We just love Hannah!
Lisa is an Osteopath with a keen interest in maintaining musculoskeletal health for sport are pregnancy (we often say that giving birth is like running a marathon so getting in tiptop physical shape helps). She is great at helping our women to look after their backs and hips in pregnancy. She has a Master of Osteopathy Degree from the British School of Osteopathy; is registered with the General Osteopathic Council and is a member of the British Osteopathic Association. Oh, and has an MBE for her international squash career. A great addition to our team. Osteopath West.
Ruth Wood (MBant, DipION) is very smart, very funny and very Northern. Now that she lives in posh Chiswick, she works with individual clients addressing the entire spectrum of diet-related concerns. Through her company, Crucial Food she supports patients in addiction clinics; helps treat psychological disorders and post-natal depression. Ruth is irritatingly discreet about the very famous Chiswick celebrities that she cooks for. The Blooming Bunch are truly blessed to have her help navigate the minefield of conflicting advice with a wonderfully down-to-earth approach. And she bakes a mean healthy brownie.
Jade Rodham is the woman you would want with you when you’re doing sit ups. She has worked in the health industry for 13yrs, but in 2005, after the birth of her first baby, she decided to specialise in all aspects of physical training for pregnant women. Since 2006 she has taught pre and post-natal exercise classes at Chiswick’s Hogarth Health Club as well as working on a one-to-one basis many pregnant women. She is soon to complete her BSc honours degree in Physiotherapy, soon after she births her third baby!
With 25 years experience behind him, Alan Watson is a West London legend and one of the capital’s most sought-after Physiotherapists. His successful Bimal Clinic off Chiswick High Road holds together Olympic Champions and manages pregnancy aches and pains with the necessary expertise to undertake full holistic assessments. As part of our commitment to well-being, Alan will be talking to The Blooming Bunch about the importance of pelvic strength and alignment; spinal mobility; preventing back ache and the benefits of leg strength and flexibility in pregnancy. He’s basically a Piers Brosnan look-a-like with magic hands.
Olivia is a local mum who is a fully trained Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner. Like ‘Hypnobirthing’, this technique helps women lose their fear of birth; gain confidence in their bodies and learn powerful relaxation techniques to stay calm in labour. Her 90 minute taster is exclusive to The Blooming Bunch and can be followed up with further workshops if the technique tickles your fancy.
I’ve known Lorraine O’Mullane for many years and she brings the ideal combination of Hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural training to our team. Based in Chiswick, Lorraine offers bespoke one-to-one hypnosis sessions and is also a qualified Confident Childbirth Practitioner. In an exclusive 90 minute taster, she offers a great insight into the effects of hypnosis on birth. Each couple also receives a free hypnosis relaxation download to use at their leisure. http://www.lomullane.com
Maggie is a mother of five boys, all born at home – but don’t let that put you off – she is incredibly normal! She created ‘Natal Hypnotherapy’ and authored ‘Effective Birth Preparation,’ thereby helping over 100,000 women around the world to have a better birth. Even though she is hugely in demand, Maggie is giving us an exclusive 90 minute insight into her invaluable technique. You can even watch her own birth video online – just don’t do it in crowded office!
Annie is a very special woman. She has been a midwife for over 15 years and is the Chief Executive of Neighbourhood Midwives, a unique organisation that offers one-on-one care with a view to transforming midwifery provision in the UK. She is currently working with The Department of Health to restructure maternity services. I am beyond chuffed that The Blooming Bunch have access to her brilliance. Annie is smart, hard-working and lovely (she also happens to be married to actor and TV presenter Peter Duncan).
As one of the country’s most highly-respected and well-loved midwives I am honoured that Sheena Byrom is part of The Blooming Bunch. Having practised in the NHS for 35 years, she is passionate about promoting and supporting positive births for all women. There is barely an expert maternity panel in the country that Sheena does not sit on. A warm, straight-talking Lancastrian, Sheena is one of five girls, a mother of four and grandmother of 6. She is also the author of Bestseller “Catching Babies.” I know you will love her as much as I do.
Reflexology has outstanding results during pregnancy (some NHS units even offer it on maternity wards). It can be especially beneficial to help labour begin. Chrissie is a fully-qualified Reflexologist with an extra diploma in pregnancy and post-natal care, who works from the tranquil surroundings of her beautiful home in Chiswick. Having raised ten-year-old twin girls here, you can also pick her brains about the best nurseries, schools and playgrounds while she attends to your feet!