I am middle-aged, married with two almost-grown children. From my own experience and pitfalls, I have learned all aspects of life and parenting are easier with giving a little time to look after your health. I think yoga and reflexology are great ways to nurture yourself and increase your wellbeing and have more energy for yourself and your family.
I obtained a biological sciences degree at Southampton University in Physiology and Nutrition in 1995 and a diploma in Midwifery in 2000. I am an experienced and practising midwife in the NHS (part-time now) which I feel very privileged to do. I consider birth a rite of passage into motherhood and am passionate women are empowered and have the best possible experience, giving the baby, mother and family an optimum start in life. There are many ways to give birth and I support women’s informed choices with safety paramount. I contributed a chapter to the book “Your Birth Year” published by the NCT in 2004. I am also a qualified counsellor and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am working as a counsellor in the NHS perinatal services.
I started practising yoga aged 15 and my practice is mainly inspired by teacher Vanda Scaravelli. I began training to teach pregnancy and post-natal yoga in 2004 and qualified and became an Associate of the Active Birth Center in London 2007, where I taught pregnancy yoga. I trained with Peter Walker to teach baby massage classes (2001). I came across reflexology in South Africa 1991 and then studied to obtain a reflexology diploma in 1992 whilst in South Africa. I am a full member of the Association of Reflexologists in the UK (since 1996). I now specialize in maternity reflexology, as this is my expertise, but I can see anyone. Many people who I see come for relaxation/ to alleviate stress.
Yoga and Reflexology are ways for a mother to have time and space to relax and bond with her baby in pregnancy, and also once the baby has arrived. Research shows spending time bonding with the baby boosts the hormone oxytocin that enhances feelings of love and happiness. Oxytocin also crosses the placenta and promotes the baby’s brain development (Shonkoff et al, 2000)1. Studies in pregnancy suggest a link between maternal oxytocin levels and mother-baby bonding and lower rates of postnatal depression (Levine et al, 2007)2.
- Shonkoff, J. P., & Phillips, D. A. ,2000, From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
- Levine A, Zagoory-Sharon O, Feldman R et al, 2007, Oxytocin during pregnancy and early postpartum: individual patterns and maternal-fetal attachment, Peptides, vol 28, no 6, pp 1162-1169