There is a small army of women who specialise in helping mums that are pregnant

As a newborn baby and family photographer based in Twickenham, I spend a great deal of my day around little people and their families. I talk to a lot of women about their birth experiences and how we prepared for the arrival of a new baby. I’ve also met a lot of lovely local women who provide really valuable services and support during pregnancy and the immediate antenatal period. One thing that has always stuck in my mind is that I wish I had known about these women when I was pregnant or when I just had my baby! It’s for this reason that I’m writing this post. If you are pregnant or have just had a baby and live in South West London, I hope this list of lovely women can be of help to you.

1. Sophie Fox – pregnancy hypnobirthing expert

I first met Sophie at a Mush event in Twickenham for mums to meet other mums.

Sophie has such a calm aura around her that I completely understand why she’s a hypnobirthing expert. She’s a mother of twin boys and birthed them naturally using her hypnobirthing. When I asked her why she got into hypnobirthing, she explained about how the process of giving birth is unpredictable and there are no guarantees as to the type of birth you’ll have. But, it turns out, mums who do hypnobirthing go on to have less medical intervention (I wish I knew that!). She was saying how even mums who do need intervention say they found hypnobirthing a useful tool to stay calm and in control. She does hypnobirthing classes in areas around Richmond-upon-Thames. Here’s her website if you want more information… https://www.hypnobirthingforyou.co.uk

Sophie Fox

2. Nafisa – pre/post natal masseuse & reflexologist

Nafisa gave me a 5 minute taster session when I met her at the same event I met Sophie the hypnobirthing specialist.

It was the most relaxing 5 minutes! Maybe it was because I was quite tired, but I think it’s more likely due to Nafisi’s amazing technique. If you ever go to a mum2mum market in the Twickenham area, you may see her there. I highly suggest getting a 5 minute taster session from her if you do! Nafisa’s based in Teddington and has created a little oasis of calm in her garden massage room. Since becoming a mother her work has naturally become more women focused, including prenatal, maternity & baby massage. If you’d like to try out a lovely massage, here’s her site: http://nafisa.co.uk/

Nafisa massage and reflexologist in Teddington

3. Madeleine Boot – founder of Sheen Slings

Almost every mum I know with a new baby has a baby carrier of one sort or another. The key is finding the best one that’s right for you.

I didn’t know that there were such things as sling libraries until my little one was too heavy to be carried around in one and it was too late to try different options. Madeleine is really passionate about helping families make life with their little ones as wonderful as possible. She’s is formally trained as a Babywearing consultant (as well as having a PhD in Immunology!). Sheen Sling library has regular drop in sessions and has over 70 slings you can try and hire. 70!! It’s really worth checking it out: https://sheenslings.com.

Madeleine Boot

4. Wendy Flynn – personalised pregnancy notebooks

Wendy is one talented lady!

Wendy trained as a graphic designer and makes the most beautiful notebooks you can imagine. Her company is called Doris and Fred, named after her grandparents. She has such a wide range of books she creates that I asked if she also does a pregnancy one and newborn baby books. Of course she does! Here’s a link to her pregnancy book: https://www.dorisandfred.co.uk/products/pregnancy-journal. Here’s a link to her baby books: https://www.dorisandfred.co.uk/products/nanny-child-minder-babysitter-parents-book.

Doris and Fred

5. Michelle Gerlis – Doula

I never really knew what a doula was until it was too late to use one

Michelle is such a lovely and kind person. She’s so passionate about what she does and has years of experience. She first became interested in being a doula when she was a birthing partner for a very close friend. That was over 20 years ago and she hasn’t looked back since. It’s her goal to make sure that families have the most positive birthing memories possible. She’s also set up the Twickenham branch of the Positive Birth Movement. Here’s her website:  http://www.positivebirthmovement.org/michelle-gerlis.html

Michelle Gerlis

6. Nargis Ahmad – Pregnancy and newborn / baby Osteopath

When my baby was only a few days old, I took her to see a cranial Osteopath around the corner from where I live.

I took my daughter to see a cranial Osteopath because of trapped wind and it really helped. Unfortunately that particular Osteopath no longer practices there. Instead, I’ve found Nargis who works out of Teddington. Nargis is passionate about helping families who want to take a natural approach. One thing I think is awesome about her is that she runs a laughter group! Here’s her website: http://www.nargisahmad.co.uk/babies/

Nargis Ahmad

7. Alison Brake- Counsellor and Psychotherapist

The post natal period can be a bit of a rollercoaster and sometimes it helps to have someone to talk to.

Alison is so easy to talk to that it’s not surprising that she’s a really great therapist. She specialises in families going through transitional periods, including the emotional challenges that mums often face post-natally. She works out of Maple Leaf Clinic in Twickenham (where I first met her) and is incredibly passionate about the work she does. I highly recommend checking out her mental wellbeing blogs. Here’s her website:  http://www.alisonbrake.com/home

Alison Brake

8. Petra Stanek Aston- local manager of mum2mum market in Teddington / Twickenham / Hampton

Having a baby is expensive when you think about all the stuff they require. That’s why going to a nearly new sale is a very good idea.

Petra is a really hard working lady and she puts so much effort into running the local branch of the mum2mum market. If you’re pregnant and looking for some high quality items for your new arrival, it’s really worth going to one of Petra’s markets. She organises these events about once a month and they take place in Teddington, Twickenham and Hampton. When people ask me about buying stuff for children under 5, I always suggest giving mum2mum market a try. I set up my mini photo sessions there quite regularly and always come away with a significant number of children’s toys for my 3 year old. Here’s a link to her Facebook page which has all the details about her upcoming markets: https://www.facebook.com/mum2mummarket.Teddington/

9. Who’s the 9th person? I’d like your input for that!

I really hope you’ve found this information useful but I’d like to know if you have someone you’d recommend. Please fill in the comments section or email me (andisheh@andishehthomsonphotography.com) and I’ll update the list. I just ask that they live in or not to far from Richmond, Teddington or Hampton.

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