The Do It Like a Mother Team
This growing community was founded in 2013 (formerly HypnoBirthdays) by Keri Jarvis. Chloe Mulholland & Steph Kidd 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 our roster in 2019 with the lovely Natalie and in early 2020, Clare Martin and Charli Davies took the reins from Keri.
charli davies, co-owner
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 been wanting for ages & 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 and be the best sister I could ever be. I also wanted to help my mum as much as possible.
When I was 16 I gained 3 half brothers when I was told who my real dad was. 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. It was and has been hard to navigate but I wouldn’t change any of it because it makes me who I am.
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 and so buying DILAM with the awesome Clare needed very little thought.
I have an 18 month old girl and 9 year old boy. Both test my patience at times but I could eat both of them up in one mouthful too. 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 one of my cousins. 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 as supporting my colleagues and encouraging others are part of who I am. I’m also no stranger to business having started a kids company many moons ago and also owning another business built around adult sleep. That first business didn’t quite fit with a new baby, working full time and studying for a second degree in business and childhood studies. 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.
clare martin, co-owner
I have always wanted to make a difference. Ever since I was an avid Blue Peter viewer and signed up to every single appeal going (Bring & Buy Sales were my personal favourite), I’ve had this NEED to support and help people. It’s probably my biggest downfall if I’m honest.
I’m a journalist by trade, but switched to marketing (THE DARK SIDE) after realising that journalism wasn’t really my bag and I once again, felt the calling to help people. This time it was mums and dads, starting their own businesses so they could escape the chaotic world of full time work to pursue their dreams of working for themselves.
I fell into the Do It Like a Mother Community when I was pregnant with my now four-year-old son Ollie and am so happy to say I’ve found “My Tribe”. I can surround myself with the wonderful people I’ve met through DILAM and know I’ll never be judged and will always be supported.
I’ve had a few very difficult years adjusting to motherhood, diagnosed with postnatal depression and anxiety three years after the birth of my son and trying to get the balance between working and parenthood just right. But it’s made me realise the importance of having my own support network and self-care.
I believe that everyone should be able to make their own choices, whether that’s how to feed their baby, where to give birth, which school their child goes to or what they do with their career. I feel it is our duty as a community to offer choices and encourage people to think for themselves, rather than being pressured into doing “this or that”.
I’ve recently become Enterprise Ambassador for a school in the area and feel that my responsibility to them isn’t just about helping them decide what to do with their life or enter the world of work, but the help them understand that they hold the keys to their future and therefore, they can make choices for themselves rather than being told what to do by parents, teachers, peers or anyone else.
And when the opportunity to acquire Do It Like a Mother came up with the lovely Charli Davies, how could I say no?
We are so excited to continue the wonderful work Keri and the Do It Like A Mother team have started and make it a hub for everything from pregnancy to childhood, supporting all the mums, dads and children in Essex (and perhaps one day, beyond).
We want to make it an all inclusive place for anyone to come and learn about their choices in the world, whether that’s in pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, parenthood, childhood or even into adulthood.
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
If you’ve ever had a baby then I can pretty much guarantee that you’ve heard at least one of the following: “You’re getting so big!”
This is Lauren’s story. Her first baby unfortunately passed away at just 22 weeks, she then went on to have another baby girl a year
Steph Kidd (group & Private Hypnobirthing & Cloth nappy library 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 (4.5 years), and danger magnet Lenny (19 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 my first was born laid in nannying. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing families across Essex and London in this time, mostly with preschool children 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 Group Hypnobirthing Courses in the comfortable surroundings of Do It Like A Mother HQ – perfect for connecting with other local families and learning in a calm and inspiring environment. Courses run every month so get in touch if you need any more info. I also offer Private Hypnobirthing Courses ideal for those with busy schedules or keen for a course which can be focused on your individual situation. 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 also run 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. Newborn kits can be hired for 8 weeks at £50, and Birth to Potty kits for 4 weeks at £25.
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’s brilliant contribution to this series comes from Rebecca Caution. This is rousing, entertaining, and ALL TRUE. 3 reasons you might be thinking of not
NATALIE CAHILLANE (MEDITATION TEACHER)
NATALIE CAHILLANE (MEDITATION TEACHER)
Hey, i’m Natalie, a new Mum (well new-ish mum) to Frankie (now 16 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 a big part of my career as a Creative Lead / director / strategist, designer, picture researcher / editor & copywriter), intuitive eater in training, non drinker (coming up 4 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 (MBSR mindfulness based stress reduction to be specific) 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 over the rest 2019 / 2020, but I find it’s always best to start at the beginning, as such I’m currently offering a 6 weekly course introducing the mindfulness of breathing and the cultivation of loving kindness. The course blends a mix of MBSR (mindful based stress reduction) techinques, with the science of whats happening in our minds when we do it. And the combination of these two practices aims to bring a deeper awareness and empathy to your journey as a parent (prospective or current) or just as a person navigating modern-day life; allowing you the space for greater compassion towards yourself and others as you go.
I can’t wait to meet you all for some lovely quiet time – eeek.a big
Today’s brilliant contribution to this series comes from Rebecca Caution. This is rousing, entertaining, and ALL TRUE. 3 reasons you might be thinking of not