Antenatal Session Facilitators
I began my relationship with the wonderful place that is the Pregnancy and Parents Centre about 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. I found the place to be then as it is now; warm, welcoming and supportive of any choices we made as a family around birth and parenting. We went on to use many of the facilities and classes for our next two children too.
Having practiced yoga before, I completed a course of study over two years (based at the PPC) learning about birth education, yoga for pregnancy and group facilitation. This all stood me in good stead for beginning to offer yoga sessions here and joining a team of experienced, guiding teachers. I still learn every day from all of the people I encounter and come to know at the PPC. During this time I also became involved in running a monthly homebirth support group, acting as a director at the centre, and offering birth doula services.
I have enjoyed being part of many families’ journeys as they become mothers and fathers; a hugely important time where women and men may learn of their strength, of their vulnerability, and of what is most important to them. I hope that I can, in any small way, support this process and the varied choices of families.
I am one of the Trustees and also run several weekly Yoga for Pregnancy groups and some of the Active Birth Workshops. I am a member of the Birth Project Group and co-facilitator of the Birth Educators course.
I became involved in childbirth issues while I was pregnant with my first child in 1976 and quickly understood the impact of pregnancy and birth on women and families and the difference support and information can make. Through the yoga groups, I hope to contribute positively to women’s physical, emotional and spiritual experience of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood.
I joined the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS) in 1980 after the birth of my third baby and am currently one of its Vice Chairs. I completed the first Birth Teacher’s Course through the West London Birth Centre in 1982 and have run pregnancy groups in Edinburgh since 1985.
I completed a PhD on women’s experiences of home births in 2002, which was published as a book, ‘Birthing Autonomy: Women’s Experiences of Planning Home Births’. I continue to research and write about birth issues in books and journals and was co-editor of the MIDIRS Midwifery Digest.
I live with my husband and am fortunate to be a mother of three grown up children, and Grannie to three beautiful grandchildren. My passions are my family, improving women’s and families’ experiences of birth and researching into and campaigning on the politics of birth and midwifery.
Kerry Cooper – Yoga for Pregnancy
Kerry has worked in childbirth education for over 20 years. Her interest began when she had her own children in 1993 and 1995. She trained with the NCT as an antenatal teacher qualifying in 1997 in completing a Diploma in Antenatal Education(NCT). She did additional training in order to become an Assessor within the NCT which involves assessing student antenatal teachers and carrying out CPD assessments on already qualified teachers. She progressed her qualifications by completing a BA (Adult Education) and to enable her to work as a trainer within the NCT (training antenatal teachers) and NHS(Lothian)(training Midwives to enhance their facilitation of antenatal education classes).
Kerry currently runs study days for NCT practitioners as part of their CPD requirement: Meeting the needs of Partners in the antenatal class; Facilitating the Reunion; and CPD for Pregnancy Yoga practitioners.
Kerry completed the Birth Educators Course (facilitated by the PPC) in 2007 and has run Yoga for Pregnancy Classes ever since. She completed the Yoga Scotland Teacher Training in 2014. She currently teaches General Yoga classes throughout the city.
Kerry has a great deal of experience working with couples and women antenatally. She has strong links with Maternity Services locally and has a thorough understanding of Scottish Guidelines for Labour and birth. She began working as a Pregnancy Yoga Teacher with the Pregnancy & Parents Centre in January 2016 and thoroughly loves it.
Post Natal Faciliatators
Liz Foster – First Aid Facilitator
My name is Liz and I facilitate our Baby & Child First Aid courses, previously also help facilitate Motherspace when Gail is on holiday; I was the Motherspace facilitator at the PPC for many years prior . My background is in nursing and midwifery. I have two teenage children and took a career break when my first child was born. When I returned to the workplace I studied for a diploma in antenatal education. For the past 10 years I have been involved in facilitating groups in the NHS, local authority and voluntary sector.
I did not have the opportunity to be involved in the Pregnancy and Parents Centre when my children were born so being appointed as a facilitator has been a new experience which I enjoy immensely. The Centre is warm and welcoming and supports parents on their journey throughout pregnancy and parenting. I feel privileged to be able to contribute to the work that is carried out by the Centre.
My children are now teenagers. However, I can vividly remember the first few weeks of becoming a new mum and the realisation that an eight pound bundle was all consuming. I quickly learnt that my main support came from other parents who were going through the same highs and lows that I was myself. Motherspace provides an opportunity for mothers to be supported and nurtured. Discussions can take various pathways and along the way mums share practical tips for helping them to adjust to life with a new baby.
I have a small dog who is my main source of relaxation away from work – although I frequently wonder if she is just a substitute for an extra baby in the family!
Jackie Macdonald – Baby and Toddler Music Facilitator
Hello. I am a mother of two boys, Gabriel and Rudi and live with them and my husband in East Lothain.
Primarily I am a singer but I also play the guitar, compose and perform. Music has always been an important part of my life from playing the recorder at age eight to performing in bands as an adult and now as a mother running my own independent music classes for young children.
I have a diploma in Modern Musicianship and have been running the music classes at the Pregnancy and Parents Centre since 2003.
I initially came to the PPC during my first pregnancy through the Yoga for Pregnancy classes. Following the birth of my first son we came to the music classes and it was there that I was given the opportunity of running the classes when Nicola (the music facilitator at the time) announced she was leaving due to her second pregnancy. So I took on the role of music facilitator for two classes a week and since then have researched and developed my own unique music programme for babies and small children up to preschool age. It is now called “Music with Jackie” and I am currently running eight classes a week.
In 2012 I was delighted to win the Netmums “Favourite Preschool Class” in Edinburgh.
I thoroughly enjoy facilitating the classes. Many families are able to bring their children from when they are babies up until they are going to school and it’s a privilege to watch the children develop musically and grow in confidence.
I have a real passion for music and singing and a strong belief in the importance of music during a child’s formative years. With over eleven years experience and development I hope my classes reflect the joy and dedication I put into them. I currently give music classes to the children of Buckstone and Craiglockhart Cranley Nurseries too.
As well as music and singing I love nature, books, qigong and yoga practice and meeting new people/families. I also like to sing my own songs at some of Edinburgh’s many open mic nights.
Tammy McLellan – Baby Massage Facilitator
I teach Baby Massage at the PPC. Many years ago, I taught some of my first baby massage classes when the concepts for the PPC were
beginning in Nadine’s living room. What I did continued to grow, just as the PPC has. I am now run the Scottish School of Child & Baby Massage where, as well as working with parents, we also teach health visitors, midwives and nursery nurses how to teach baby massage to parents.
I am committed to helping parents ( and babies!) in what-ever way I can. Although we may now have many mod cons in our lives, I do feel that parenting is one of the toughest jobs out there. We do not have the same community support we once had. So, where ever parents can meet up and create their own social networks is vital for the health and emotional well-being, of both baby as well as parent. If parents can also learn a new skill that can help with sleep, digestion, colic… all the better.
I know this through first hand experience of having 4 children, 2 step-children and one adopted. Yes. That does make 7….not what I had intended – but then life rarely works that way.
I look forward to meeting you.
Andrea St Clair – Yoga with Babies Facilitator
The world of pregnancy, birth and parenting opened up for me in 1995 when I met childbirth educator Nadine Edwards with her respecting, informed and nurturing perspective. We started working together in a number of areas and I came to focus on the postnatal side of what is now the PPC. I was able to bring in my experience as a teacher of both Yoga and Alexander Technique; then, after the birth of my own baby in 2001, I took the Birthlight Diploma in Baby Yoga and Massage.
In the weekly Yoga with Babies Groups I aim to provide a place which is completely accepting and respectful of all parents and babies however they find themselves in the challenging process of being a parent or of coming into and finding one’s way in the world. Yoga is a wonderful way for parents and babies to work with these challenges and simply have fun together whilst also developing vitality and ease, flexibility, strength and self confidence.
Fun is such a good ingredient in effective learning and finding one’s own learning path is essential. As a teacher I am constantly learning about learning as well as learning in my subjects through continuing professional development in Yoga, including Baby Yoga, and in Alexander Technique.
My regular work with the PPC is complemented by my general Yoga teaching. I particularly enjoy teaching small groups, one to one classes and also on the PPC’s Birth Educators Courses. Over the years I have developed my own style of Hatha Yoga based on my experience with the Alexander Technique. I continue to teach Alexander Technique and with this too I have a particular interest in working with women during pregnancy, in preparation for birth and in the postnatal period when parents are welcome to bring their babies to lessons.
Jenny Patterson – Preparation for Breastfeeding Workshop Facilitator
I first encountered the Pregnancy and Parents Centre in 1995 (then the Birth Resource Centre BRC) when I was pregnant with my third son. Following the birth of my fourth son in 1997, I knew I wanted to become a midwife but with four little boys I needed to wait a little. So, I trained through the BRC as a birth teacher, then trained and worked as a doula and finally qualified as a midwife in 2007. I have worked as both an NHS midwife (hospital and community) and an independent midwife, and for 4 years I particularly enjoyed supporting women in the Lothian breastfeeding clinics.
I recently completed a PhD looking at birth trauma and have moved more into midwifery research and teaching. However, I value the opportunity to engage with families and am delighted to be offering the Preparation for Breastfeeding workshop. I believe good quality, appropriate antenatal preparation and information can be incredibly empowering for women and their partners and can often reduce the risk of trauma.
As a mother I breastfed all my sons for between 1-2 years each, and tandem fed my youngest two for 6 months. BF was not easy for me to begin with and the support I received varied, but as it became easier it gave me great joy and wonderful memories. I hope I can contribute to women having sound clear information that enables them to have positive breastfeeding experiences.