birthlight

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  • Birthlight Global

North / South America

  • Argentina
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  • Australia
  • China (中华人民共和国)
  • Japan (日本)
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  • Thailand (ประเทศไทย)

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  • Greece (Ελλάδα)
  • Italy (Italiano)
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  • United Kingdom

Birthlight trust

Birthlight LogoThe Birthlight Trust is a non-profit organisation set up in Cambridge in 1999 by founder Françoise Barbira Freedman. It is dedicated to enhance the health and wellbeing of women and their families from conception through to the third year. We use simple bodybased practices inspired from yoga and traditional modes of parenting. Some of our practices are land-based and others are in water. Our aim is to enhance the wellbeing of women and their partners through the journey of pregnancy and birth, and to help parents and infants relax in shared enjoyment of their new life together.

Our mission statement:

" to promote the physical and mental wellbeing during pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood of women, babies and fathers in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world through education and research"

Birthlight is about the joy of being that is the ultimate goal of yoga, with a remit to promote this joy around pregnancy, birth and babies from conception to early childhood. Whether in their blissful sleep or when they cry aloud in distress babies are our best yoga teachers. They inspire us to be calm, balanced, and centred.

Birthlight has developed a network of mothers, health professionals and researchers who share the view that much can be done in the community through simple means to promote greater wellbeing around childbirth.

Birthlight is listed as a Social Impact Project at the University of Cambridge - Dr Francoise Barbira-Freedman and Learning The Art of Amazonian Gentle Parenting.

Article which provides an insight into the origins of birthlight.


Lesley PageBirthlight's patron - Professor Lesley Page

My work has always integrated practice, leadership and management, academic work and political activity. I am Visiting Professor of Midwifery at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London, Visiting Professor University of Technology Sydney and Visiting Professor University of Sydney.  I was expert adviser to the King’s Fund independent inquiry into the safety of maternity services in England that reported in Safe Births: Everybody’s Business (2008). I have had many years experience working as a senior manager in the NHS and in Universities in the United Kingdom and Canada. I have published widely and have lectured in many parts of the world. I was a member of the Expert Maternity Group that wrote Changing Childbirth, published in 1993, and was specialist adviser to the House of Commons Sub-committee responsible for investigating the state of maternity services in 2003. I am a member of the RCM Board. For many years, my research has focused on the effects of carer continuity on birth outcomes and evidence based care and place of birth. My clinical practice is in the Cotswold Maternity Service in Chipping Norton Oxon that is part of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust.  Together with Rona McCandlish I am the editor of the well known book ‘The New Midwifery: Science and Sensitivity in Practice’ (2006) published by Elsevier.

Professor Lesley Page's website


Trustees

Amy MokadyAmy Weatherup (Chair)

Amy has attended one Birthlight class or another since she was pregnant with her first daughter in 2006. She has had a head-first baby in hospital and a bottom-first (breech) baby at home, and as a result of her breech experiences has written articles and founded The Breech Babies Club and set up a support group on Facebook called Breech Birth UK.

Amy has a background in Marketing and Business Development, and in the early 90’s founded STNC, a pioneer in the development of internet access for mobile phones, which was sold to Microsoft in 1999.

More recently she has become involved in the commercialisation of University research, and in helping the next generation of entrepreneurs develop the appropriate skills. She runs the Cambridge University i-Teams programme, which is how she first met Francoise. She is a Trustee of the Humanitarian Centre which works to link the academic community to international development practitioners, a Trustee of the Villiers Park Educational Trust, and a school governor, as well as a busy mum of two young daughters.


Regina Guilbride

 


Emily Hills

Emily Hills is a Clinical Specialist Neonatal Occupational Therapist at the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust. Emily works at the “Starlight” neonatal unit at Barnet Hospital where she leads on developmental care, neurodevelopmental assessment and developmental interventions; including follow-up after discharge.

Emily has a MSc in Neonatology; she is a certified neonatal therapist and has also completed Newborn Individualised Developmental Care Assessment program (NIDCAP) certification.

Emily has completed both her Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS) and Newborn Behavioural Observation (NBO) certification and is a lecturer for the Brazelton Centre in Great Britain. She is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI). Emily is passionate about developmental care and is a lecturer for Family and Infant Neurodevelopmental Education (FINE) courses.

Emily is an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration (SI) and leads on the OT-SI intervention clinic at Royal Free Hospital, which particularly focuses on early years intervention for the ex- preterm infant.


Anna-Louise Lawrence

Antenatal class of autumn 1993 - current Trustee of Birthlight

Finding Birthlight was like coming home.  A group of kindred spirits guided by Francoise who could share all the highs and lows of their journey towards motherhood.  In the ante-natal classes they were shown how to care for themselves and naturally this grew into the ability to care for their new babies and each other.

The bond was so strong that it seemed perfectly obvious that days would then be spent feeding our babies on each other's sofas, walking them around the Cambridgeshire countryside and as the years passed, celebrating the rites of passage that come with birthdays, new schools, moving house, the arrival of siblings and changing relationships.  They did this all together. Birthlight provided for her the extended family that modern life denies most of us.

Anna-Louise was very honoured when Francoise invited her to become a trustee and accepted as she sees very many children and families in her professional life as a teacher and what is strikingly clear about Birthlight babies, is how grounded they are (now aged 21) and how it is clear they know they are loved.


Ingrid LewisIngrid Lewis

Ingrid Lewis took initiation into Kriya Yoga in 1989. This was followed by Birthlight Yoga and Sivananda Yoga teacher trainings. Ingrid has worked in Germany, the UK and Central Africa in both, allopathic and complementary medicine for over 18 years. She is also a trained Physiotherapist, Public Health Professional, Reflexologist, Reiki-Teacher, Bach Flower Remedies Practitioner & Teacher and Doula. Ingrid works in public health in developing countries and complementary medicine specialising in women’s health.

While living in Congo (Central Africa) she was initiated by Aka hunter-gatherer women into their secret knowledge and ancestral rites. It is vital to reconsider ancient knowledge about the unique female power of reproduction & birth if we are to change the current trend towards intervention during pregnancy, labour and birth. The Aka women have allowed Ingrid to share their wisdom with women in the West to help them birth well. Ingrid’s aim is to enable women to be in charge of their own bodies, birth in dignity and rejoice in their femininity.


Amali Lokugamage

Amali works as a consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist/honorary senior lecturer at the Whittington Hospital, London, UK, as well as the Viveka health practice in St Johns Wood, London. Her main clinical interests lie in medical gynaecology and general obstetrics.

The long term behavioural and emotional consequences of how we are born and nurtured are of particular interest to her. Dr Lokugamage has set up a maternity acupuncture service within the NHS. She also has a keen interest in improving rates of natural birth and had a homebirth herself in 2008. Her experience of homebirth led to her writing a book called The Heart in the Womb. She is a strong supporter of integrated medicine, where conventional obstetrics & gynaecology is merged with complementary medicine. Integrated medicine views patients as whole people with minds and spirits as well as bodies and includes these dimensions into diagnosis and treatment. It also involves patients and doctors working to maintain health by paying attention to lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, quality of rest. She is a registered homeopath and practices acupuncture.

Her undergraduate medical qualifications are from St Andrews and Manchester Universities. An MSc epidemiology was obtained at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an MD was awarded from University College London. Clinical training was undertaken at London teaching hospitals. She was awarded a Fellow of the Royal College and Obstetricians (FRCOG) in 2008.

She has a great interest in medical education and has role in coordinating undergraduate education in women’s health for University College London as well as an active role in postgraduate teaching.


Sophie MessagerSophie Messager

Sophie Messager, phD, is a research scientist with a background in Physiology of Reproduction and over 20 years of research experience in the academic and biotechnology sectors. Sophie is passionate about natural childbirth, breastfeeding and attachment parenting, and loves supporting new parents in the journey to parenthood. She is a trained doula, antenatal teacher, and babywearing instructor. She is a Trustee of Birthlight.

 


David Savva

David Savva is a film maker and communications facilitator. He has extensive experience both teaching and providing technical support for media performance, delivering to a wide range of people, including businessmen, medics, lawyers, financiers and young people.