My name is Sophie Bartholomew and I live in an area full of new mums and dads getting to grips with the challenges of new parenthood. I was born and raised in leafy Barnes and after an exciting 5 years in Brooklyn, New York, I dragged my very american husband and new baby back to Barnes, where we then had number 2 and number 3 baby. Following a career full of travel working in emergencies in Asia for NGOs and UNICEF, I wanted to find work that would enable me to be at home with the crazies a little more.
I then spent 3 years retraining as an NCT teacher and now teach at home in Barnes as well as in venues in Putney. (The NCT offers a very rigorous training programme with the University of Worcester which not only covers the physiology of birth but theories of attachment, transition to parenthood, the impact on relationships, loss of expectatios, role of the father, group dynamics, how adult learners learn to name just a few of the fascinating topics. It's a brilliant course!). I am passionate about supporting new families as they navigate the wonderful but often challenging transition to parenthood. My husband and I remember so well how vulnerable new mums and dads can feel and how invaluable a good support network is – something which is often not at hand immediately for new families in London. I love watching friendships blossom during my courses and months and even years later, I see the same groups pushing their buggies throughout the seasons!
Through my classes I become very attached to the parents but my only contact with them once their babies were born was a one-off reunion or maybe some tearful phone calls in those early days. I wanted to find something that would enable me to continue that relationship where I could watch their confidence grow as parents and offer my support where needed as well as find other mums and dads who want to get out of the house and meet other parents. Training with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) to become a certified infant massage instructor has given me this opportunity. Baby massage is quite simply the most wonderful way to do this – looking around my living room to see tired but relaxed mums and dads staring lovingly at their babies while they massage their babies' edible thighs is not a bad way to pass the day! I have also now trained as a post-natal doula as well as embarking on a year-long breastfeeding training programme to support my work with new mums, so have a look at the doula page if you're interested.
Love Sophie x x