Laura Livingstone's experiences of pregnancy and birth with her two sons led to the slightly more unexpected outcome of the beginning of her passionate interest in supporting women through pregnancy, birth and into their lives as mothers. Seeing first-hand the support that is – and, crucially, is not – available to new and expectant parents, and the difference that this can make in terms of maternal mental health, wellbeing and confidence, Laura began to learn more about what was available, and what should be.
A month after returning to her civil service job after maternity leave, Laura found out that all jobs were being transferred to London. This significant upheaval was the catalyst she needed to begin thinking seriously about how her passion could become her means of making a living.
She later used her redundancy payment and retraining allowance from her employer to undertake the training she needed to become a perinatal support practitioner and to become a licensee of the Daisy Foundation.
In the course of her work, Laura teaches classes for expectant parents, new parents and right through to parents of toddlers. She supports new mothers and babies with a range of classes, and supports parents with their mental health and wellbeing. Her personal priority is that all expectant mothers feel that they are well-informed enough to develop the confidence that they need as they become parents.
Initially, Laura rented rooms in Cardiff, on an ad-hoc basis to run her classes and began building her business and reputation across the city.
In January 2019, Laura made an important step-change from renting rooms to taking on The Nest Birth and Baby Studio in Llanishen, Cardiff. She now offers a range of classes and support groups, as well as working with other practitioners who all have a focus on maternal wellbeing and mental health.
Looking towards the future, Laura is growing a new venture with 11 other peri-natal specialists, Cardiff Birth and Baby Collective. Their schedule of talks and workshops will, she hopes, provide expectant and new parents across Cardiff with the information that they need to make informed decisions about the support and care that they can take advantage of when they are becoming parents. Concerned that there is not enough information available to expectant and new parents about support that is available during an important time in their lives, Laura hopes to change this and is working with a range of practitioners in order to provide a well-rounded source of support and information.
One of her central ambitions is that new parents in Cardiff would be able to understand the range of information and support that is available to them should they need it. Laura also hopes that once this goal has been achieved in Cardiff that she will be able to move on to opening another studio elsewhere in Wales. Aware of the distances that some clients travel to her because of a lack of local support – particularly in rural areas – Laura hopes that she can continue to build a network and begin to change this for women across Wales.
Find out more about Laura and The Nest Birth and Baby Studio at: https://www.facebook.com/TheNestBirthandBaby/