I'm Sally-Ann and I live near Chester with my partner and our daughter, Olivia. I became a mum in 2020 following a long period of ill health and a lockdown pregnancy. I found this time extremely fascinating and spent my pregnancy learning as much as I could about it along with infant feeding, postnatal life and hypnobirthing.
My birth experience was ideal and I remember thinking that everyone should feel the way I did that day. I felt like superwoman. But postnatal life hit me really hard. It was only afterwards that I learned what a postnatal doula was and I knew I had found my calling. So I trained with Developing Doulas in 2021, found my job in the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team shortly after and joined our local Maternity Voices Partnership too.
These roles mean a lot to me and have helped give me the drive and focus to work with families to achieve the early parenthood experiences they envision.
In 2022, I became a trustee for Maddie's Miracle and look forward to the work the charity will be doing in 2023.
I have detailed more about these roles below. Please get in touch if you have any questions about any of these.
Education, Experience and CPD
This year I have completed training in the compassionate mind approach, understanding diverse motherhood, laid back breastfeeding, pregnancy sickness support, action on postpartum psychosis, SANDS bereavement webinar, birth trauma and parenting across cultures.
Chester MVP 2022
Community Engagement Lead
As community engagement lead, I work to make sure that families in the local area are able to share their feedback on their experiences of maternity services. This also means connecting with local maternity workers and professionals to increase knowledge of the work we do within the MVP.
Trustee and Volunteer
Maddie's Miracle is a breastfeeding and perinatal support charity set up with the aim to bring quality breastfeeding support to areas of the UK who desperately need it through virtual support and the conversion of a bus into a mobile breastfeeding unit.
Physical Health and Wellbeing Practitioner in Specialist Perinatal Mental Health
Monitoring the physical health of families experiencing moderate and complex perinatal mental health issues who may be taking medication or supporting their wellbeing through episodes of mental illness. Working in a multidisciplinary team of mental health practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists and occupational therapists, we aim to provide rounded care to those in our caseload to ensure that parents and babies are supported through the process of perinatal mental health struggles.
Preparation Course August 2021
Through virtual group sessions, independent discussions, debriefs, online course materials and individual project work, this preparation course teaches the values of a doula, the evidence base for the practice and practical skills to bring to families. The support from the Developing Doulas community is ongoing following graduation.
University of Chester
MSc Family and Child Psychology
During this postgraduate training, modules included child and adolescent development and mental health, family transitions and lifestyle, and family psychology in society. Comprehensive research modules were also covered as well as completing a research dissertation module.