My name is Karen Emery and I have 15 years of experience working with pregnant women, children and families. In 2009 I founded Holistic Mama Holistic Baba to provide advice, support and education to expectant parents, families and children.
Every child is unique and every parent is unique and I am passionate that parents make their own decisions about their child from all of the information available in a way that is bespoke to them. It is my mission that every mother should enter birth and labour free from fear and anxiety, and that parents feel well prepared and fully supported in their transition to parenthood.
I'm also passionate that babies and children are treated with respect and empathy and that, families choose parenting strategies that are empowering but also meet the emotional needs of their babies and children. I have designed a range of services that I truly believe will help.
A little bit about me.... I qualified as a nurse in 1998 from Buckinghamshire College and I have worked in lots of different settings.
I had a wonderful experience of working with pregnant women as a student nurse which encouraged me towards becoming a midwife and I successfully gained my midwifery qualification in 2000. I worked at Queen Mary's Maternity Unit, Isleworth, for 4 years. Being a midwife was an honour and a privilege and I was lucky to be able to observe and help many women and their families through the difficult hours of labour and in the time after as a community midwife.
After 4 wonderful years as a midwife I decided to continue my professional development and I trained as a health visitor in 2004. I worked in Richmond, Surrey for 3 years. In my time as a health visitor, I successfully gained a qualification as 'Nurse Prescriber', facilitated parent education classes for teenage mums living in temporary accommodation and I was the Breastfeeding Co-ordinator for Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust. My role as Breastfeeding Co-ordinator included writing and updating a breastfeeding policy and leading annual breastfeeding study days for health visitors and nursery nurses. I also set up a very successful breastfeeding, 'Baby Cafe' where mothers could attend weekly for advice and support with breastfeeding. I left Richmond after the birth of my first son in 2007.
In 2009 I set up Holistic Mama Holistic Baba to offer advice, support and education to parents in West Sussex through home visiting and parent workshops groups and classes.
In 2010 I qualified as a Baby Massage Instructor and in 2011 as a Baby Yoga instructor and I facilitate courses for parents and babies. I’m also a qualified Rhythm Kids, (2012), instructor and regularly lead parents and toddlers in rhyme and movement classes.
In 2011 I became a Baby and Toddler Expert for the BBC advising on a diverse range of parenting issues with evidence based and practical information. I have had 12 articles published on the CBeebies website.
After the birth of my first son who didn’t sleep terribly well I began to research how I could help him and other families sleep better without using controlled crying as a method of sleep training. My research culminated in studying towards a diploma in children’s sleep which I successfully obtained in 2012. I now regularly help families with children who have a range of sleep issues from birth to 16 years old.
In the last 2 years I have also gained advanced qualifications in Weaning & Nutrition (2012) and Relaxation & Stress management (2013). I have found these particularly helpful in my practice and my approach of providing a more holistic service to families.
I currently combine working for Holistic Mama Holistic Baba and the NHS as a health visitor and children’s sleep specialist. I also facilitate a range of parent workshops, classes and groups across West Sussex. I am beginning to see families in Surrey and South West London and hope to offer more classes in those areas over the few years.
I live in Sussex with my wonderful husband and four beautiful children and when I'm not on mama duty or indeed studying, I like nothing better than a hot bath and a good book!
Karen Emery, Founder & Director
of Holistic Mama Holistic Baba
(Dip HE Nursing, Bsc Midwifery, Bsc Community and Public Health Specialist – Health Visiting, Dip HE Children’s Sleep Consultant)