Jane is Clinical Midwifery Consultant for Health Education and Diversity Health at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, Australia, one of Australia's foremost specialist hospitals for women and babies, since its early beginnings as New South Wales’ first 'lying-in' hospital for women in 1820. Jane has designed, facilitated and evaluated a wide range of educational programs and strategies, including pre-puberty, preconception, labour, birth and parenting and other women’s health programs since completing a Master’s in Public Health in 1991.
She has been training antenatal and parenting educators on a consultant basis for 28 years, is co-author of ‘Effective Antenatal Education’, a distance education program that was offered through the University of New England, and principal author of ‘Breastfeeding and You: A Handbook for Antenatal Educators’, an Australian Government Department of Health publication.
Jane is a past president of the National Association of Childbirth Educators, (now Childbirth And Parenting Educators of Australia, CAPEA) and currently the chairperson of the CAPEA Further Education Sub-Committee, a committee that in 2012 published ‘Competency Standards for Childbirth and Parenting Educators’.
In 2005 Jane completed her doctorate entitled 'Antenatal Education: Meeting Consumer Needs - A Study in Health Services Development' and is currently replicating, with slight modification, this research to further determine the outcomes of the current antenatal education programs at RHW, ten years since their inception.
Mary was a birth and early parenting educator for 35 years, working with parents and educators across the world. She has published more than 60 articles in popular magazines and in professional and academic journals, and has also written, edited or contributed to ten books, including ‘Home Birth: The politics of difficult choices’ and ‘Parent Education for the Critical 1000 Days’.
In 2007, Mary was appointed the UK’s first Professor of Perinatal Education at the University of Worcester, a position which she held until her retirement in 2022. She was also Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham from 2012 to 2021.
She founded the IJBPE alongside Shona Gore in 2013 with the aim of providing a Journal that would meet the needs specifically of practitioners who are educating and supporting parents across the critical 1000 days. Mary was Editor-in-Chief of the IJBPE until her retirement in 2022.
A Childbirth Educator for thirty years, Shona is passionate about education and support for parents in the transition to parenthood.
Following nursing at Barts and St Thomas’ in London, the births of her children kindled an interest in childbirth education, which she explored by volunteering with and working for NCT (formally the National Childbirth Trust). As a Senior NCT Tutor and New Developments Manager, Shona, in collaboration with colleagues, wrote and implemented many training courses to prepare peer supporters, health professionals and students at diploma and degree level, to work with parents.
The NCT Signature and Essentials courses were devised by her team and quality assurance was part of her role. She has led workshops throughout the UK and in Europe.
Shona was a member of the Expert Reference Group convened by the UK Department of Health (2009) to devise evidence-based, universal parent education programmes to be delivered under the title of ‘Preparation for Birth and Beyond’. Since resigning from NCT in 2016, Shona has focused on devising antenatal courses for Grandparents. She has a daughter, two sons and four grandchildren and lives in London with her husband Julian.
Sally Hogg started her career as a Civil Servant working on Children’s Policy in the UK and Australia. She is now Policy Fellow in the Faculty of Education at the University of Oxford, working to advance understanding of the importance of early relationships and to drive change at a local and national level. This includes coordinating the 1001 Days Movement and All-Party Parliamentary Group.
Sally is passionate about the emotional wellbeing of babies and their parents. Over the past 10 years, her roles in this field include Strategic Lead at the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and Development Manager for Children Under One at the NSPCC, where she developed and implemented research-led interventions including Baby Steps (relationship-based perinatal education) and Coping with Crying. During this time, Sally also completed an M.A. looking at the associations between excessive early crying and later outcomes.
In her ‘spare time’, Sally is a governor of a preschool and has also been chair of her local NCT group and a member of her local Maternity Services Liaison Committee and of the RCOG Women’s Voices panel.
Jonathan was the Senior Fellow at the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (www.qnis.org.uk). He was the Programme Lead for QNIS’ new initiative ‘Healthier Pregnancies, Better Lives’. This is supported by the Cattanach Trust and The National Lottery Community Fund.
Since moving to Scotland in 2005, Jonathan has served as the Director of Research, Policy and Programmes at Children in Scotland and then as the Scotland Director of the WAVE Trust. He was also a Trustee of the Children’s Parliament. Previously, he had academic appointments, including Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the School of Education and Psychology at North Carolina State University. Jonathan was the leader of the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute, as well as coordinating child-focused progressive policy coalitions.
He is the author of numerous published articles, book chapters and reports in the US, Scotland and Australia. He has an established track record on rural community education/development, child and family health/wellbeing, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and, especially in recent years, on preconception health, education and care.
Rebecca qualified as a physiotherapist in 1983, and worked both in the UK and Australia. She specialised in women’s health and paediatrics, notably as a Senior Paediatric Community Physio working with children with severe learning difficulties. When she had her own children, Rebecca’s great-aunt, a founder member of The National Childbirth Trust, encouraged Rebecca to attend an NCT antenatal course. Rebecca went on to train and work as an antenatal teacher for the NCT, which she has been doing for 26 years, currently facilitating antenatal groups in Cornwall.
Rebecca’s career with the NCT developed and broadened. She trained as an Assessor and Tutor, gaining a Degree in Adult Education in 2008. Alongside this, she worked as a Birth Doula supporting many new parents through labour and birth. With tutor colleagues, she wrote the NCT’s Birth Doula training modules, validated by the University of Worcester.
Rebecca works full-time as an NCT tutor. She is a Tutor Lead supporting her tutor colleagues and she tutors students who are studying to becoming antenatal facilitators at Level 4 on the Certificate of Higher Education. She is also the Lead Tutor on the NCT Birth Doula Pathway. Rebecca is an NCT antenatal practitioner herself facilitating courses for parents in Falmouth, Cornwall.
After completing a degree in International Relations, Holly begun studying the health and wellbeing of women and families whilst working within social services in 2004.
The birth of her first baby in 2005 ignited a passion for parenting and birth education, along with lifelong friendships formed via NCT antenatal classes. She went on to study HE Diplomas in antenatal education and birth support, and also graduated from Swansea University with a Master’s in Child Welfare in 2007.
After then qualifying as a Midwife, Holly moved into research, completing her PhD in 2023. Her doctoral research explored midwifery input to online breastfeeding support, producing a series of five papers.
Holly took up a midwifery lecturing post at Swansea University in 2020. She is passionate about engaging midwives, students and academics in the creative use of digital innovations for midwifery education, and has presented these at national and international conferences. In 2023 she was shortlisted for two RCM Awards for excellence in research and excellence in midwifery education.
Holly lives in Swansea with her husband, daughter, three sons and a houseful of pets!
Qualifying as a nursery nurse in 1987, Lorna has over 30 years’ experience of working with young children and their families. Lorna brings this wealth of experience to her work which made her one of the most sought-after doulas in Birmingham.
Lorna has spent the past 12 years working all over the East and West Midlands region as a birth and postnatal doula, preparing women and couples for birth and supporting them through labour and the first few weeks of life with a newborn.
The pandemic and ‘5 x More’ have meant more Black women than ever are seeking out doula support for their births. To ensure that as many Black women as possible feel supported, Lorna has created a free online community and paid membership called Black Mamas Birth Village where she offers information and support for pregnant Black women and mums of newborn babies.
The Village is a safe space for Black women to visit, sit a while and breathe whilst sharing information and tips for pregnancy, birth and beyond.
On the launch of Black Mamas Birth Village, Lorna’s goal was to welcome at least 100 Black Women into the Village. That goal has been surpassed and the Birth Village continues to grow.
As well running the Birth Village, Lorna is a doula trainer and mentor for Abuela Doulas – the UK’s 1st Black-led doula organisation.
Drawing on her lived experience as a Black woman in the UK, Lorna also delivers ‘First Steps to Anti-Racism’ workshops for birth workers.
Melanie Jackson is a PhD graduate from Western Sydney University. Her thesis was entitled, ‘Birthing Outside the System’. She remains part of the research team at Western Sydney with Professor Hannah Dahlen. Melanie operates as a private midwife offering continuity of care services to women of the Blue Mountains (NSW, Australia), where most of her clients choose to give birth at home.
Melanie is the co- host of ‘The Great Birth Rebellion’ podcast and the ‘Great Birth Rebellion Assembly’. She is a Midwifery Mentor and creator of the ‘Launch Yourself into Private Practice’ mentorship program, which is a year-long program for midwives wanting to thrive in private practice in Australia.
Melanie is the creator and host of the back-up bank for private midwives seeking colleagues to provide secondary/back-up services for homebirths. She is also a keen farm manager at her home farm where she lives with her husband and two children, and a Crotchet Queen!
Bridget is an international speaker and an award-winning antenatal educator, working in the charitable sector with the NCT and The Twins Trust (formerly TAMBA), and within the NHS at one of Britain’s largest maternity units where she has both headed and been part of the Parent Education team for 15 years.
As founder of ‘Your Baby’s Biome’, she shares information and runs workshops for health professionals and parents about how to give babies the best bacterial start.
She also works with the charity Birth Companions, teaching pregnant women in prison. Bridget lives in Shropshire with her husband, four children and a menagerie of pets.