Mary was born in the north-west of England. She studied English Literature at Bristol University in the 1970s and after obtaining a first class honours degree, took a Master’s at York University. Her Ph.D on the subject of ‘Empowerment and Antenatal Education was completed at Birmingham University in 1999. She trained as a nurse at Gloucester and Cheltenham School of Nursing and subsequently as an Antenatal Teacher with the NCT (formerly called the National Childbirth Trust). Further training as an Assessor of childbirth and parent educators and then as a Tutor with the NCT followed. Mary has worked as a birth and parent educator for 30 years. Her practice has encompassed rural communities in England and the busy, diverse city of Birmingham where she worked at the Women’s Hospital for many years. Her first book, ‘Being Pregnant, Giving Birth’ was published in 1998 and this has been followed by 13 more books to which she has either contributed or been the sole or co-author. She has also published widely in women’s magazines and in professional and academic journals, including Birth, Midwifery and the Journal of Perinatal Education. Her presence on the web is to be found in multiple contributions to www.babycentre.co.uk and also to other women’s healthcare sites. In 2007, Mary was appointed the UK’s first Professor of Perinatal Education at the University of Worcester where she conducts research and continues to work as an educator with both midwives and with the community in Worcester. She is also a guest lecturer at several other British Universities and was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham in 2012. Recently, she was a member of the Expert Reference Group convened by the UK department of Health to devise an evidence-based universal parent education programme which is delivered under the title of ‘Preparation for Birth and Beyond’. Mary has led workshops throughout the UK, and in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She has presented at national and international conferences across the world. She has three daughters and a grandson and lives in the West Midlands with her husband, Peter.
For the latest evidence and best practice in early years parent education.