I received my Diploma in Higher Education (Antenatal Education) from the University of Bedfordshire in 2008 and have been teaching - with short breaks to have babies three and four! - since then. Since then I have also become an NCT Excellent Practitioner (formerly Advanced Antenatal Teacher), a trained mentor for Birth Art Cafe, a Relax Stretch and Breathe facilitator and an NCT Mother and Baby Yoga practitioner.
When I'm not doing birth-related stuff or wrangling children, I can generally be found reading, cooking or sewing (a very new pastime, having been frightened of trying to use a sewing machine for most of my adult life).
I am passionate about birth and the journey into parenthood - I feel it should be given the significance it deserves (sadly often missing in our culture) and would like all pregnant women, their partners and new parents to feel confident, empowered and happy - if also tired or overwhelmed from time to time! I look forward to meeting you and sharing a little bit of your path towards being a parent, whether it's for the first time or second, third or fourth!
Hello, I'm Meriel. This is me in 2009, just a few days after the birth of my third child with two proud big brothers! I have four children aged between 11 and 2 and having had a variety of jobs in the health and social care sector over the years, I have been working as an antenatal teacher since 2006.
Perhaps it was always meant to be. My mother was an antenatal teacher for over 30 years, having started her own training shortly after I was born, and I remember sitting in on her classes (and relaxing along with the mums-to-be) as a small child.
I attended antenatal classes while pregnant with my first child back in 2002, and thought what a wonderful job it would be. My own antenatal teacher made it look so effortless - little did I know then the enormous amount of preparation and thought that produced that appearance of effortlessness - like a swan gliding over the water with legs pumping furiously beneath the surface! I considered training as an antenatal teacher then - but it wasn't until after the birth of our second child in 2004 that I took the plunge and started training with the NCT (National Childbirth Trust).