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Complementary Birth
Michelle McKay
"I am an experienced midwife, university lecturer, complementary practitioner and author, and is an internationally-renowned authority on the safety of complementary therapies in midwifery practice. I am also the Educational Director for Expectancy and a visiting lecturer at several universities in the UK and overseas."
Associate Lecturer: Denise Tiran MSc RM RGN ADM PGCEA

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Louise Simpson
"I am a mother of two and a registered midwife with over 16 years experience working within the NHS. I am a qualified hypnobirthing practitioner and trained to practise complementary therapies. I am passionate about supporting women during labour and empowering them to have a positive experience of childbirth."
Company Director:
Louise Simpson BA (Hons) RM Mres MHbA

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Denise is an experienced midwifery lecturer and an internationally-renowned authority on maternity complementary medicine, having specialised in the subject for almost 30 years. Denise founded Expectancy in 2004 and was the 2010 winner of the “Outstanding Contribution” category in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) awards for Expectancy’s unique provision of educational and clinical services on maternity-related complementary therapies. Denise is passionate about ensuring that consumers and professionals appreciate the safety, as well as the benefits, of using complementary therapies and natural remedies in pregnancy and childbirth. She is actively campaigning for the subject to be included as a compulsory element in midwifery education so that midwives of the future are able to advise women appropriately.

Previously, as a Principal Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, London, Denise developed one of the UK’s first practice-based degree programmes on complementary medicine; she continues teaching at various UK universities as a Visiting Lecturer. Her research activities have included an exploration of complementary therapies for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy; a study investigating the potential of reflexology to predict stages of the menstrual cycle; and a Department of Health-funded project investigating continuing professional development amongst complementary medicine practitioners. She is currently working with one of the Kent maternity units on a research study of acupressure for natural induction in women with post-dates pregnancy.

In her clinical practice, Denise combines several complementary therapies with normal maternity care, including reflex zone therapy (reflexology), aromatherapy, herbal, homeopathic and Bach flower remedies, moxibustion (for breech presentation), acupressure, nutrition and sexual counselling. She specialises in treating pregnant women with nausea and vomiting, and has treated over 6000 mothers with this debilitating condition. Her unique complementary therapies NHS antenatal clinic at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, southeast London (1994-2004), developed as part of her university work, was “highly commended” in the 2001 Prince of Wales’ Awards for Healthcare in London and gained an international reputation as an example of complementary medicine integrated within conventional maternity care.

Denise has written ten professional textbooks, over 80 journal papers and three books for expectant mothers. She has edited the last four editions of the world-famous Bailliere’s Midwives’ Dictionary, and has contributed chapters on complementary medicine in several seminal midwifery, gynaecology and obstetric textbooks. She is a member of the Editorial Committee of the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice journal, is a regular source of expert comment for various journalists and has featured on several television and radio programmes.

Denise is a frequent international conference speaker, has assisted in the implementation of complementary medicine in obstetrics and gynaecology in Hong Kong, and regularly teaches and assesses midwives and therapists in Japan, China and elsewhere overseas. Denise is consulted by the Royal Colleges of Midwives (RCM) on issues relating to complementary medicine in pregnancy, and has revised the RCM’s position paper and guidelines for midwives on complementary therapies. She has advised the Local Supervising Authority (LSA) midwifery officers in England on the development of supervisory guidelines for midwives, and is an advisor on maternity complementary medicine issues to the Federation of Antenatal Educators (FEDANT).

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Complementary Birth - Louise Simpson

I have two children and had two very different experiences of childbirth. With my first birth, I experienced a lot of medical intervention, and felt that I had very little choice and control over my body. My second birth experience was very different. Although I still required some medical intervention, the midwife was fantastic and supported and empowered me to have a really positive birth. The feeling when you give birth and hold your baby in your arms knowing that 'you achieved the birth you wanted' is the most amazing feeling in the world. And that feeling lasts a lifetime.

I want all women to experience the feeling of elation that comes with a positive birth experience. Through giving you knowledge and teaching you and your birth partner skills to use during pregnancy, labour and birth, I aim for you to achieve this.

I have worked within the NHS for 16 years and have had the privilege of supporting women to bring their babies into the world both at home and in hospital. I am a qualified hypnobirthing practitioner and have observed many gentle hypnobirthing babies enter the world in a calm and relaxed environment as both a midwife and birth companion. My personal beliefs are that pregnancy, labour and birth are normal, natural processes. I encourage women to trust and work with their own bodies natural ability to labour and birth. I promote holistic care that considers the physical, social and emotional needs of the woman and her family. I believe that both choice and control are essential to women, and have a great influence on their perception of their birth experience , especially when medical interventions are required. That is why I consider antenatal education to be so important as it gives you the knowledge and skills to prepare you for pregnancy, labour and birth, and also to helps you to make informed choices and decisions.

I am an experienced antenatal teacher and I am passionate about teaching and sharing knowledge and skill. I strive to equip women with the necessary tools and skills to facilitate a positive birth experience. I cannot describe the feeling that I get when women share their birth stories with a smile and sense of achievement. I am also experienced in developing and delivering training for both registered and non-registered health care professionals. I have lead research projects and studied at masters level, presenting the findings of my research at national and international conferences and publishing findings in books and journal articles. You can read more about my skills for teaching health professionals here

I am trained to practise complementary therapies to support you during your pregnancy, labour and birth, and use in the postnatal period. I believe that these can have a really positive impact on your emotional and physical health and wellbeing, and also your experience of labour and birth. Whatever service you may choose, Complementary birth will provide you a tailor made package that is just right for you. We hope to hear from you soon

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