Nurturing Birth has been providing doula training courses in the UK and beyond since 2004, starting the journeys and supporting the development of over 3000 doulas. Since the start of 2014 Nurturing Birth has been owned and run by Sophie Brigstocke, an experienced birth and postnatal doula, who has been facilitating the doula courses for almost a decade. Sophie is supported by an incredible team of doulas, mentors and professionals in the pregnancy, birth and parenting worlds.
Director and Course Facilitator
Sophie is a Birth and Postnatal Doula, Doula Mentor, BFN Breastfeeding Supporter and Baby Massage Teacher. She was awarded “Doula of the Year” at MaMa Conference, 2017.
Sophie started working with mums and babies in 2004 when she trained as a baby massage teacher with Peter Walker, something she still teaches with busy courses around SW London. She also trained as a Therapeutic Massage Practitioner at the London College of Massage, specialising in Pregnancy and Post-Natal treatments. She offers babywearing support as a peer volunteer.
Sophie became a Breastfeeding Network Peer Helper in 2011 and a National Breastfeeding Helpline volunteer and BFN Supporter in 2017. She volunteers on the postnatal wards of St Thomas’s Hospital, London. She is on the Maternity Voices Partnership at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, and St Thomas’s Hospital, where she is also involved in the Unicef Feeding Group across the neonatal and postnatal wards. She has been on two of the South West London Collaborative Commissioning pioneer work streams looking at improving choice and personalisation of maternity services nationally, as well as focussing on improving continuity of care, as well as a contributor to the New Beginnings Project at St George’s looking at improving patient experience in maternity operating theatres.
Sophie lives in Clapham, SW London, with her two teenagers, and her wonderful cats, Frank and Lily. When she isn’t thinking about pregnancy, birth and parenting she is training as a subconscious transformation coach and breathwork facilitator, and is passionate about theatre, film, walking and dark chocolate!
Mentoring Co-ordinator and Enquiry phone calls
Michelle is an experienced birth and postnatal doula based in Greater Manchester, having trained with Nurturing Birth in 2007. She has been involved in mentoring across a wide range of communities particularly in areas of doulaing, parenting, relationships, marriage and life/work balance.
Supporting and training new mentors is a particular passion and interest. Michelle was a volunteer for The Miscarriage Association for over ten years, facilitating the Manchester Support Group, providing phone line support, mentoring new volunteers and acting as media spokeswoman. She is known for her caring honesty and availability to listen in moments of crisis and intensity.
Michelle is the writer and facilitator of Supporting Every Birth an interactive workshop for birth workers looking at supporting both clients and themselves through all birth journeys including baby loss.
Michelle is married to Iain and they have three daughters and two sons. She likes silence and rest, but also loves the business of hospitality, community and family. She loves swimming in a cold sea and going for walks by its shore. Her faith is central to everything that she is and does – being loved to then love others.
Writer and Blog Curator
Emma has been a women’s rights campaigner for nearly 30 years, and a birth activist for over 16 years. She trained as a breastfeeding counsellor after having her second baby, and, having seen how many breastfeeding journeys were impacted by birth, she trained as a Nurturing Birth doula. She now writes and commissions the Nurturing Birth blogs.
Women’s rights and human rights are at the heart of everything that Emma campaigns for, and she desperately wants pregnant women and people to know more about their rights to their own body autonomy. She wrote the AIMS flagship book – The AIMS Guide to Your Rights in Pregnancy and Birth (link below), and offers courses to birth workers on birth rights and consent. She continues to be an active volunteer and trustee with AIMS (link below), and is one of their website birth information page writers.
As well as writing for AIMS and Nurturing Birth, Emma researches and writes articles for a number of birth and breastfeeding related organisations, ensuring that pregnant women and people have access to evidence based information on a wide variety of topics.
Emma lives in a small village on the south coast of Spain with her husband and three children, mostly because she loves the sun and dislikes British winters!
Doula Course Facilitator
Sam lives in Essex and has been a doula since 2008, when she trained with Nurturing Birth!
Since then she’s gone on to mentor new doulas, become an infant massage teacher, train as a KG Hypnobirthing Instructor and take numerous other workshops that have sparked her interest. For a few years she hosted a local group for new parents to connect. Her love of women and people that birth have meant that doula work is always at the core of what she does.
Sam became involved with Mindful Doulas and was grateful to take the business on herself but swiftly realised the need for a team around her so was delighted to be asked to join the Nurturing Birth family at the end of 2019.
Supporting those that feel drawn to support, and in turn be supported themselves, to find community and a ‘village’ is at the heart of what she is driven to do. She is a keen advocate of mental health and wellbeing. Sam is unapologetically known as The Unapologetic Doula – she is passionate about people being true to themselves and hopes people will embrace all that they are.
With two teenagers, a husband, cat and dog to juggle along with doula life Sam’s all for looking out for her own wellbeing, so as downtime you’ll either find her by the beach, baking, listening to music or riding her motorbike … and getting a little addicted to tattoos!