This month we talk to Amanda Bryant – Co-Director of The Natal Family Training School, and experienced MummyNatal and BabyNatal practitioner in West Yorkshire.
Amanda first trained as an Antenatal and Postnatal Practitioner when her children were just 8 months and 20 months, nearly 9 years ago! Amanda has now worked with thousands of parents and babies, teaching MummyNatal and BabyNatal classes across West Yorkshire. In January 2017 Amanda took on the role as Co-Director of The Natal Family Training School and now looks after all aspects of Natal Practitioner training, ongoing mentoring and day to day management of the Training School, working closely with Co-Director Sharon Johnson and The Natal Family Founders – Steph and Dean Beaumont. Amanda tells us more about The Natal Family, and how she combines being a mum with running a highly successful business.
Why did you decide to train as an Antenatal and Postnatal Practitioner, and become self-employed?
When my first child was born I realised that I wanted to do something more than go back to my previous career and work for someone else. I wanted the flexibility to work around my growing family, and I wanted to grow my business as and when suited my circumstances. I also wanted to give something back to my community, and support and empower parents on their parenting journey. I felt passionate about helping support others make sense of the minefield of information out there, and to offer an environment where parents and carers could explore the options available to them, and make the choices that were right for them. It was a big decision for me, one which I certainly didn’t take lightly, and nearly 9 years on I realise it was the best decision I could have made! It’s not easy making the decision to go from being employed to being self-employed. Some of our Practitioners teach Natal classes full-time, while others run a couple of classes a week, sometimes around an existing part-time job. This is a choice we give to everyone who trains as a Natal Practitioner – the choice to do other things in addition to teaching MummyNatal and BabyNatal classes. We have trained doulas, maternity nurses, school teachers and early years practitioners for example, who feel so passionate about our classes that they run Natal classes alongside their other employment.
Why become a Natal Family Practitioner?
Being a member of The Natal Family is like having an extended family! All our Practitioners around the UK are enthusiastic about what they do, passionate about our ethos, and dedicated to supporting each other and the brand. This feeling of really being ‘part’ of something, rather than being left to go it alone after training, is so important to all of us. Myself, Sharon, our Social Media Support Manager and Communications Manager work tirelessly behind the scenes, training new practitioners, providing ongoing business support, continued personal development opportunities (CPD), marketing, advertising and social media support, and participating daily in online forums where practitioners can come together to chat about how their businesses are going, share tips and advice about running their classes, and gain that all important emotional peer support.
Our teachers are all professionally trained and accredited, and our classes are widely recognized as being of excellent quality – Steph and Dean Beaumont, founders of The Natal Family, presented at the University of Worcester Birth Conference in July 2012, and at the RCM Conference in November 2013. All our teachers are accredited by UK antenatal regulator FEDANT. We are an award-winning business – in 2011-2012 this included Mum & Working’s ‘Business Parent of the Year’, Mumpreneur, UK’s ‘Best Dadpreneur’ and a Dragon’s Den Theo Paphitis’ #SBS Business Award! Our best-selling first book ‘The Expectant Dad’s Handbook’ was released in May 2013 and our second book ‘The His and Hers Guide to Pregnancy & Birth’ was released in June 2016.
We are always moving forward as a company, ensuring that our practitioners provide communities with classes and workshops that give evidence-based, up-to-date information, whilst never judging a person’s parenting or birth choices. Empowerment is always at the core of our ethos.
It’s also vital to us that The Natal Family remains a company which puts as much importance in supporting mums to set up and run their own individual businesses, as we do in growing the company and rolling out our Natal classes across the country; having the choice to work together as part of a team and a Family makes all the difference when you are self-employed.
How does your business fit around your family life?
Being self-employed means that I can set my own hours, choosing when and where to work. This flexibility is incredibly important to me as I want to be there for my children when they get home from school, and in the holidays, whilst still earning a living. When people get in touch enquiring about our training and asking if it’s possible to set up a business while looking after young children, or being pregnant, my answer is always “absolutely!”. I was on my maternity leave when I decided to re-train. While my children were very young I taught only one or two classes a week, with the occasional workshop and private class. Once they started nursery and school I grew my business to the point when I was teaching during the day Monday to Friday, and also running a couple of evening and weekend classes. This was my choice, and it worked for me and my family. What’s great is that you can then scale down your business again if you need more time with your family.
Who can train to be a MummyNatal and/or BabyNatal Practitioner?
Anyone who believes in the importance of providing non-judgmental, non-biased, empowering support to the families in their community. Most of our practitioners are mums themselves who want to run their own business, be self-employed, whilst having full on-going support from an established national award-winning company!
How can I apply or find out more?
There is information on our websites: www.mummynatal.co.uk, and www.babynatal.co.uk, or you can email myself and Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.Make that change, take the leap, and live the life you want to live!
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