Muma Nurture

Hi, I’m Victoria Sparkes and I’m the founder of Muma Nurture – www.mumanurture.org

I’m a therapist with 10 year’s experience and am qualified as a Hypnotherapist, Counsellor, Reflexologist and Massage Therapist.

Over the years, I have developed a very diverse range of skills through varied roles, including; Bereavement Counsellor (specialising in baby bereavement & complicated grief), Counselling Tutor, Private Practitioner in various locations, Therapies to aid bonding in Children’s Centres, Pamper Party Co-ordinator.

Prior to my life as a therapist, I had a business background having been the assistant area manager for a large national F&B company and studied Psychology and Business at University.

But, alongside work, I was a woman experiencing my own fertility issues, with friends and family also experiencing issues with becoming parents. Their issues weren’t necessarily the same as mine, there was a whole range; getting pregnant, staying pregnant, being pregnant, giving birth, bonding, baby loss, but there did seem to me to be shared experience in that it was all about the struggle to parent and pain.

There seemed to be a real lack of information and support available to people.

It’s estimated 42,000 couples in East Sussex will have difficulty conceiving. Approximately ¼ of these will be diagnosed with unexplained infertility. In East Sussex due to the ‘IVF postcode lottery’, there is a relatively low threshold for receiving IVF on the NHS and this will not happen if you or your partner have children from this or a previous relationship. The majority of couples experiencing infertility will have tests and then be referred for IVF regardless of a diagnosis or not, throughout this process they will be offered very little information and support. 1 round of IVF carries a total cost in East Sussex of around £10,000 and with a success rate of 25%, if you’re paying privately you need to budget for 4. There are women and couples that are desperate for an alternative to IVF either because of the cost or health implications, and there are those that want to increase the likelihood of successful IVF.

It’s estimated around 60,000 fertility treatments are performed in the UK per year and of these around 25% will end in live birth, far more than that result in pregnancy. Similarly, with a natural pregnancy, there is a significant percentage which end in miscarriage or stillbirth. There are SANDS branches in Hastings and Brighton, but support is limited and those giving it are not qualified counsellors, they are parents processing their own losses.

In 2016, there were 5219 live births in East Sussex, 1048 in Eastbourne alone. How many of these people attended antenatal classes? I’ve heard stories about people being offered none, or told to watch a video online! With a reduction in maternity services across East Sussex, people feel unsupported, unsure, afraid and like they have no choice in their birth plan.

What about those, who got pregnant fine and are emotionally affected by their pregnancy?

Or, those that navigated pregnancy and birth fine and are emotionally affected by becoming a parent and would like additional support? Or, those who are traumatised by birth and could benefit from some support to process that rather than being forced to normalise the experience and suppress the related feelings? With a reduction in services at children’s centres, there is also decreased support for new parents and less opportunity for support and socialisation, which in itself can cause problems.

What about people looking at alternative parenting options and or deciding not to parent and would like some support to process that?

And with all this rattling around an idea was born . . .

Holistic & Specialist Support on the path to Parenthood.

Counselling, Hypnotherapy, Reflexology, Massage, Workshops for Fertility, Pregnancy and Related Loss.

For people that want to work with us on an individual basis, we offer a free 50-minute consultation, which enables them to fully explore their current situation, look at therapy options and decide how they would like to move forward. We have Focus on Fertility workshops, Birth Preparation Courses with Hypnobirthing, Pregnancy Yoga, and will be introducing a postnatal course soon.

We believe everybody should have access to therapy, regardless of financial situation and subsidise treatment for those that can’t afford it. People can help us to do this by paying for other therapies with us, buying gift vouchers, renting our space and or attending one of our fundraising events . . .

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