We meet Victoria Lemmon from WOMB & BLOOM LONDON 🌿 by Nic Niblett February 06, 2023
Faune has recently collaborated with Victoria Lemmon, the Founder of Womb & Bloom platform, to launch a giveaway on Instagram. With over £2000 worth of incredible gifts to give to one lucky winner. The aim being, to spread awareness of the platform and their services to pregnant families, new parents or those preparing to conceive. Tell us a little about yourself? I’m Victoria Lemmon, a former production manager in the fashion industry and ex floral designer. Life experiences of birth, late pregnancy loss, secondary fertility struggles and IVF transformed me. This is where I finally found my calling, my third career, I hung up my floristry tools, closed down my events business and retrained as a birth doula, breastfeeding volunteer, hypnobirthing and active birth teacher. I am now a recognised birth doula with Doula UK, working with private clients and a wonderful charity called Happy Baby community since 2019 and most recently, the founder of Womb & Bloom London with Independent midwife Nadia Abououf.
Tell us a little more about the Womb & Bloom platform? Womb and Bloom London has been born out of a love of nature, pregnancy, birth and early parenthood hence its name. I was introduced to Independent Midwife Nadia by a dear mutual friend in 2021. Nadia was her midwife at her two homebirths. We spent hours discussing a shared passion for all things pregnancy, birth and parenthood and realised there was an opportunity for us to work together. In the current climate with our NHS maternity system in crisis, we understand the enormous benefits of the support and village around women, people and couples as they journey into parenthood. We decided to launch a platform to introduce together 1-2-1 fully held, continuity of care packages with both a private midwife, a doula and other birthkeepers as part of a team so women/birthing people and families can relax, grow and bloom with confidence. The Womb & Bloom collective has grown organically with a gorgeous group of likeminded women offering packages, services, group classes and in the near future products as well. The services we offer are private and, once connected through the Womb and Bloom website, clients can speak directly about their needs (and fees) to practitioners. We are actively raising money for our Womb & Bloom access fund which will also allow for families not financially able to access the services at full price. This fund is growing with each birth package and group course booked as a percentage goes back into the access fund pot. We have already seen the access fund utilised to support a family in our local area, which is super exciting. In September 2022, Nadia and I hosted our first full antenatal, hypnobirth and postnatal course from the comfort of a home studio in Tufnell Park. Nadia and I loved every minute of these preparation courses working with families on an individual basis, discussing feelings, understanding mindsets, birth physiology, hormones and importantly now - birth rights and autonomy within our current model of maternity care. We had a good giggle doing some of the practical exercises as a group and prepared a flower remedy to take home in a personalised tincture bottle.
Experienced postnatal specialist and yoga teacher, Lynn Murphy, who is part of the Womb and Bloom collective, hosts two hours of our course as a guest speaker, delving, among other things, into womb to world transition and the term ‘ Matrescence’ – the becoming of a new parent. Plus, two wonderful and experienced local Lactation Consultants also join as guest speakers to talk about breastfeeding and feeding newborns. Rebecca and Thomasina from the Breastfeeding Network offer invaluable information in these few hours together. Some feedback from our course : “The course went above and beyond my expectations and aims. I thought I would learn a few breathing techniques and some visualisations for the birth but I feel like my whole experience of pregnancy and maternity care has been validated”. “I didn’t realise how alone I had been feeling until you both explained the maternity system over the course. I believe this is an integral piece in recognising my fears in order to manage them. The course was so full of information but it was delivered in a way that was easy to absorb. The way I feel now, and the way my partner feels, compared to how we felt about birth and parenthood before is so different. The course has been invaluable and I am now able to enjoy my pregnancy more :)”. Not only do we offer support to our clients and families, we arrange quarterly meet ups together to chat and exchange offerings together, to hold and support each other as our own network and village. Birth work can be intense, difficult and exhausting so we acknowledge and believe we also need to work from a full cup. Victoria, what would you say is one of your most important roles as a doula? Foremost, it’s important to gain the trust and confidence of each client, so meeting or speaking to discuss birth preparation and feelings around pregnancy, birth & life with a new baby is a key role for me. We have the opportunity to get to know each other and really connect on their journey to new parenthood. We prepare physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I believe in physiological birth as a rite of passage but also my client’s choices to make informed decisions on the birth that’s right for them. My role as a doula is to stand at the gate of birth, to observe from a hiding place and be a calm, loving presence. I hold the space for each client so they can consider options, using best placed evidence-based information and support advocacy when it is required. My role is to be a loving connection for every birth, to sit and trust the process, to not disturb it and only if appropriate to suggest comfort measures, positions and to be available to serve to each client in their labour as it unfolds, offering gentle reminds of the beautiful power of their birthing body. My role is to offer breastfeeding and postpartum signposting and support as well as the space to talk about the birth experience. As I write this, I open my arms wide to show its an all-round hug through pregnancy, birth and postpartum of protection, trust, strength, love and support. Are there any books or apps that you would recommend? I always recommend: 1. In your own Time by Doctor Sarah Wickham - A great reminder of the power and impact of the due date. 2. Reclaiming childbirth as a rite of passage by Doctor Rachel Reed - A brilliant reinforcement of physiology of birth as ‘herstory’. 3. How to have a baby by Natalie Meddings – a gentle and beautifully laid out book with practical information and lots of positive birth stories throughout. 4. Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin – if you’re looking for book full of birth stories from the farm of Ina May, its hedonistic and I personally found it liberating. At Womb and Bloom, we have a library of FREE resource sheets now set up on our website which contain lots of nuggets of information and signposting from our favourite evidence-based researchers as well as tips from our collective. Go take a look, if you put your email address in, well send you all the free resources to peruse. www.wombandbloom.co.uk