Interview with Karen Whitaker: Mum and Lazy Daisy Birthing & Baby Teacher

Today’s Bishopston Mum interview is with Karen Whitaker, local mum and Lazy Daisy Birthing & Baby Teacher.
Karen Whitaker with her two children
Lazy Daisy are the worldwide providers of Daisy Birthing antenatal classes and Daisy Baby massage, yoga and calming programmes. I was interested to hear more about the classes that Karen offers in Bishopston, as well as her own personal experiences of raising children in and around Bishopston. 

Hi Karen! Tell me a bit about yourself.
Married with two little ones, I have lived in Horfield for five years now. What started out as a renovation project ended up becoming our home! My children, and their births, have been the inspiration behind an all empowering career change for me. 

Discovering Daisy Birthing classes when I was pregnant with my second really took the fear out of birth for me, giving me the confidence and techniques to do it all again with a calm, open mind. I loved the classes so much I decided to train with Lazy Daisy as a Daisy Birthing and Daisy Baby Teacher!
Karen leading a Lazy Daisy birthing class

What have been your personal experiences of being a mum in Bishopston?

When I was pregnant with my first child I was excited but nervous about being among the first of my friends here to have a baby. We bought our house, got pregnant and juggled hands on renovation work with full time jobs. I didn’t feel that I’d had much time to get acquainted with Bishopston then but within weeks of Mischa being born I was sitting in St Andrews Park cafe, surrounded by other lovely mums I had met through the NHS antenatal classes, sharing our birth stories and feeding our babies.

It actually became a challenge to keep in touch with everyone and my worries of being left home alone enjoying my baby but losing out on the social side of things vanished! Life felt complete and there was no end of exciting activities to involve my daughter in and people to share those special memories with.

What advantages do you think there are to being a mum in Bishopston?
I love the strong sense of community here and knowing too that we have everything we need just a stone’s throw from our doorstep. We get to eat Polish rye bread for breakfast and arrive home with unusual vietmenese vegetables to take our taste buds back to our travelling days and inspire our children’s imaginations. And there is always someone to bump into on the journey down Gloucester Road to my daughter‘s ballet class or a little person’s birthday party.

A monthly Lazy Daisy Bumps & Babies Meet-Up at KudaCan
And what disadvantages do you think there are to being a mum in Bishopston?

The busy roads heighten the senses somewhat when you’re trying to walk your child to nursery or keep your baby in slumberland. It would be lovely to see and feel a little more greenery on our walks around town too but other than that I think we’ve got it pretty good.

Can you personally recommend any particular playgroups/activities for children in and around Bishopston?

Sing and Sign in Rimandos Play Cafe is an absolute favourite of ours as being able to communicate with your toddler before they can really speak makes life far less frustrating for them, and is a great excuse for a sing song and a natter too! My daughter loves pretending she is a fairy at ballet class with the Annette Adams School of Dancing.

And of course, my Daisy Baby massage and yoga classes for babies age 6 – 20 weeks. Each term will have a themed class and this Autumn it was Halloween!

Gorgeous pumpkins ready to enjoy their Daisy Baby Massage & Movement

How do you juggle having a successful business with being a mum?
The way my own mum puts it is that I’m like a duck…calm on the surface but paddling like fury underneath! There is a lot of juggling, quite a few late nights and a lot of batch cooking. My husband has been incredibly supportive on the weekend especially while I’ve had my nose in books or been out running classes.

Tell me about your business.
Lazy Daisy is about growing happy babies through Daisy Birthing Weekly Classesand Couples Workshops and Daisy Baby Newborn Workshops and Baby Classes.
Daisy Birthing Weekly Classes are unique in that they are an all-in-one birth preparation class bringing together gentle yoga inspired movement, active birth education, birth breathing techniques and confidence boosting relaxations. Mums learn while they move in a more hypnotic way and using birth breathing throughout which makes class very relaxing. By repeating similar movements week on week mums build a toolkit of moves to use at home to ease pregnancy ailments and build muscle memory for movements to use in birth itself, which aid opening and encourage baby into an ideal position for a more calm and confident birth experience.

Daisy Birthing Active Birth Couples Workshops are one off sessions which help birth partners to understand the process and the many ways in which they can help. Nationally we are the fastest growing birth preparation class in the UK, approved by FEDANT, and working in partnership with stores like Mothercare.

We provide continuity of care too as I am soon to start Daisy Newborn Workshops aimed at helping mums and dads to understand baby‘s cues and reflexes and plenty of calming and soothing techniques alongside this.

And then there is Daisy Baby Class which is just too cute for words! It’s about active bonding with baby from 6 weeks to around 20 weeks old so lots of in arms rocking and swooshing to our nature inspired soundtrack aiding baby’s transition from the womb to the world, helping to engage their calming reflex and gently encourage their development through segments of baby massage and baby yoga.

Lazy Daisy Bump & Baby Meet Ups are held monthly. Whether you are in a Daisy Birthing or Baby Class or just want to meet up with other mums-to-be and new mums, come along for a cup of tea, chat and maybe a light bite from 12 – 2pm on Friday 15th November in the Royal Oak, 385 Gloucester Road or keep up to date with future dates on Facebook at Lazy Daisy Bristol North East.

What inspired you to start your own business?
For years I have wanted to start my own business but I had to find my passion and now I have! I had such an amazing birth with my second baby despite being labelled a high risk pregnancy and felt that the outcome was very much down to the movements, breathing and hypnotic techniques I learnt in Daisy Birthing. Being able to offer that confidence to other mums at a very special but sometimes vulnerable time in their life, is a real priviledge. When I hear from a mum so proud she achieved her natural birth after a previous c-section or from a first time mum who had started classes very nervous of birth and overjoyed that she had a calm and confident birth experience, no matter what happened along the way, something feels very right in the world.

What were the first steps in setting up your business?
Training took over a big chunk of my maternity leave and it was just like being back at uni but with a few more wake up calls on the night and a lot of baby led weaning in between! After a marathon of online learning and practical training and assessments, I ran classes as a trainee teacher while completing my portfolio of coursework including lovely feedback from my mums in class. After that it was flyers, posters, insurance and a lot of talking to start getting the word out.

Anything else you would like to add?
If you think Daisy Birthing or Daisy Baby might be for you then check out your local timetable:

Daisy Birthing Weekly Classes – 6 week terms start:
Mon 11 November & Mon 6 January

7.30pm @ Bishopston Methodist Church, Gloucester Road
£54 per term
Daisy Birthing Active Birth Half Day Couples Workshops on:
Sunday 1 December or Sun 12 Jan at Cossham Hospital, Kingswood
£75 (or £60 if you are booked into the weekly classes)
Daisy Baby Massage & Yoga Classes – 6 week terms start:
Mon 11 November & Mon 6 January

1.30pm @ Horfield Baptist Church, Gloucester Road
£48 per term
Need ideas for Christmas? Vouchers for Christmas, Birthdays and Baby Showers are available for Lazy Daisy Birthing & Baby Classes as well as our lovely soothing Jazz for Babies CD
A Jazz for Babies CD

For more information on Lazy Daisy local classes or to book, contact Karen Whitaker on 07812 040 773. 

You can also visit Karen on her Lazy Daisy Bristol North East Facebook page or read more at the national Daisy Birthing website
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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