About

I’m Karen Hall. I work with new parents and parents-to-be, and I write and podcast a lot about issues around pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.

It surprises me to find that I am now over 45, living in Wokingham with my partner and son, who at the time of writing, is twelve years old. It has been an eventful, exciting, and sometimes challenging few years, but absolutely the best of my life.

I’m a qualified Breastfeeding Counsellor with over ten years’ experience of working with parents antenatally and postnatally. I also run a breastfeeding support group at a nearby Children’s Centre. I am empathic, non-judgemental, and passionate about empowering parents to make decisions that work for them. I’ve recently taken up podcasting and I’m having great fun producing monthly episodes of Sprogcast. I also train breastfeeding peer supporters, who then go on to support women in their local community.

As a Breastfeeding Counsellor and an antenatal teacher, my role is to provide support to new parents in a range of situations, including difficulties about sleep, which are often but not always related to feeding. I take a non-judgemental approach to supporting each parent in the situation they are in (and do not feel that I need to influence their decision-making). I am extremely knowledgeable about the common challenges of parenting a newborn and have supported many parents of older babies and toddlers. I’m aware that not all parents make the same decisions that I would, but also that decision-making is influenced by multiple factors and that very often there is no single right answer. In recent years, more of my work has involved providing support online via Facebook, email and whatsapp, and I am very aware of the unique challenges of counselling in an online environment.

I am the secretary of the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Maternity Voices Partnership, a forum for working with midwifery staff and parents.

On the rare occasion when I get some spare time, I like to knit, read, run, go camping, and eat chocolate with a high cocoa content. Not necessarily all at the same time, but believe me, it can be done.

Although training with and working for NCT are a big part of my life, and I’m proud to be an NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor, everything written on this website is my own or a guest’s content, and does not intend to represent NCT in any way.

Counselling Skills
NCT training emphasises development of empathy and a non-judgemental approach to supporting parents while using current evidence. CPD requirements include at least one study day per year on refreshing counselling skills and one other on more general topics; in addition to which I have ongoing supervision to further develop my reflective practice.

Adult Education and Group Facilitation
Both privately and in my role with NCT, I facilitate antenatal classes and postnatal workshops with groups of parents and parents-to-be. I work in a Children’s Centre breastfeeding drop-in group alongside Health Visitors and Family Support Workers.


Range of Knowledge

I keep up to date with relevant areas of research and current thinking, including but not limited to infant feeding, newborn health and wellbeing, parental wellbeing, sleep, introducing solids, parenting styles, attachment and bonding, pregnancy, labour and birth.


Internet and Writing Skills

A blogger since 2001, I am deeply immersed in the internet and have a presence on Facebook, Twitter (@MotherworldlyUK), LinkedIn, Pinterest and my own website here, which I aim to keep up to date with evidence-based sources of information for a variety of situations. I enjoy writing about parenting and was editor of the NCT branch newsletter for two years, and still contribute articles.

Education and Training
2018
BA Educational Studies module – Adult Learner (NCT/University of Worcester)

2016
BA Educational Studies module – Reflecting on Assessment Practice (NCT/University of Worcester)

2011
Doula Training – two study days (Nurturing Birth)

2010
BA Educational Studies module Issues of Research and Practice (NCT/University of Bedfordshire)
Breastfeeding Peer Support Train the Trainer – residential weekend (NCT) (plus bi-annual update days)

2009
NCT HE Diploma in Breastfeeding Counselling (University of Bedfordshire)

1992
BSc (hons) Special Psychology 2:i (University of Hull)

[Updated June 2018]