Midwife, mum of 3, and now, entrepreneur – it’s an exciting and busy time for Bump & Baby Club instructor, Alexis Stickland. She spared a moment to chat to us about her fulfilling career and the ups and downs of Motherhood…
When did you decide to become a midwife?
I was 19 years and in the middle of a degree at Birmingham university when I realised I wanted to become a midwife. The idea of supporting women through such a vulnerable and pivotal point in their lives hugely appealed to me and I was sure it would be an incredible and rewarding career. I quite quickly became passionate about the idea – my friends assumed it was because I love babies, which I absolutely do(!), but really I was excited about working with women and empowering them through the journey of becoming a mum. I completed my degree and embarked on the midwifery training straight afterwards, and never looked back!
Has your career as a midwife lived up to expectations?
It has exceeded my expectations and I often pinch myself when I think of how lucky I am to love what I do so deeply. There are certainly struggles that every midwife faces – working in an underfunded environment means at times you feel stretched to your capacity – but ultimately the love of the job wins through. Specialising in antenatal education over recent years has allowed me to fit my career around my family and work sensible hours, whilst fuelling my passion for supporting expectant couples. I honestly can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.
What has been the most surprising thing about motherhood?
I think the most surprising thing is how much it’s changed me as a midwife. I truly believe it’s made me so much more understanding of the joy and challenges of becoming a mother and that’s made me even more passionate about sharing my knowledge with parents-to-be. Oh and another thing – I was so surprised at just how much I still need and rely on my own mum and how wise and selfless she really is!
What has been the toughest thing about motherhood?
I love that you’ve asked this because anyone that takes my classes knows that I try to be honest about pregnancy, birth and parenting – it’s important to acknowledge that there can be hard days alongside the joyful ones. For me, the toughest part is meeting the constant and relentless needs and demands of 3 young human beings whilst coping with the sort of tiredness that is so deep, at times it’s hard to describe. I often go to bed at 7.30pm straight after my children, when I feel my body needing to refuel and it really helps me. I also have a community of INCREDIBLE mum friends who totally have my back and just get it – we all support each other as much as possible.
Tell us about the company you co-founded, The Mother Box?
Last year My friend Beccy and I founded The Mother Box, which offers gift boxes and information for new and expectant mums. Beccy is a experienced doula and massage therapist and between us we have 25 years of experience working with women throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Everything in the boxes has been carefully and lovingly put together using our professional experience and the practical knowledge we’ve gained from being mums ourselves.
What are the next steps for The Mother Box?
We have got such an exciting year ahead! We have some big news which will be announced shortly, which involves us being able to share our knowledge and advice further and wider then we have been able to before and we are beyond excited. Aside from this, we have some very special boxes and booklets in development that will join our Mother Box range later this year, PLUS, we’re planning workshops for expectant and new mamas in our hometown, Brighton.