The NCT has a Marmite response for most people - you love it or hate it. If you're in the latter camp, there's a modern alternative to NCT, Bump and Baby Club, set up by mum of two Alex Kohansky. We met up with Alex to find out a little more about how she changed her career after maternity leave...
Tell us a bit about Bump and Baby Club
Bump and Baby Club is a modern alternative to the NCT - we're the most highly rated antenatal course provider in London. Hundreds of parents-to-be pass through our doors each year. Our antenatal classes are unbiased and agenda-free, with the added bonus of baby first aid and a few sociable extras thrown in. We believe we have the very best antenatal instructors in London. At the heart of what we do are our fabulous clients - we attract sociable people who are fully up for sharing the adventure into parenthood with a group of local new mates.
As well as the antenatal classes, we run special events for local mums-to-be: supper clubs, pregnancy yoga classes with a brunch or afternoon tea, and hypnobirthing workshops. These are not only awesome experiences, they're a great way to boost your local network of mum-to-be friends. You can never have enough of those!
When, how and why did you decide to change your career?
I used to work in TV as a Documentary Producer/Director. The job requires you to be away from home a lot of the time, filming in other countries and all around the UK. So after having my babies (who were born 15 months apart), I dreamt of a job where I could work from home and decide my own hours.
I took antenatal classes when I was pregnant with my first baby. There's something really special about being part of a group where everyone's at the same pivotal and transformative time in their lives. It captured my imagination and I was bursting with ideas on how the antenatal course experience could be enhanced.
There were so few alternatives to the NCT, which is crazy really, so I decided to give Bump and Baby Club a go.
What tips would you give to new Mums to help them to make the most of maternity leave?
Get yourself some ready-made mum friends by taking an antenatal course! We group people together by due date, so the babies are roughly the same age. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really can make all the difference to your experience in the early days of parenthood. A 3-week-old baby is very different to a 3-month-old and it's great to know people at the same stage as you.
Most people know that the support network you gain through antenatal classes can help you through the most difficult times as a new parent, but what often goes unsaid is how fun the group can be. There are so many laughs to be had and so many amazing moments. It's about sharing the best of times too.
Are there any other business mums out there who you admire?
Laura Tenison, the Founder of JoJo Maman Bebe is very inspiring to me. She's built up an amazing business from scratch and places a large emphasis on ethics and the environment.
Where in London are your favourite places to hang out with your family?
Anywhere with a park and a great gastropub close by! One of the best things about starting up Bump and Baby is that I've got to know parts of London which I never would've explored otherwise, and I've been dragging my family everywhere with me! At the moment we love playing in Victoria park, followed by lunch at the Empress on Lauriston Road.
What’s next for Bump and Baby Club?
At the moment we have nine locations running regular antenatal courses. With our waiting lists getting longer, I'd like to start running courses more frequently in each location, and expand to more locations across London and hopefully beyond!
Find out more about Bump and Baby Club by visiting their website: www.bumpandbabyclub.com