Beverley Turner's Blooming Bunch

The Chiswick-based writer wants women to have better birth experiences


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James Cracknell To Turn From Sport To Politics

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Beverley Turner has teamed up with family members' club Maggie & Rose in Chiswick to offer pregnant women a chance to empower themselves through ante-natal classes with a difference.

The Chiswick-based writer and mother-of-three, who is married to Olympian James Cracknell, says that all too often pregnant women feel disempowered about the birth experience. She says she had three very positive births (one in a water pool and two at home) and feels driven to help educate women about pregnancy, labour and coping with the demands of a new baby.

Maggie and Bev

Beverley, who says Olympic medallist James was a tower of strength during her own labours, has assembled a team of experts, ranging from nutritionist Ruth Wood, physiotherapist Alan Watson, personal trainer Jade Rodham, and natal hypnotherapist Maggie Howell. Midwives Pam Wild and Sheena Byron are also on hand to offer advice. She also has the backing of Christine Hill, the well-known ante natal expert who advised the Duchess of Cambridge before the birth of Prince George. Christine has recently retired.

Maggie Bolger, founder of Maggie & Rose, who has four children aged between thirteen and two and a half, says she wants women and their partners to be completely knowledgeable and know all the options that are available to them.

James pictured with wife Beverley

Beverley, who is a speaker at the Royal Society of Medicine's Childbirth Conferences, and sits on an Advisory Panel at King's Hospital, has been a regular campaigner for better maternity services. She said: "It's sad but often women are traumatised and distressed and feel dehumanised by the process.We aim to give them - and their partners- confidence to make the labour and birth a positive experience."

She said her husband would also be attending some of the sessions to talk about the experience of birth and parenting from a dad's perspective.

The course will start in January and costs £350 for seven classes.

And Beverley, who currently writes a column in the Telegraph newspaper, may be taking on a new role (as political wife) on if her husband James wins a European Parliament seat for the Conservative Party.

He was the third candidate selected for the South West constituency of the Parliament which comprises Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The European elections will be held in May 2014.

James Cracknell suffered brain injuries following a serious cycling accident in 2010 while attempting to cross the US by bike, rowing, running and swimming in 16 days.

Along with his wife, he published a book' Touching Distance' last year documenting his recovery and the impact of his accident on their relationship.

Beverley commented: " Some people wonder if James will be able for the hard life of politics but the way I see it, he has represented his country brilliantly in sport so why should he not be also a great representative in politics? "

November 20, 2013