Neo Perinatal was founded in 2013 by Jude Sutton. Jude is a Master Of Science graduate and has long had a passion for reproductive biology, which she followed as a specialist element of both of her university degrees. She has for the last 10 years had a successful career the healthcare sector and the pharmaceutical industry, and continues this today specialising in cardiovascular and strategic account management. Jude is enthusiastic about working as a therapy area specialist training healthcare professionals about the science behind a variety of treatments for different diseases and also training them to be more effective at engaging with patients and peers.
In 2012 Jude gave birth to her daughter Elsie and really credits the experience of pregnancy and birth and little Elsie's arrival with the creation of Neo. Her birth experience was relatively uncomplicated but it certainly wasn’t the one she expected, or hoped for, or more importantly was prepared for despite investing in antenatal education. Neo was born out her experience of finding her own way in the dark with pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.
Jude brings to Neo her own empathy as a parent and step parent too, a professional knowledge of pregnancy and birth and beyond, as well as a genuine empowering approach honed through working with various healthcare providers who work at the forefront of helping bring new babies into the world. She specializes in working with expectant parents and parents of new born children.
"I passionately believe that birth matters, that it is not just a means to an end and I believe that the support a woman has before, during and after should not be a luxury. Pregnancy and birth impact families in profound ways, and positive experiences can provide new babies with strong foundations upon which a healthy and happy life unfolds and strong family bonds are created. I firmly believe that however different a pregnancy or birth experience is from the one that was expected or hoped for, those experiences can still be positive if parents receive sensitive support and trusted practical information to confidently navigate the journey. However, finding your way in the dark, on your own, through this journey, with a world of conflicting advice and helpful and unhelpful stories, makes for unecessary worry at a time that should be amazing and exciting.
It is a true blessing to watch your love, passion and confidence get reflected in the smile of your own baby for years to come. I look forward to helping you understand, adapt to and embrace the wonderful connections between your body, your emotions, your child and your family, through realistic, practical, informed birthing experiences and beyond.
Sadly in our society we often find this birth and parenthood journey rather complicated and daunting, because often we grow up know very little about it. The last birth most of us ever were present at, or saw with our own eyes, or felt with our own emotions, was our OWN! The last time we have been around babies is often when an older relative or friend or a parent had one and that was ages ago- right?! Modern cultures also mean that family often live far away. In such a 'modern' world we have lost the earth-shakingly indespensible value of experienced, friendly, 'mother figures' and we have missed the vital life lessons of having birth and babies around us, growing with us as we grow. I was a child and a parent-to-be of this modern world.
I was frustrated and disappointed that the antenatal education I received didn’t match up to my needs as a mum-to -be, that it didn't properly prepare me for the reality of birth or give me a balanced and full view of the options available to me in birth and beyond in those early days and weeks. The social and support network benefits that I gained however were worth every penny.
Probably, like you my partner and I wanted to know what decisions were ours to make, where could we have our baby, did we want to try to do it with as little as possible medical intervention, how much medical intervention were we willing to accept, what happened if we wanted to change our minds, could we change our minds and if so on what?
I also found it frustrating that a lot of education available tends to offer their approach to birth in silo of other just as valid approaches, which forces parents-to-be have to make hard choices when what they actually need is to experience different approaches to go onto make the best decisions for their baby's birth. I thought wouldn't it be amazing if there were classes that provided parents-to-be a tangible experience and understanding of a combination of different approaches in one place.
My partner was looking for practical advice on how to be of greatest value during birth and the early days when in reality he was far from going to be in control, and this new arrival was about to mess with the status quo and ask us to solve some tough challenges- how was he going to help solve them and be a good dad? He didn't gain much from our antenatal course and dropped out early on.
Admitting that my expectations were somewhat way off reality and I had had a relatively uncomplicated birth too, looking back I realised that my husband and I weren’t informed enough to make and take a lot of decisions about our new family during and after birth, and that maybe if we had had the opportunity to experience other approaches we/I would have birthed our daughter differently. When we came home I realized just how much I and we weren’t prepared for and what a learning curve we were on. That said we found our own way at our own speed. Fast forward a few years and I have equally realized what a difference it would have made if we had received more thorough, realistic, and pragmatic information from the off and how much confidence we would have gained as new parents from knowing all our options and fall back options in a less 'this is the best way' style.
I appreciate now how valuable antenatal education courses are when they combine birth and beyond with a young baby in one programme. I found it confusing as to why companies often separate the two and charge accordingly, or cover one in depth and the other just as an overview. The impact on self-confidence as new parents in knowing how in those first precious hours, days and weeks to take the best care of the baby you have carried and nurtured and brought into the world is incredible. It is just as powerful as having confidence navigating birth and achieving a positive experience. Healthy, happy babies and strong family bonds are built on knowing what to do with the baby when it is in your arms.
It became clear to me that there was a gap for parents to be who wanted honest, realistic, pragmatic information and non-judgemental support prior to embarking on one of life’s biggest journeys, and education that didn’t break the bank or was aimed at certain social classes.
And so while on maternity leave with Elsie I began to set up Neo, trained with UniCef, completed Royal College of Obs and Gynea courses and trained in birth aftercare. I completed my journey in 2016 when I qualified as a FEDANT Accredited Antenatal Educator, UNICEF accredited breast feeding peer supporter and as a closing the bones practitioner, although in many respects that was the beginning of my journey."
MSc BSc (Hons)
Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Strat Org:
Antental Care: Principles of Antenatal Care (2014)
Management of Labour and Delivery: Normal labour (2014)
Unicef Baby Friendly Breast Feeding and Relationship Building: A New Approach, Maternity Staff (2014)
Birthing For Blokes (2016)
Fedant Accredited Antenatal Educator (2016)
Mindful Rebozo for pregnancy and birth and closing the bones (2016)
Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry Diploma (Dist) (2005)
Post grad cert Business Management (1999)
Our teachers are fully insured, friendly and professionally trained and we are proud that some of them have been awarded full recognition and accreditation by FEDANT (Federation of Antenatal educators) and others are working towards FEDANT accreditation. See our teachers page to find out where in their journey our teachers are.
"FEDANT is a regulatory body established in accordance with government white paper ‘Trust and Assurance, Regulation in the 21st Century', the Federation is a profession regulator for those operating in the field of Antenatal Education outside of the provision by statute. This means that we administer the profession standards Antenatal Educators, Breastfeeding Counsellors and Doula Birth Companions, are required to meet in their working lives. Registrants adhere to a Code of Ethics and Practice which governs how they work and behave." (www.fedant.org)