Ma House – a new Chiswick service for pregnant women and new mums

Women with a wealth of experience supporting other women through birth

Chiswick has a new service for pregnant women and those with new babies. Ma House offers everything from bath salts to doula support to the new and about-to-be mum – Mummy MOT, Wellness Therapies, Nutrition & Health coach services as well as SPA & Beauty treatments – putting the mother first.

Put together by social worker Vânia Mendes, herself a Chiswick mum, this new business aims to offer women a package of support to help them through the whole process of birth and after, supplementing the medical attention they receive.

You’d think that new mums would be well catered for, and they are, but what Vânia found was that she had to shop around, researching and sourcing products and help from different places, so her bright, entrepreneurial idea is to offer one stop shopping for a range of services and products and making it a whole lot easier.

“There aren’t many places which only focus on pregnancy and immediately after and it took me a long time to find the right people”.

Vânia is a mental health social worker with a psychology background who has been working within the mental health field for more than 16 years. Seeing a large gap in the market for the support and care of pregnant women, she has got together with Dr Sophia Kasasa, a practising psychiatrist for more than 20 years and a health coach for more than a decade, and Maria Menendéz, a physiotherapist for over 20 years, with several other equally experienced women.

Images above: Vânia Mendes, Dr Sophia Kasasa, Maria Menendéz, Silvia Charepe Dias from the Ma House team of specialists

Slightly nervous about recommending the services of anyone about to lay hands on pregnant women, I asked how people could check their credentials. You can (we did) with the relevant professional bodies relating to their specialisms.

Doulas are not regulated as such; they are trained companions, often not healthcare professionals, who support others through a significant health-related experience, making the client feel safe and comfortable and complementing the role of the healthcare professionals who provide the client’s medical care.

The Ma House team’s doula, Silvia Charepe Dias, is a chartered physiotherapist specialising in women’s health with more than 12 years’ experience. She is a certified practitioner of the Mummy MOT, a specialised post-natal assessment recommended by major healthcare organisations such as the Nuffield health charity for all women following delivery – from six weeks to many years later.

A trained specialist assesses the strength and function of the tummy and pelvic floor muscles to help prevent long-term childbirth related complaints such as incontinence, low back pain and ‘mummy tummy’. Only midwives, osteopaths and physiotherapists are accepted onto the programme to gain accreditation.

“I needed to be myself without the baby”

Having got the serious business of due diligence out of the way, I asked Vânia more about how they were planning to operate in Chiswick. They don’t have a premises; instead the team, all women, will come to the client and work with them in their own home. They are based in Chiswick but will travel to other areas of west London.

Physiotherapy, reflexology, acupuncture and massage are all services which they offer in the comfort of their clients’ own homes, which takes a little bit of the stress out of the experience in these Covid-anxious times. It’s also just nicer and more convenient. Massages are offered only after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

What Vânia found was that she needed some space once her children were born (now two and four).

“I needed to be myself without the baby. I wanted to do my hair, to drink a cup of coffee and to just be on my own”.

All mothers can identify with that feeling that for short periods of time you just want to be on your own, captured perfectly for my generation by Jill Murphy’s beautifully illustrated children’s book Five Minutes’ Peace.

Images above: Manicure; massage; pedicure

New mothers also need to replenish the nutrients they’ve handed over to the baby. It’s all very well being told to eat liver and drink Guinness (both disgusting tasting in my own opinion) but today’s sophisticated and conscientious mother is perhaps looking for something a little more nuanced.

That’s where Dr Sophia Kasasa comes in with the Postnatal Depletion Assessment – an assessment of the client’s levels of zinc, potassium and Vitamin A for example, and dietary suggestions and supplements to boost what the client is lacking nutritionally.

New mothers also deserve to be pampered and the Ma House website has various options for gifts from ‘The Final Push’ tea bags (a caffeine free herbal infusion of raspberry leaf tea, long considered to be effective in aiding the contractions and delivery process) to spa products such as aromatic candles and ‘stretch mark butter’ and clothing such as comfy slide-on sandals and pregnancy loungewear sets in soft fabrics, designed for breast-feeding.

Images above: Examples of Ma House hampers

If you’re feeling flush they also have hampers with options such as the ‘Maternity / hospital bag special’ and the ‘Baby shower special pampering treat’.

If any of that sounds useful to a pregnant woman or new mother near you, you can contact Ma House by email at hello@mahouse.uk, or via their website and you can buy their products directly from it.

mahouse.uk

Club Card offer

Ma House are members of The Chiswick Calendar Club Card scheme. See their current offer to Club Card holders here.

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