ABOUT KAREN DITCHFIELD
Haven & Base Founder, Perinatal Practitioner, Early Parent Coach & Children's Sleep Advisor.
( BSc Midwifery, BSc Public Health: Health Visiting, Dip HE Children's Sleep, MSc Attachment Theory)
My name is Karen Ditchfield. I'm a mother of 4 beautiful children, published author and founder of Haven & Base with over 20 years of experience in working with expectant parents, families, babies and young children.
I designed a full range of Haven & Base parent courses and I regularly facilitate workshops designed to support and empower parents from pregnancy, through birth and the early years. I also support parents on a one to one basis with my parent coach service and weekly baby & toddler clinic based in West Sussex.
I started my career as a nurse before training to become a midwife and then a health visitor and I have also worked privately with many families as a Children's Sleep Advisor, Lactation Consultant, Baby Massage & Baby Yoga Instructor, Parenting Educator and Perinatal Practitioner. I am fully insured and have an enhanced DBS check.
I feel blessed to have worked in such varied settings with amazing parents and families across the years and I still get to be doing something that brings me joy each day.
I originally founded Haven & Base to support parents particularly in those first few weeks and months after their baby's birth. After the birth of my first child 14 years ago I felt all too keenly the need for extra support and advice in the post partum period. I had the most amazing and attentive care during pregnancy but very little support in the weeks and months that followed birth and I can honestly say that at that time I struggled with my own transition into motherhood.
My own experience after the birth of my first child sparked a long ( and on-going) journey of discovery on how practitioners could better support parents, babies and families during those crucial first few weeks and months following birth.
Throughout my journey, I have consistently learned just how important the time following birth is for the whole family. For a child, early experience can impact upon the way in which a child grows and develops and can affect how a child forms relationships across their lifespan. For a parent, early experience can impact upon capacity to parent well, on mental health well-being and individual identity.
I am passionate that families should THRIVE not just SURVIVE at this time and I have built my services to support this.
My approach is gentle, kind and empathetic and I use attachment theory as a framework for my practice. Attachment theory helps us understand why people behave in the way that they do and can be a useful tool when working with families, parents and children alike.
My aim is to empower parents with evidenced based and meaningful information and support them in finding their own parenting intuition so that they may truly embrace being a parent and find joy and curiosity with their own child.
Parenting is a tough job, especially if you are new to it or have had to deal with a past difficulty or trauma but I truly believe that a family can flourish with the right support, information and advice at a time when they need it most.
I look forward to helping you THRIVE!