UK born, Kiwi Citizen providing support to our new mamas, meet Denise Ives.
Denise Ives, founder of Mamas in Lockdown is a qualified Breastfeeding Counsellor. Prior to moving to New Zealand in 2009, Denise trained with National Childbirth Trust and University of Bedfordshire in England. Denise and her family now live on the Otago Peninsula in Dunedin and proudly became Citizens of New Zealand in 2016.
In 2010 Denise founded The Breast Room®, a registered charity based in South Dunedin that runs a free one to one breastfeeding support drop in clinic, as well as providing free education, information and support to families online, via email, phone, text and - more recently - via Zoom. It was during the time of lockdown and Zoom consults that Denise realised how much families needed to talk about their experiences of being pregnant, giving birth and learning to feed their babies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many women were feeling isolated, alone and lacking in support, and were trying to come to terms with how their birth had been changed beyond their control. Being someone who likes to write to empty her head of busy thoughts, Denise wondered whether this might be a tool that these mothers would find useful. When Denise discussed the idea of writing everything down as a way of moving forward and putting things into perspective with some mothers, they thought it was a great idea and were really keen to share their stories... and the book was born.