The Natal Family was founded by husband and wife team, Steph and Dean, who continue to oversee the ethical foundation and direction of The Natal Family.
Sharon Johnson is the director of The Natal Family Training School and looks after all aspects of teacher training, mentoring, CPD and management of the school on a day to day basis.
Steph is a MA Hons graduate from the University of Cambridge, part of her degree specialising in looking at the evolving role of the mother and midwife through history. She then worked for 8 years supporting children and their parents through advocacy and empowerment services. This included working with children labelled as ‘hard to reach’ – those with learning disabilities, profound and multiple disabilities, those on child protection registers and those in care. She became adept at working with children, using & developing alternative and augmentative communication tools to hear THEIR their voice (not that of the adults around them), such as signing, visual cues & objects of reference. Steph won several regional awards for her work, such as the LAYSER award for ‘Most Empowering’ professional working with children in the East in 2004, and the CSIP ‘Putting People in Control’ award in 2006, for her work in empowering children to have a voice in decision making and controlling their own lives.
Steph then developed to working as a trainer, training other professionals to engage with children, to use reflective practice and provide more person-centred, empowering systems of working. She has had two resource kits published, in 2006 a multi-format toolkit called ‘The Big Box’ aimed at school/youth work professionals, on how to empower disabled children in their personal decision making; and in 2007 the ‘Listen Up’ a toolkit, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and aimed at statutory and public sector organisations, on how to engage with children in shaping those services and making them user-led.
In 2007, Steph was also awarded a national DfES ‘Actions Speak Louder’ Award for her work empowering children and then became involved on a national project for the DCFS. That same year however, she became pregnant with her son and took a break from work to enjoy becoming a mum.
Steph is a mother of five children and her passion has focused on empowerment of parents and children in the immediate antenatal/postnatal period. While on maternity leave with her daughter she set up Peterborough based company Bump, Birth & Beyond which became the leading antenatal & postnatal education provider in the East Midlands area. She worked and trained as Doula, a FEDANT recognized Antenatal Educator, and in infant massage and movement for baby. She has taught widely, including private classes as well as on behalf of Children Centres and Peterborough City Hospital.
The Natal Family was born out of Steph’s experiences as a mother, advocate, Doula, and teacher. Steph passionately believes that antenatal and postnatal support should make parents feel confident, empowered and supported. Steph brings to The Natal Family her own empathy as a parent, experience of working with 1000s of parents and children over 10 years, as well as a genuine empowering approach honed through working at the forefront of advocacy services. Steph’s vision is for accessible education & genuine empowerment, so parents learn skills, make their own parenting decisions, and grow in self-confidence.
Steph is an endorsed trainer by FEDANT (UK Regulator for Antenatal Education) for the MummyNatal and BabyNatal Training Programmes.
Steph is also co-author of new book The His and Hers Guide to Pregnancy and Birth,’ published in June 2016.
FEDANT Registration Number: 12049
Dean Beaumont, is a father of five and was the first professional male Antenatal Educator in the UK. He holds a Diploma of Childbirth Education (Dip CBEd), is a Baby Developmental Massage and Movement teacher, and a professional antenatal teacher trainer recognised through FEDANT.
He is also founder of the highly innovative and award-winning DaddyNatal – the UK’s first dad-only antenatal classes, on topics tailored for dads-to-be,
and facilitated by male antenatal teachers.
As co-founder of The Natal Family, Dean ensures that all our programmes are genuinely inclusive of both mums and dads, and unlike many, do not merely pay lip-service to the role of the father
Dean’s vision is to create inclusive services which empower men to be able access the learning and support they need to become great dads and supportive partners.
Dean is an expert in supporting & understanding dads, he has worked extensively with men, including running DaddyNatal classes on behalf of the NHS, through national events such as The Baby Show, and privately in locations throughout the UK. Dads-to-be can also now access his support and antenatal classes from their own homes, through DaddyNatal Online.
He is author of the bestselling The Expectant Dads Handbook, published by Random House, which has sold over 50,000 copies. His book has been read and supported by the likes of Russell Brand and Tom Fletcher, and was featured on The Jonathan Ross Show.
He is also co-author of The His and Hers Guide to Pregnancy and Birth with his wife and Natal Family co-founder, Stephenie Beaumont.
Dean has an extensive worldwide network, and his work with dads is often quoted as a source of inspiration.
Acclaimed as an ‘Antenatal Pioneer’ (Daily Mail, 2011) Dean’s expertise means he is a regular speaker and contributor to events and features around the role of the man/father in the family and at birth.
His appearances include Channel 5’s ‘The Wright Stuff’, BBC 1s ‘The One Show’, SKY news, BBC Breakfast, Radio 5 Live and various BBC & Channel 4 documentaries; as well as key industry conferences, including in 2015 at The Royal Society of Medicine and at Mumsnet’s ‘Bumpfest.’
He has written articles for most major parenting titles and organisations, including Gurgle, Mother & Baby Magazine and Prima Baby.
Dean also acted as Family Editor for leading UK Dads Charity Dad.Info, creating over 200 advice and support articles, including two entirely new information support sections for Step Dads and Single Dads, as part of a partnership with the Department for Education.
He has been recognised with a number of awards including an SBS title from Theo Paphitis for his work with Dads, ‘Best Dadpreneur’ from the Mumpreneur UK Awards, and ‘Business Parent of the Year’ from the prestigious Mum and Working UK Awards.
In addition to his work with dads through The Natal Family antenatal programmes, in 2015, Dean founded The Dads Awards which in its first year saw over 100 entries from brands, with presentations made for some of those awards at The Baby Show. The Dads Awards continues to encourage brands to recognise dads as influencers in buying decisions, and to use positive male imagery in their advertising to reflect this.
FEDANT Registration Number: 12072
Sharon is a highly experienced Natal Family Practitioner, having run her own successful business teaching the full range of MummyNatal and BabyNatal classes over several years. Together with co-founder Steph, she delivers all of the Natal Family core training and assessment for practitioners joining, and provide a full range of ongoing support and mentoring services for practitioners in all aspects of running their businesses and teaching Natal classes.
Sharon has a strong business background having worked as a Senior Manager in several different national retail businesses, and also built up several of her own successful companies. She has worked with thousands of parents and babies over the years, under her own Natal Family business, and trained as an Antenatal and Postnatal Practitioner, Developmental Baby Massage Practitioner and Paediatric First Aid Trainer.
Sharon is responsible for the continued growth and development of The Natal Family Training School, and has many exciting plans for the future of the school. She is incredibly passionate about The Natal Family and believe in genuine empowerment, so parents learn skills, make their own birth and parenting choices, and grow in self-confidence as a parent or carer.
Sharon works closely with The Natal Family founders, Steph & Dean Beaumont, on many Natal Family initiatives.
Sharon: FEDANT registration number 12832