With one in six couples affected by fertility issues, a new support group has been set up in Leeds. Juliette Bains reports.
Jay Kelly takes her job as a fertility therapist and a mother very seriously.
The mum-of-four from Harrogate has helped hundreds of couples deal with fertility problems and has now set up a local support group.
In her day job, Jay, 36, from Harrogate, specialises in hypnotism and emotional freedom techniques (EFT), which involves tapping pressure points in the body to relieve tension, whilst talking about the client’s issues.
She also specialises in neuro linguistic programming (NLP), which tries to change how people react to stress, and hypno birthing to help women prepare for birth with a positive mind.
Outside of work however, her drive to help couples conceive has spilled over into her personal life, as Jay is currently seven months pregnant with a surrogate child.
“I am so passionate about it,” she said.
“I couldn’t imagine life without my family and feel very lucky to have them.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have the children that people so desperately crave and want.
“It is just such a wonderful gift to be able to give.”
Surrogacy aside, Jay is also co-founder of the Fertility and Birth (FAB) Network.
The network is made up of a collective of specialists, therapists and birth workers who work to support women from before conception, throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond.
And now Jay has set up the Leeds and Harrogate branch, which will hold monthly peer support meetings for local couples.
The group will provide access to a range of services to help nurture and empower women through each stage of the parenting journey.
This includes emotional support, physical healing, practical advice and information, and help with planning and preparing.
Jay said: “Our motto is to promote choice, confidence and control, and we provide a range of therapies as well as a monthly peer support group for couples who are all experiencing fertility problems.”
She added: “People don’t realise that these kind of therapies exist.
“It’s easy for people to be sceptical of some of the therapies because they are hard to explain.
“But my old teacher always said, ‘give them an experience, not an explanation’.
“The results will speak for themselves.”
Therapies range from massages to herbal treatments and hypnotism.
Jay added: “People don’t know what their options are and the information out there is a medical muddle.
“That’s why we’ve set up this group as us therapists all do something slightly different and blend together really nicely.
“We also write articles and share information on the website to make women aware of the choices that they have got.
“Different people require and want different types of therapies.”
Jay mostly deals with women in their 30s and 40s, but is keen to hear from women before they go down the IVF route.
She said: “Many women don’t realise that IVF isn’t the only route they can take.
“When you are working with mind and body medicine and working with women to get their hormones balanced, sometimes that is all they need.
“There are so many different things we can do to get a woman’s mind and body into balance.”
Talking about her passion for the job, she explained: “I love seeing a client’s life change and following their journey.
“I’ve recently been through the full journey with a wonderful client.
“It started out through sad and unfortunate trauma and loss, then moved onto fertility sessions, then birthing hypnosis.
“We followed the relationship through to being her doula at the birth of her baby.
“I can’t ask for a better job. Although it is not a job – it is a pleasure.”
Join the FAB Network
The Leeds and Harrogate FAB Network meets on the last Thursday of the month.
The next session will be on November 28 in Harrogate.
The next Leeds session will be on December 19.
For more about the group meetings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the FAB Network, go to www.fertilityandbirthnetwork.co.uk.
For more about Jay, visit her website at www.iamjaykelly.co.uk.