”There is a significant lack of visible role models for mums and mums-to-be. This must change. We need to see more black and brown women, and women with disability being active during their pregnancies. We also need to dispel myths and allay the fears many women feel during this important period in their lives.”
Sandra Igwe, Founder of The Motherhood Group
Internationally acclaimed photographer, her current First Women exhibition is touring the UK - @firstwomenuk
Anita began her photography work in the early ’80s with her now internationally acclaimed Visible Girls series. A graduate of the Royal College of Art and finalist in the Sunday Times/Nikon scholarship of 1981, she then spent 15 years covering “human interest” stories for the The Sunday Times and The Observer magazines. Commissions for a wide range of publications followed, including: Time Out, the RA magazine, Design, ELLE and New Society.
Anita’s portfolio also includes portraiture and annual report photography for award-winning design consultancies and public sector documentary work for housing charities, health trusts and the British Council.
Her editorial portraiture includes iconic shots of Bob Hoskins, Joely Richardson, Peter O’Toole, Alan Bennett, Bono and Mica Paris.
The National Portrait Gallery in London has, to date, purchased 20 of her photographs for the national archive.
Anita’s current groundbreaking exhibition First Women is touring the UK - First Women comprises a unique collection of 100 portraits capturing women in the UK who were “first” in their field of achievement.
Influencer & Founder, The Motherhood Group - @themotherhoodgroup
Sandra Igwe is a maternal health advocate, inclusion consultant, content creator, co-chair of the National Inquiry into Racial Injustice in Maternity Care and is the Founder of The Motherhood Group, a social enterprise that delivers workshops and large-scale events interacting with thousands of black mothers. The Motherhood Group raises awareness of black maternal issues, reduces the stigma of mental challenges within the community, provides peer-to-peer support, free doula support and free counselling support.
Sandra Igwe is a TEDx Speaker, speaker and the driving force behind ‘Black Mum Fest’, the UK’s first exhibition dedicated to supporting and equipping black mothers.
To date, Sandra and The Motherhood Group have raised awareness to the Black motherhood experience through collaborations with O2 Centre, BBC, Ran Studios, Nutopia, Shoot Media, The B Shirt and Cantu.
Sandra is a author of the best-selling children's book, Zoe and Chloe’s Feelings, and she's also a mother of two.
Best Selling Author - Pregnancy for Men & Babies and Toddlers for Men
Mark Woods started his writing career as a news journalist for the UK's national news agency the Press Association. After covering everything from the war in Kosovo to a pair of brave pigs escaping from an abattoir, a move into television followed where he attempted to make ONdigital and then ITV Digital a huge success.
The enormous corporate disaster that followed allowed Mark to sensibly reconcentrate on writing and he joined Comic Relief and has now co-founded Really Good Films.
The birth of his first son inspired Mark to write the best-selling Pregnancy for Men, which has since gone on to become an international hit too. Babies and Toddlers for Men and Planet Parent have followed and Mark continues to be anything but a parenting expert.
Mark lives with his wife Sarah and their three Children in South West London.
Accessibility Consultant, BabyWearing Educator
& Blogger - @whentaniatalks
Tania is an accessibility consultant, babywearing educator and content creator, focussing on living positively with chronic illness and disability. She started her blog, When Tania Talks, while going through the diagnosis process for her HYPERMOBILE EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME - a connective tissue disorder that causes widespread pain, joint instability, fatigue and number of other symptoms and related conditions, including POSTURAL ORTHOSTATIC TACHYCARDIA SYNDROME.
Tania is photosensitive, which means lighting affects her migraine and this is related to her IRLEN SYNDROME. For this reason, she wears precision tinted lenses.
Tania has first hand experience of the impact of not having suitable, accessible support to remain active. Her health deteriorated rapidly during pregnancy and unfortunately, she did not receive appropriate medical care. It was whilst pregnant, that Tania began researching slings to allow her to get out and about with her baby independently as a wheelchair user.
As well as advocating for accessibility and raising awareness of her rare and rarely diagnosed conditions, Tania aims to empower other disabled and chronically ill people by creating content with information, tips and her experiences of living with complex conditions
Tania has developed a passion for photography, which she has adapted around her disability, using a lightweight camera set-up to minimise strain on her joints.
Tania lives in a small market town in Warwickshire with her husband, daughter and two rescue cats, Mylo & Freya.
Athlete & Mum – famously photographed breast feeding her baby during an ultra marathon - @ultra_sophie
British ultra-runner Sophie Power became a household name when a photograph of her breastfeeding her 3-month-old baby during the 106-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) went viral around the world.
Sophie, who started running in 2009, finished the UTMB in just under 44 hours, and has also run several of the world’s most famous ultra-races including the Marathon des Sables across the Sahara, the 153-mile, non-stop Spartathlon in Greece and the 268-mile Spine Fusion.
She has recently had her third baby and shared her active pregnancy and recovery through social media @ultra_sophie and a documentary sponsored by Hoka. Sophie is passionate about ensuring all women have the opportunity to be active and is a Trustee of Women in Sport. Sophie is also an Ambassador for The Active Pregnancy Foundation.