Our Course Leaders

All of our antenatal classes are taught by registered midwives, who work in hospitals, birth centres or the community in their local areas. They bring a wealth of knowledge and professional experience to our classes, ensuring first-time parents have up-to-date and good quality information. They are also all registered and insured both with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), and the Federation of Antenatal Educators (FEDANT).

Bristol antenatal class leaders:

Bonny Hetherington

Photo of Bonny Hetherington, Director at New Life Classes


Bonny has been working as a midwife since 2003, starting her career in Bath before moving to Bristol. She has worked in various roles within this time before settling in a core role on the Delivery Suite at Southmead hospital. She is currently on secondment to Cossham Birth Centre.

As well as working as a Midwife, Bonny is a trained sleep specialist for 0-5 year olds, and has a passion for supporting parents in encouraging good sleep practices with their children.

Carley Oates

Photo of Carley Oates, Course Leader in Nailsea and Portishead


Carley qualified as a midwife in 2016. She is also an experienced antenatal and postnatal yoga teacher, integrating evidence-based midwifery and empowered birthing. She has been teaching antenatal groups and supporting couples to prepare for childbirth since 2009. Her caring compassionate approach provides a friendly relaxed environment where couples explore the changes that pregnancy, birth and parenting may bring to family life. She has seen the benefits of antenatal education in improving the experience of women and their families and the value of couples preparing for parenthood together and within a group.

Ellie Corlett

photo of Ellie Corlett, midwife and antenatal course leader for New Life Classes in Bristol

Ellie qualified as a midwife in 2015 and has experienced working in hospitals in Worcester and Swindon; she is now settled in Bristol and  has recently become a core member of the team on the Midwife-led unit at St Michael’s Hospital.

Ellie is passionate about antenatal education and the impact knowledge it can have on initiating change in first-time parents lives. In her spare time she is on the committee of The African Maternity Link who improve birth outcomes in Africa through education and training. She has delivered (no pun  intended) educational workshops in Sierra Leone to around 60 trained and untrained maternity staff in an attempt help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.

Ema O’Hagan

Photo of Ema O'Hagan, Midwife and antenatal course leader for New Life Classes

Ema is our token Irish midwife! She trained back home in Cork and qualified as a midwife in 2014. Shortly after qualifying, she took a short trip across the pond andlanded in Swindon. After working for two years there, she decided to pack up again and move to Bristol. Ema has experience on the antenatal and postnatal wards and caught many babies in midwife-led units and delivery suite.

Ema believes antenatal classes play a paramount part of  the journey to your little one’s arrival. She believes every woman should be involved in their own healthcare decisions and that education is a vital component in achieving this.

Emma Scourse

Photo of Emma Scourse, Antenatal Course Leader, Bedminster


Emma qualified as a midwife in 2016 and brings a wide variety of experience to the role. She has cared for women on both antenatal and postnatal wards; Delivered NHS antenatal classes in the community; Supported midwives in delivering more than 40 babies at home, in midwife-led units and delivery suites.

She  believes all women and their partners should have access to comprehensive, evidence-based antenatal education; as this plays an important role in preparing them for the transition into parenthood.

Kate Bennett

Photo of Kate Bennett, Antenatal course leader, New Life ClassesFrom a very young age, Kate has been fascinated with pregnancy and birth and as she became older, wanted to help women and their families navigate this new journey into parenting; so retained as a midwife following a career in law and project management. Kate qualified as a Midwife in 2010 and has worked in a variety of settings in Central Delivery Suite, Birth Centre, Community and Home Birth team. Following the birth of her first daughter, she completed additional training to become a Health Visitor and now works primarily with vulnerable and ‘at risk’ families.  Kate is also a breastfeeding key worker and disseminates evidence-based practice to her peers as well as the families that she works alongside.

Kate is passionate about antenatal education as a means of increasing participants knowledge from current evidence based practice, thus enabling them to achieve a sense of control over their birth process and manage expectations in the early days of parenthood, even if this doesn’t go according to plan; and also a way of increasing couples social interaction, reducing social isolation and feelings of vulnerability which are very common in new parents.

Lucy Webber

photo of Lucy Webber, New Life Classes antenatal course leaderLucy qualified as a midwife in 2002. She is very experienced and has worked in the hospital, community, and most recently the birth centre.

Lucy has a particular interest in breastfeeding, and qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2012. She has enjoyed supporting families with her expert knowledge ever since, and now works privately seeing families at home too.

She is passionate about new parents getting the information they want and need, to help them make the right choices for their family during pregnancy, birth, and life with a new baby. Lucy likes to bring a realistic, practical but fun slant to antenatal education.

Lucy is a big advocate for home birth, having had two of her three children at home.

Violet Unciano

Photo of Violet Unicano, course leader, New Life Classes, antenatal classes in Downend

After having two children Violet qualified as a midwife in 2015. She gained experience in a variety of settings rotating between the central delivery suite, wards and the Midwife-Led Unit at St Michael’s. She is currently working in South Bristol Community.

She loves the fact her job enables her to be part of so many life changing events and she is passionate in ensuring that, regardless of how the baby arrives, childbirth is a unique and positive experience for all her women and families. She strongly believes that providing evidence-based, antenatal classes is the key to empowering women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

Bath antenatal class leaders: 

Hannah Bowater
photo of Hannah Bowater, New Life Classes antenatal course leader in Bath

Hannah qualified in 2015, she works as a rotational midwife at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, supporting women and their families antenatally (including induction), during labour in both complicated and uncomplicated settings and postnatally in hospital. Hannah is also an Infant Feeding Key Worker within the hospital, ensuring staff are up to date with evidence based information to pass onto women about feeding and nurturing their babies. She recently helped the hospital to maintain its Baby Friendly Initiative status.

Hannah has a particular interest in pregnancy and birth education, and ensuring women have the time and information to make informed choices. She believes education is important to bridge the gaps between professionals, communities and families to ensure woman are at the centre of all birth experiences. Hannah lives in Bristol with her husband Simon, daughter Olive and Wilf the dog.