Mammas are mums who have breastfed their own children and received training to support others. Our directors come from a range of backgrounds and have a variety of skills. They are all active in supporting mothers so you may meet them soon.
Rahat Ahmed Rahat joined Mammas in 2014. Since completing her training to become a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter, Rahat has continued to provide support to new families and mums with breastfeeding via the telephone helpline, follow-up calls after birth, arranging home visits, text and WhatsApp support. She became a Director in 2017. Rahat also speaks Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu
In 2016 Rahat took on the role of Mammas Bumps to Babies co-ordinator, organising peer supporters attendance at Leicester's community antenatal breastfeeding sessions, attending in person wherever possible.
Rahat has volunteered as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter at University Hospitals Leicester since 2018 where she works alongside the Infant Feeding Team, and on the maternity ward providing support with breastfeeding to mums along with information on bonding, feeding and local support available in the city and county.
Rahat's hard work and dedication to her role as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter led to her being nominated for the volunteer of the year category at the Caring at its Best Awards 2019. She was awarded a scholarship to iLactation Global Online Conference in 2017.
She has one child, whom she breastfed for two years.
Aayesha Bhattay Aayesha is a founding member, Director and Treasurer of Mammas. Since training as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter in 2008, she has supported Gujarati, Urdu and English-speaking mums. She supports on the helplines and does many home visits.
Aayesha is mum to 5 children aged between 11 and 22. She has a background in Early Years Education and is passionate about Lifelong Learning. In 2018, she qualified as an Adult Education Trainer and plays a key role in developing and delivering Mammas’ training.
Aayesha is keen to amplify the voices of new mothers and represent the interests of babies, whose needs are frequently overlooked in society. To this end, she has represented Mammas at the APPG for Infant Feeding and Inequalities at Westminster.
In August 2019, Aayesha was awarded an ILactation Diversity scholarship and is looking forward to furthering her knowledge and skills in the field of Human Lactation.
Naadiya Bhimani Naadiya Bhimani is a Director and baby massage instructor at Mammas Leicester. With over 10 years of experience working in the community, Naadiya is known for helping families along their parental journey. As a mother of six and a grandma, Naadiya is also an entrepreneur with her crafting business and other businesses in the pipeline.
Sally Etheridge Sally Etheridge is an Infant Feeding Specialist, and has been supporting families for 20 years, first as a La Leche League breastfeeding counsellor, and since 2008 as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She is Deputy Chair of LCGB (Lactation Consultants of Great Britain) and Founder and Programme Coordinatorof Mammas.
Sally was previously a modern languages teacher and has a special interest in multi-culturalism and diversity. She completed a Masters at Pen Green Research Base with Leicester University in 2017 in Integrated Provision for Families and Children in Early Years, which allowed her to look at how services can and should meet the needs of all families, whatever their situation.
A core element of her approach to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding is its role in the wider society: mitigating poverty, health inequalities and social isolation, and creating strong communities of women from all walks of life. Sally has worked with many local and national breastfeeding projects, including Best Beginnings Out of the Blue mental health project, the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative UK report 2016, Food Banks Tool Kit for Supporting Families with Babies, the Competency Framework for Infant Feeding and Maternal Mental Health, and has presented on inequalities, crisis, vulnerability and breastfeeding.
Robina Hussain Robina Hussain is the mother of 4 beautiful children, she joined Mammas in summer 2016. She has a background in accountancy and used to work in this field before having her children.
When her oldest two children where preschool age and younger she set up her own Stay and Play in London, which is still active.
Robina is Mammas' secretary, and is responsible for the data input for the NHS trust and other administrative duties. She also facilitates the Mammas Baby & Me group at Thurnby Lodge along with her colleague Nasreen.
She thoroughly enjoys working for Mammas and would like to thank Sally for giving her this wonderful opportunity.
Faranaaz Jaulim Faranaaz has been a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter for the last 9 years, having started her training with Mammas in 2011. She has been actively supporting mums with young babies in Leicester to facilitate breastfeeding through telephone support, home visits, and one-to-one support. She became a Director of Mammas CIC at its inception in 2014.
Faranaaz is involved in delivering update training to Mammas. She also acts as the Coordinator for the two Mammas Helplines, ensuring there is always a Mamma trained in Telephone support at the end of the two helplines, the English-Mammaline and the Gujrati/Hindi/Urdu Helpline.
Faranaaz holds a Bachelor degree in English and French and knows Arabic and has been giving support to mums in these languages. She is very keen to update her knowledge about breastfeeding and to this end attends conferences/webinars and reads literature on the topic. She is a Language teacher by profession and has studied Islamic Sciences extensively. She is mum to two children.
Nasreen Khan Nasreen has been a Mamma since 2012. She has been a Director since Mammas became a CIC in 2014. Nasreen co-ordinates Mammas Baby & Me sessions. She has facilitated trips to the Farm and strawberry picking, and leads the Mammas Baby & Me Steering Group. Nasreen has also organised fundraisers and sponsored buggy walks. She also volunteers home visits and phone calls to support mums with breastfeeding. Nasreen has 4 children whom she breastfed. The longest she breastfed was 3 years. She loved her breastfeeding journey and is passionate about supporting mothers to successfully breastfeed. Nasreen is bilingual, and speaks Punjabi, Swahili, Urdu, and Hindi; this is very useful for Leicester’s diverse community.
Anisa Panchbhaya Anisa became a co-director of Mammas in 2018. She trained as a Mammas Breastfeeding Peer Supporter in 2015, and supports mums via helplines and home visits.
Anisa has a background in working at local SureStart Childrens Centre in the capacity of Administrator and managing other projects in supporting the delivery of services for local families with young children. She completed a University of Leicester Foundation Degree in Managing Community and Voluntary Organisations in 2011.
Anisa supports Mammas with carrying out administrative and monitoring work and is keen to continue to support the planning, development and delivery of services for mums and mums-to-be to achieve positive outcomes. She completed a counselling course in 2011 and is passionate about providing support and promoting good emotional health and wellbeing. Anisa is mum to four children aged between 5 and 21.
Lyndsay Poore Lyndsay became a co-director of Mammas in 2018. Previously she had trained as a peer supporter with Leicestershire NHS and the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) and ran local support groups. She helps mothers through home visits and WhatsApp groups and manages the website.
Lyndsay has a background in Early Years and worked as a family support worker before training as a primary teacher. She currently works at the University of Leicester and has facilitated links between the University and Mammas, coordinating several events such as the 2019 #itsNormal infant feeding conference, film screenings, and setting up and supporting the University Infant Feeding Cafe. She regularly attends training updates and conferences in order to network and share knowledge with other organisations interested in infant feeding. She is particularly interested in the topics of sleep and breastfeeding; and extended breastfeeding; and in the future she hopes to research and publish findings on these subjects.
Lyndsay is passionate about equality and has represented Mammas at the APPG Infant Feeding and Inequalities meetings at Westminster and was part of a discussion with the Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth on infant feeding strategy. She regularly reports infringements of the WHO code to Baby Milk Action. She has two children.
Natasha Shepherd Natasha joined Mammas in 2017 after training as an NCT breastfeeding peer supporter in 2015. It was following a chance meeting with Sally that Natasha became aware of organisations that could train her to support mums and families on their breastfeeding journeys,as she is a firm advocate for normalising breastfeeding.
Natasha facilitates Mammas Baby & Me sessions, and leads Mammas Big Cook Little Cook courses across the city - she enjoys helping families continue a healthy lifestyle beyond breastfeeding. Natasha has breastfed all 7 of her children whose ages range from 3 to 25. She is also a proud grandmother. She is an avid baker and enjoys a baking challenge along with more traditional bakes.
Natasha became a Director in 2019. She supports mums in the community and on Mammas helpline and WhatsApp. Natasha along with several other Mammas have also risen to the challenge of supporting families during the Covid19 pandemic and have avidly taken their sessions online via Zoom, and have seen an increasingly steady stream of families accessing Mammas support this way.