"It's particularly hard for mums who are trying to find their feet back in the work environment. Often, they dont want to ask for allowances from their employer."
A former, Yorkshire-based criminal lawyer has launched a business which provides support for parents across the globe who are struggling with their child’s sleeping patterns.
Lauren Peacock, who worked on 1000’s of private and public sector cases throughout her 12-year law career – ranging from speeding offences to murder and armed robbery – established Little Sleep Stars earlier this year.
Working with clients via web-based video-conferencing, the business provides bespoke sleep plans for parents; including professionals who may be held back from returning to work, as a result of their child’s challenging sleeping patterns.
Since the launch, she’s supported over 100 families in the UK, Europe and the Middle East to improve their sleep situation – and also names Mamas and Papas as a client, who trust her to provide advice at their ‘Expectant Parents’ events.
Inspiration for the venture came from Lauren’s own experience of being a new mum. Eleven months after the birth of her son, and still averaging just five hours of broken sleep per night, she didn’t feel comfortable returning to the high-pressured environment of the courtroom.
Commenting on her new business, Lauren said: “Returning to work after maternity leave can be a difficult time for mums – women tend to take the lion’s share of parental leave and the change is often felt pretty acutely by both mum and baby.
“Of course, children adapt, but there can be a transition period where their sleep can be affected in the short-term, and it is common for night-waking to increase. It’s therefore particularly hard for mums who are trying to find their feet back in the work environment. Often, they don’t want to ask for allowances from their employer, but simultaneously are so tired, physically and emotionally, that they struggle to perform at the level they did before their maternity leave.”
Lauren believes it’s one of the main reasons that some mothers choose not to return to work after having a child.
“There are some parents who don’t want to go back at all, but for those who choose not to return because they’re worried about juggling the pressures of their work and a child, it’s important for them to realise that it is in fact possible, and that it’s okay to ask for specialist help – beyond that of a friend or family member.”
Lauren also supports corporate clients that are committed to retaining, enabling and developing members of staff who are parents, providing sleep workshops and talks as part of wider returners’ programmes.
“The impact of parents not returning to work on businesses is huge. It means they lose highly-trained, experienced professionals, who can be difficult and costly to replace.”
Another of Little Sleep Star’s clients includes Middle East-based, award-winning travel and lifestyle blogger, Polly Byles, of Follow Your Sunshine.
Lauren finished: “Polly was one of my earliest clients, and she blogged about her two-year-old’s sleep transformation as she implemented my gentle techniques. It helped to raise my profile among other UK expatriates, establishing a firm footing overseas – with 45% of my work coming from outside the UK.
“Over the next 12 months, I’m looking forward to consolidating this opportunity, while supporting more families in the UK, alongside growing strategic partnerships with associated professions.”