• Anya Smirnova

  • Life, Health & Career coach for women in law around childbirth

  • Former senior associate in a global law firm (13 years in private practice)

  • Mum of two

  • One of 12 speakers at the Governmental round-table 2018 on improving UK's postnatal care (recommendations included in the NHS Long-Term Plan 2019)

  • FUN FACT: Author & voice of the Rum Production audio guide for the Isautier Rums on the Reunion Island (passion project while heavily pregnant, no degustation was involved)

have first-hand experience of the challenges women in law face when returning to work after mat leave. Top three are (1) pressures on balancing work and family - self-inflicted, or coming from family, friends, colleagues, society; (2) career growth with or without flexible working; (3) health & wellbeing (you, your interests, exercise). 

After my first son was born, I went to do coaching training as a self-help strategy to process what had happened in my life and hired one of the tutors as my coach. It was powerful beyond expectations. I started to coach in parallel to law.

The second turning point was after my second birth in France. I was fortunate to encounter doctors and experts (both in the UK and in France) who opened my eyes on the gap between 'natural recovery' and actively helping your body and mind to recover after childbirth. It grew into developing expertise in women's postnatal health.

I was then thrilled to discover training on Executive Coaching & Health, which by that time had become my niche expertise.


Work-life balance, parenting, career, flexible working, health, leadership, love - these are the topics that working motherhood turns around and they are all interdependent.


I love helping women who are career ambitious and want to be more present for their kiddos, to find their balance. One-to-one work is what brings me the most joy - helping one woman at a time have a breakthrough and go "WOW! This was the best thing I've ever done for myself!".

My dream is to nudge a change in the profession by bringing a better understanding of the support that employers can give their working parents and the postnatal health of working mums. I will be delighted to hold a breakfast/lunch event at your workplace for employees and I do separate training for managers.

In addition to my private practice, I am extensively involved in improving postnatal care in the UK. In May 2018, I was one of 12 speakers at the Governmental round-table discussions in Westminster on the benefits of providing pelvic floor physiotherapy to all women after childbirth as standard; this recommendation was included in the NHS Long-Term Plan (January 2019). I am working on a pilot project for the NHS England, support the MASIC Foundation and PelvicRoar campaign, and am an ambassador for a perinatal mental health initiative Make Birth Better.

I speak English, Russian and French.


  • Qualified as a lawyer in Russia, 2005

  • Qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales, 2011

  • Trained as a coach with the Co-Active Training Institute (formerly The Coaches Training Institute), 2015

  • Executive Coaching & Health training with the FRC and the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC), 2020

  • LinkedIn

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