As a Mother I have always been blessed, my children are amazing beautiful adults. One of my greatest achievements has been to watch my daughters become Mothers.
Beautiful Alice was born a month ago amongst her family and in her own home. I had the honour and privilege to be a part of this wonderful moment. My relationship with my daughter and son in law is one that I'm extremely proud of. My role however is not always easy as a hypnobirthing practitioner, homeopath and doula I have learnt my boundaries. I hope my position of support and reassurance has never been intrusive. To support your own daughter however is very different. The line of boundaries is even more important.
Birth and its wonders has never frightened me. I absolutely adore what I do. I felt so excited about another baby becoming part of our family. My biggest fear would have been if I had missed the birth. Like every pregnant Mother I too was waiting. When would labour start? Would the labour start in the day or night? My diary was kept clear as I hate letting people down I needed to be with Emily as soon as labour started. I had anticipated a quick birth as her last labour had been very quick. I felt excited to meet my Granddaughter and looking forward to holding her, there is nothing like the newness of a baby. I have a very close relationship with Emily and when she felt a slightly different sensation I quickly suggested I should come to her. This was met with 'it's too early'. Emily was unsure if this was the start of labour. I however had a different feeling, I wanted to make sure I was there.
I arrived at about 9.30am to Emily cleaning. She was adamant that her house would be clean for the midwives if this was labour. I could have watched her but the hoover gave me a distraction. We talked about work our favourite topic. The boys were out playing with Dave. Things seemed as normal no real surges and Emily felt she had wasted my time.
My birth intuition and instincts of my daughter told me otherwise when I observed her struggling with the laptop to send an email. The uncomfortable position and concentration was annoying her. That's when I decided to call the midwife, again this was met with you are wasting her time nothing is really happening. Our lovely friend and midwife put my mind at rest when she suggested that she would call in and go as she could easily come back later. The boys came home they were excited to meet their sister, their priorities though were to have their lunch and play. With this extra energy level Emily retreated upstairs. From experience of quick labours this was also a signal for Dave to expertly fill the pool. Penny arrived and we quietly got on with the job of unobtrusively letting Emily potter.
Boys downstairs, crying could be heard as I investigated what they were up to. It was decided that they would probably benefit from some more fresh air. It was suggested to Emily that this was an option. She wanted the boys around but I was aware that their normal energy levels might be intrusive to her. Emily's response was another clue to the mysteries of birth "Dave don't go far".
My beautiful daughters main concern was wasting everyone's time. This was quite amusing to me as part of my role is to wait and watch patiently. something that myself and Penny are very familiar with. As a birthing mother, however this was only her fourth time. Each birth is different but for those of us that choose to observe birth, time is something that we get used to not observing. However, her misguided concern for us soon changed. I often get asked when does active labour start and through my experience the one word that generally means the next phase has begun is Change. Emily requested an eye mask and headphones. This was my signal that she needed these things to help her concentrate on the birthing body and baby. Until this point she was chatting, laughing and occasionally stopping to do her surge breath. She had previously commented to me that she had felt she was almost play acting at birth. In the absence of fear the birthing body is amazing. Her body took over, I became aware of the energy of us all was becoming annoying. The boys were gently ushered downstairs to watch TV as Dave positioned himself in the pool to support Emily. The connection between myself and Emily is extremely close I have observed her in birth and I've learnt to trust my intuition the sublte changes could easily have been missed. I knew that one strong surge and Alice would soon be born. I cannot express the emotion I felt as I saw Alice on the bottom of the birthing pool . Emily and I locked eyes as I said Pick up your daughter. An instruction she didn't need but I muttered. As she sobbed with elation so did I. The room was instantly filled with the boys as the eagerly introduced themselves to Alice. Time which was noted by Penny was now 4.10pm. Alice rose Emily Mills had joined our family.
Birth supporter for me had ended. Grandma role had begun. The kettle on and bread in the toaster as the newest addition to the family spent time with her Mum, Dad and brothers
Chelmsford and Wickford
Jan and Michelle at Little Otters have thought long and hard about the best way of teaching our pre-school age children. Several swim schools are adopting allowing them to swim without a parent in the pool with them. Whilst this is an accomplishment, and makes parents very proud, we have a slightly different approach. We feel and believe that adult interaction in the pool until school age is of great value to the child.
We like to keep the parents with the child in the pool for several reasons:
- To have parents in the water creates an enriched environment of security and safety allowing the child confidence to flourish.
- One to one with parent provides constant attention and practice throughout the lesson.
- Swimming at this age is about having fun, with a parent in the pool with them, they are still able to enjoy songs and other games and activities, regardless of what their swimming ability may be.
- The parent can breakdown the information, to the right level for each child's needs, as each child is an individual when understanding instructions.
- They can still have very big peaks and troughs in their confidence – for far too many different reasons to try to list (mostly not even swimming related)
- The child gets the most rewarding praise and encouragement from their own parent in the moment of achievement.
- They get more actual swim time, as certain activities can be done group, rather than waiting holding the rail or side whilst each class member does each activity, before the next can start.
- Bonding with parent in water brings happiness and laughter.
- By being involved together in the lessons, the parent is learning too and can transfer the breakdown of skills to family swim time.
Learning to swim should always be a positive experience which will lead on to fun filled with experiences in and around water through life.
Written by Jan Phelps and Michelle McGeorge / Feb 2017
Attending your first baby class can be a daunting and frightening experience, especially as a new Mum, but once you take the plunge it will very soon become your favourite 45 minutes every week that you won't know how you ever lived without.
As you grow your family, you will be able to watch each of your little ones grow, learn and develop through our Moosical programme all while having fun yourself and making lifetime friendships.
1) Make lasting & invaluable connections
As well as helping children develop all their physical, social & emotional skills, Mini Moosic also connects grown ups with parents & caregivers who understand the unique joy and challenges of being a parent with children of similar ages. At Mini Moosic parents often make lasting friendships of their own.
Our weekly classes, which run for babies right from newborn, are a great encouragement to get new Mums out of the house and provide wonderful opportunities for Mums to share their experiences with others going through the same parenting journey as them.
2) Spend focused time with your little one.
Mini Moosic offers a wonderful bonding experience for you both.
We know only too well how hard it can be to focus on your little one at home as there are so many other distractions & jobs to get done; the washing up, the laundry etc. Going to a children's music class like Mini Moosic will give you time to focus on your child as we guide you through the session. You will have an opportunity to engage with your little one without any distractions. Attending Mini Moosic each week can give you some of the most precious memories of your little ones. It goes so quickly and each moment should be treasured.
3) Learn new songs, rhymes & stories that you can enjoy with your little one at home.
With 2 Mini Moosic CDs packed full of all the songs you will be hearing at your little one's weekly classes, you will be able to play and sing-along to these at home. These songs are a great way of keeping them happy in the car, supermarket queue and any time when boredom/tiredness strikes!
For our older children we have songs to help remind them of their day-to-day activities like brushing their teeth, getting ready for nursery, crossing the road safely etc.
4) Music & movement provide opportunities to develop fine and gross motor skills.
Each week we provide many opportunities for your little one to engage in fun musical activities that support and encourage each stage of their physical development. From dedicated tummy time to playing with baby-safe instruments, bouncing them on your lap to dancing & swaying in your arms, our class activities will strengthen the development of their muscles as well as their coordination for more complex movements they will do in the future like jumping, kicking a ball, and even using a pencil to write.
Our wide variety of quality instruments allows your little one to learn to handle and play them which is a great way to aid the development of their fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination.
5) Music supports the early stages of language development
Singing to your little one is more likely to encourage them to respond back by gurgling, cooing, making facial expressions and physical reactions
We show you how to engage in vocal play together by touching, gazing, observing, listening and imitating.
Once you are attending Mini Moosic regularly, you will soon find that your little one will start to recognise certain songs and rhymes as firm favourites.
One thing that people have found quite interesting about my pregnancy is that I'm not scared of giving birth. It's never scared me and I'm pleased that it has always been that way. I've watched One Born Every Minute in utter wonderment (compared to some of my friends who cannot physically look at the screen!) and the process of giving birth has filled me with more excitement rather than fear.
I'm only 5 weeks away from actually giving birth to my first child and I'm doing everything I can to make sure that I keep that mentality. I've been told far too many birthing horror stories to count, and it's easy to be swayed in your thoughts of what labour can be like. Every birth story is individual and unique and this is what I wanted to focus on – the experience being personal to my fiancé Dan and I, and of course making it as smooth and wonderful as possible for baby and I. That being said, rewind to December 2016 when I was 26 weeks pregnant. I was keen to explore the idea of hypnobirthing, and started my course with Babies in Waiting. Before starting the course, I honestly didn't know much about hypnobirthing. I had assumed that it would have something to do with getting yourself into a more relaxed state, but other than that, I was pretty clueless. I just knew that if the course could help prepare both Dan and I a little better for the birth of our first baby, then that was definitely a good thing.
Once we had arrived at the first session, we settled on the sofas with the other couples and got started. A calming diffuser pumped into the air whilst music played in the background. We soon learnt that the fragrance and music would help condition us to get into our relaxed states as the weeks progressed and even now, I can close my eyes and go back to that relaxed state in a couple of moments if I think about the background music. The cosy surroundings made a massive impact and we were looked after with delicious snacks and hot drinks.
The course followed a whole variety of different elements, from the techniques to help relax a woman in labour, all the way to how the body actually makes the miracle of childbirth possible. Hypnobirthing focuses on birthing being a natural experience, and supports natural births including home births, drug free births and subconscious techniques. However, everyone was made fully aware that medical emergencies can happen and that we should never be naïve to medical intervention if need be, and even in those circumstances, hypnobirthing and relaxation techniques can still be a massive asset. Learning about how the mind and our subconscious works was fascinating, and we were able to follow up all of our sessions with some 'homework' by listening to the mp3 file that the BIW team sent to us before the course started and practising our breathing techniques.
Each session was laid out in a specific way to help each person find a new confidence in their abilities as parents-to –be, and was a definite reassurance to both the mums and the dads. The skills that we learnt over the 4 week period were not exclusive to childbirth –they are very valuable with day-to-day life also and at points, it felt like we were all learning some wonderful life lessons. At the end of the course, I had a lot of faith in just what my body and mind could do, and Dan felt confident in his role as a birthing partner.
Now, we're both just continuing to practise the techniques that we learnt in the weeks until labour begins, and are looking forward to putting them to good use once baby is ready to make his or her arrival!
From the moment they are born, babies begin an amazing journey of discovery and development, growing in every way, especially in size.
Growing at a rate of more than ½ a millimetre a day in the early stages, it is easy to quickly forget how tiny they were; especially when they are teenagers towering over you in height.
As parents we all eagerly look forward to the next stage in our child's development from waiting for that first smile, to the first step, to them being able to ride a bike, swim, read and before we know it, being more independent. All too quickly our little ones are starting school and their short lives flash before us and we suddenly want to freeze time, to keep them as children forever. It is at milestones in our children's lives when we quickly realise that time is slipping past and we want to capture the moment, to look back on in the future. Thanks to advances in technology in recent years we are in the enviable position of being able to take endless photos with our digital cameras and mobile phones, and transmit them around the world at the press of a button, to share with our families and friends.
Don't wait until it is too late, capture those precious moments today.
Before you have time to put on your rose tinted glasses, time will have moved on and these times (the present) will be the past.
Children of all ages enjoy making their handprints in the sand, snow, mud, paint and on steamy windows. Let them explore, don't worry about the mess, it is what wet wipes were designed for! One day those handprints will disappear from your home and believe it or not you may want them back! Think about taking a cast of their hand or foot. There are a number of options from kits that you do yourself, not as easy as you may think, to professionally made casts that come beautifully framed and mounted. In Victorian times, there was a fashion of casting children's hands and feet as a keepsake and over recent years, the choices and techniques have changed, so once again, it is possible to create a lasting memory that you will cherish forever.
Little Impressions has a home studio based in Billericay Essex also offering a home visit service across Essex. They produce beautiful impressions of little ones hands and feet with an increase of customers opting to combine their impressions with a photo too. Family and sibling combinations are popular and create a totally unique and timeless keepsake that will compliment any room.
Little Impressions are also representatives for the stunning Recollections Bespoke jewellery range.
Other ideas for recording these special childhood times:
- Write down all the little words that are special to your child as they learn to speak, especially their names for family members.
- As they change from babies to little children, store all those special baby mementos in a treasure box for you to look through together one day.
- Get everyone in the family to make a painted hand print on a large piece of paper and frame it.
- Take a photograph of your child asleep in bed. The sight of a sleeping child can melt the heart of even the most stressed parent.
- Try to write a diary even if just for one week, once in a while, of life with your child. Remember to note down the funny things they say or wear like insisting on wearing their welly boots in the summer!
- Film your child(ren) playing with siblings, friends, the family pet.
- Film a typical morning trying to get out the door on time, a family mealtime or just conversation about the world from a little persons eyes. Record their individual little ways, mannerisms and quirky pronunciations that are unique to them.
Enjoy every minute of the present but remember …..capture the memories…….children are ours for such a short while.
Does sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes sound familiar? Does the thought of lighter evenings and sunnier days fill you with dread?
The onset of spring can bring such positivity but also the dreaded Hayfever season!
Pregnancy and Hayfever can be daunting. Your normal over the counter drugs, nasal spray, antihistamines are no longer your friend as you are advised not to take them during Pregnancy.
Have you thought about Homeopathy? This gentle, but effective treatment can immediately help and relieve the symptoms. In addition, more long term deeper acting Homeopathic treatment over the autumn and winter months can help and strengthen your immune system. This will help each Hayfever season, until symptoms have largely dwindled.
"Approximately one in four of the UK population will suffer from an allergy at some point in their lives, according to the British Allergy Foundation and the number of people affected is increasing by five per cent each year.
Hayfever symptoms make an appearance when an allergen such as pollen triggers a hypersensitive reaction in the eyes, nose, throat and/or chest. Contact with the allergen sets off the release of histamine that causes the characteristic inflammation, streaming and congestion that are so characteristic of a nasty hay fever reaction. Helios Homeopathic pharmacy.
As a Homeopath I would be looking to find an appropriate remedy to match your individual symptoms. Each consultation lasts about an hour then I would prescribe a remedy that you would take in water.
Some examples of remedy support;-
Allium Cepa, runny nose, tickling cough, eyes running. Particularly good in the later season
Sabadilla, very good sneezing remedy, but also good for sore throats especially if you feel as if something is hanging in your throat.
Wyethia, itching of the nose, throat feels swollen, with perhaps a desire to swallow more.
Dulcamara, nose is blocked or watery discharge. Worse near cut grass
Ambrosia, itching of the eyelids, watery cold & sneezing
A general support through this season would be: -
- Avoid long grass
- Keep windows and vents closed in the car. Air conditioning in the car can help.
- Keep windows closed as much as possible, net curtains can help to trap any pollen.
- Stay indoors during peak pollen times 7 am – 9 am and 3pm to 7pm
- Avoid mowing the grass during daytime as it creates clouds of pollen
- Avoid grass and hedge cuttings
- Wear wrap around sunglasses to protect your eyes when going outside.
- Avoid stroking pets as they carry pollen in their fur.
- Shower and wash hair after being outside to eliminate traces of pollen.
- Avoid contact with cigarette smoke, wearing perfume is not a good idea.
- When planning a holiday remember mountains tender to have fewer flowers and pollen count lower by the sea.
- Itchy eyes – bathe with one teaspoon of salt in a pint of cooled boiled water.
- Try splashing your face with cold water
- Blow your nose gently, hard blowing can burst the grains of pollen and increase their irritant effect.
- Apply a cold pack on the nose and face.
- Apply a balm inside your nose to stop pollen settling www.haymax.biz
- Take a teaspoon of local honey daily
- Take a high quality probiotic, good bacteria seem to ease Hayfever symptoms .
- Organic Nettle tea may inhibit the inflammatory response.
- Beta glucans support the immune system, found in porridge or an immune support from www.cytoplan.co.uk
To ease your Hayfever symptoms call for an appointment with Jo on 01277 623534
This friday is the last opening evening for 2013, we will be there from 7pm - 9pm but please be aware the Chelmer Valley High School are having there fireworks night at the school, so Broomfield Village will be very busy, with children and traffic, please drive carefully.
This is where we will be sharing our thoughts on topics that matter to me. Who knows... we might even share pictures, videos and links to other interesting stuff if we get this right
If we catch your interest, let me hear from you.