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Spring 2013 newsletter


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Stockport & District NCT branch newsletter

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Spring 2013 newsletter

  1. 1. Stockport & District NCT Spring 2013 Newsletter Pdf EditionTo view in booklet format, open with Acrobat Reader X then go to View - Page Display - 2 Page View 1
  2. 2. Spring 2013TIME OUT:Environment & Nature In this issue:  Going Green - Hints & Tips Grow Your Own  Herbs for Breastfeeding Birthaid! The First Few Sacred Days Acupuncture During Pregnancy Cloth Nappies Osteopathy  Eco-friendly Toys Birth stories, arts & crafts, regular features... and much more!Stockport and DistrictPlease don‟t throw me away, pass me on to a friend todayCopyright © NCT 2013 • Alexandra House, Oldham Terrace London W3 6NH • Registered charity no. 801395
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  4. 4. Contents Spring 2013 - Environment & NatureRegular & Local Features Topical FeaturesWelcome - Editor‟s Note 4 Going Green 14Welcome - Chair‟s Note 5 Real Nappies 16Out & About: Farms 6 Grow Your Own 20Stockport & District News 10 The Green Toybox 24Births & Members 12 Herbs for Nursing Mothers 36Birth Story: Ellie Thouret 50 Acupuncture for Birth 40Get Crafty!: Easter Nests 54 Osteopathy 42In the News 56 Birthaid! 45Meet the Team 57The Cutest Thing! 58District Yellow PagesNCT National Contacts 27Local Support 27What We Do 28Local Meet-ups 29NCT Spring Social 30Nearly New Sale 31Info for Advertisers 33Branch Contacts 34 Find us on Facebook! Just search for “Stockport & District NCT” 4
  5. 5. Message from the Editor Spring is finally in the air, and with new life beginning in the field and forest it’s a time when many of us feel especially close to nature. The theme of this newsletter is Nature and the Environment, and we are delighted to be able to bring you a great selection of topical articles including guides on growing your own fruit and vegetables (p20) and natural healthcare in the days following birth (p45).We also take a look at the complementary therapies of osteopathy (p42)and acupuncture (p40), consider the use of herbs during breastfeeding(p36), get some ideas for eco-friendly play (p24) and step into the worldof cloth nappies (p16).On a personal note, at one point I thought this newsletter was never goingto get written! My husband, daughter and myself were all struck downwith a horrendous eye infection (hence the dark glasses in the pic - it’snot quite that sunny yet!) and Amelia spent several nights in hospital. I’dlike to say a huge thank-you, first to the staff at Stepping Hill Hospitalfor taking such great care of my little girl, and secondly to all thevolunteers at Stockport & District NCT who have helped to pull thisnewsletter together and make sure it still gets to you on time!Julia DohertyNewsletter Editor If you have an article, birth story, feature or opinion to contribute, we would love to hear from you. Our next issue‟s theme is Health but even if your article or idea does not fit the theme please send it in as we may be able to use it in future publications. Copy deadline for the Summer issue is 1st May 2013. Contact our Editor: 5
  6. 6. Message from the ChairWelcome to our Spring Edition of the newsletter. After the weekly coldsnaps of January and February hopefully by the time you read this therewill be signs of Spring on the way! On the theme of this newsletter - ourenvironment can be so uplifting at this time of year – there is nothing nicerthan a field of daffodils or a street filled with pink blossom trees.Hopefully we can start getting out and about again and enjoy the parks andlocal outdoor attractions!The branch continues to grow in terms of volunteers and members. I wouldlike to welcome Meg, Clodagh and Julia to the Committee. Thank you to allcommittee members for your continued hard work as volunteers for thebranch. We are still in need of volunteers to oversee our twice-yearlyNearly New Sales and to help run our weekly baby group on Thursdays atHeaton Moor. If you are able to help with these or have an interest involunteering please get in touch with us.Our next Nearly New Sale is on Saturday 20 April at Cheadle HulmeMethodist Church from 10.30-12.00. We are looking for sellers for thissale. If you would like to earn some money from your good quality baby/maternity clothes/equipment/toys/books/DVDs please get in touch. Youwill also be helping to raise money for the NCT nationally to fund helplinesand services to all UK parents. Please see poster inside for more details.Our baby and toddler groups continue to run. We have something happeningeach day of the week across Stockport. Please don’t be afraid to comedown, and also do bring your friends. Non-members are welcome at all ourevents. We are planning a New Members/Branch Social evening in April.Please look out for details of this on our web page/Facebook groups andupdate email. Would be great for us to have some ‘me’ time to socialise withother adults!If you have any suggestions or feedback for the branch please do get intouch. Hope you have a great Easter break, and for those of you waitingfor school choices (like me) good luck!Annabel IrvineBranch Chair Contact our Chair: 6
  7. 7. Out & About Out & AboutFocus on: Animal Parks & Farms Spring is a great time to get out and about in nature, so why not visit your local farm or petting zoo? At this time of year there is so much to see and do, from lambing at Tatton Park, to Easter Egg hunts at Smithills Farm, as well as petting baby chicks and bunnies and feeding baby goats and lambs. The kids will love it!Please check websites listed for opening times, prices,accessibility and general information.Smithills Open Farm, Smithills Dean Road, Bolton BL1 within 70 acres of rolling countryside a few miles north of Bolton, Smithillsis a family run farm housing many kinds of animal including cows, pigs, goats,sheep, pythons, llamas, owls, eagles, donkeys, stick insects, peacock anddeer. Animal feed can be bought for 50p and during summer children can alsohelp bottle feed the lambs. The farm includes a petting area where childrencan hold the baby animals and also has an adventure playground with aninflatable assault course. Tractor rides and pony rides are available daily for£1 a go. From 2nd - 9th April Easter egg hunts will run twice a day at SmithillsFarm, starting at 12pm and 2.30pm.Home Farm, Tatton Park, KnutsfordWA16 Farm lies within the grounds ofhistoric Tatton Park. In this working farmchildren can feed the goats and hens, meetthe pigs, cows, horses and donkeys, andtake a peek inside a 1930‟scottage. Piglets are born several times ayear, so there will usually be some to see.In addition, lambing will take place from 2April to 12 April so if you visit during thistime you may even be lucky enough to seethe new lambs being born! Meeting Home Farm’s new arrivals 7
  8. 8. Out & About Out & AboutStockley Farm, Arley,Northwich CW9 visit to Stockley Farmstarts with a free tractor ridefrom the car park. On arrival atthe farm visitors can make theirway to see a variety of animalsincluding cows and calves, pigs,goats and lambs. The farm‟spetting area holds rabbits,guinea pigs, chicks andducklings, and children are also Bottle feeding at Stockley Farmable to help bottle feed the babylambs and goats.In summer, sheep races are held plus at weekends there are bird of preydisplays. At 3.30pm every day you can watch the cows being milked via aspecial viewing gallery. The farm has indoor and outdoor play areas with sandpits, bouncy castle, sit on rides and a climbing area made up of hay bales.Reddish Vale Farm, Reddish Vale Road, Reddish SK5 is a small local farm, set out perfectly for young children.The farmyard animals include horses, pigs, sheep, llamas, alpacas, donkeysand goats, and there is also a petting area where children can hold smallanimals like guinea pigs and rabbits. Children can feed many of the animalswith carrots bought from the farm (50p a bucket). There is also a bouncycastle and a selection of free ride-on tractors and trailers.On Sundays from 1-3pm pony rides are available for £2.Heaton Park Farm, Manchester M25 Park is a huge park owned and managed by Manchester City Council.The park houses an animal centre where children can meet a variety ofanimals including cows, alpacas and goats. The centre includes a pets‟ cornerwhere children can hold the smaller animals, and there is a small hatcherywhich allows people to watch birds laying and looking after their eggs if anyare being laid at the time of a visit. 8
  9. 9. Out & AboutAgricultural and Rural Centre, 5 Quarry Road, Romiley SK6 ARC is a not-for-profit community initiative, set up to help and supportchildren and adults with disabilities, but which also runs groups that are opento all children within the Greater Manchester area. A parent and toddler groupmeets Thursdays and Fridays 11.00-12.30 and Saturdays 1.00-2.30. Herechildren have access to the farm and to the centre‟s minibeast manor. Spaceis limited to 10 places, so booking in advance is essential. The ARC alsooffers an ideal setting for children‟s parties, where children can meet and feedthe animals and take part in additional activities including Alpaca Trekking,Pony or Piglet Pampering and Goat Grooming.The Chestnut Centre, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire SK23 Chestnut Centre is an owl and otter conservation park on the edge of thePeak District. Among the species housed here are rare giant otters, which youcan view through a ground level glass wall or an aerial viewing platform (my 10month old loved it when the otters played and made noises, and even tried toimitate them!) The otters habitat is based around a natural mountain stream,which feeds a descending series of enclosures around the park. The centrealso houses many other species including polecats, foxes wildcats and deer.It is set up well for families with young children, although we found it easier tocarry my daughter than to take the buggy over rocky ground. Our visit to the Chestnut Centre 9
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  11. 11. NCT Stockport & District News NCT Stockport participate in the Rotary Club Santa Float On a freezing but dry night on 12 December a group of volunteers led by Antenatal Teacher Jane Broadbent joined the Rotary Club Santa Float. Jane‟s Father was a very charming Santa, sitting on the newly refurbished float. We visited several hundred households in central Bramhall. It was great to see excited children come out to meet Santa and get a sweet!Thank you to the Bramhall and Woodford Rotary Club for continuing to includeus in this very worthwhile and well organised annual event, and to theresidents who we visited for their donations My Year of Firsts Fundraising Party a Great Success!We ran a fun Saturday morningfundraising party called “My Year ofFirsts” for 30 families from thebranch. The idea behind the partywas to celebrate all the various“firsts” that happen over the earlyyears of a baby‟s life.We had brilliant entertainment fromTina at Baby Sensory EastCheshire. All the children andparents had a fantastic time playingwith her various props, bubbles, giant air-filled balls and of course singing andsigning to the song “Say hello to the sun!” A light lunch was provided for thechildren and plenty of cakes and hot drinks for the adults. We raised over£100 for the charity. Thank you to Angela for all her hard work with this event. 11
  12. 12. NCT Stockport & District News Stockport Maternity Services Liaison Committee - Report by Lou BaxterIn January I attended the Stockport Maternity Services Liaison Committeemeeting at Stepping Hill hospital. The committee is set up to help improvelocal maternity services and a meeting takes place every 2 months. Serviceusers are an important part of the committee and we are looking for newmembers who have used local maternity services in the last 5 years, thisincludes partners and mums to be. You can attend meetings and be a coremember or be part of a wider group of associate members on an email listcontacted for comments when needed. If you are interested pleaseemail with your details expressing how you feel youcould participate. Meetings take place every two months and last about 90minutes so its not a huge time commitment.Venue: Ground floor Education room, Women’s Unit, Stepping Hill HospitalTime: 7:00pm-8:30pmFuture Dates: Wednesday, 8th May Tuesday, 2nd July Wednesday, 11th September Wednesday, 11th November Branch Vacancies We urgently need more volunteers to help us to run your branch. Registered volunteers receive a discount on their membership fee! In particular we are looking for: Nearly New Sale Co-ordinator - to run our twice-yearly sales. This role would suit somebody who can spare time twice a year in the run- up to the sales (working mainly in the evenings managing emails from sellers in the month before a sale). There is an experienced team of helpers in place to support this role. The role can be shared. Host for Heaton Moor Bumps & Babies Group (Thursdays). Host for Heald Green/Gatley Bumps & Babies Group. If you can help with any of these roles please get in touch with Annabel on 12
  13. 13. New Members Rachel and Padraic - Heaton Mersey  Claire and Graeme - Heaton Moor Adele and Barry - Heaton Moor  Alyson and Miles - Marple Bridge Louise and Michael - Cheadle Hulme  Callie and Andrew - Edgeley Helen and Dave - Strines  Karen and Doug - Marple Leanne and Adam - Heaton Chapel  Natalie and Tom - Cheadle Hulme Rachel and Richard - Bramhall  Angharad and George - Stockport Nicola and Simon - Offerton  Jane and Stewart - Strines Christina and Brian - Gatley  Helen and Simon - Cheadle Hulme Vanessa and Simon - Bramhall  Joanne and David - Heaton Mersey New Arrivals If you have a Birth or First Birthday announcement you‟d like us to print please send the details to Photo announcements are welcome. Parisa and Donal Katie and Ben gave birth to: gave birth to: Saoirse Doherty Ewan on 19th October 2012 on 30th October 2012 weighing 7lbs 5ozs weighing 7lbs 5ozs 13
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  15. 15. Going Green We asked for tips on running an eco-friendly household. Here were some of your suggestions...Save all your old boxes Soapnuts are an If you want to clear the airand jars and use them amazing natural of odours, just pour out afor craft activities. You small bowlful of product. They are thecan make anything from bicarbonate of soda andfruit of the Chinesemusical shakers to leave it in the room tocereal box robots and soapberry tree and soak up unwanted smells.egg box crocodiles! This release a natural form - Kathkind of junk modelling of soap when theyreally encourages Read books about the come into contact withcreativity in children too, environment with water. Great for thein a way that many your children. The laundry, or even as ancommercial toys and “Over in…” series bycraft sets do not. all-natural shampoo. Marianne Berkes are- Marie lovely rhyming picture - Claire books that even veryIf you struggle to clean I know it’s not easy or young children can possible for everyone,the insides of small- enjoy. - Amber but breastfeeding is thenecked bottles, just fill most eco-friendly way tothem part way with We have a compost feed your child. Quitegravel then add a mix bin, and the kids aside from the manyof vinegar and love to help fill it health benefits forbicarbonate of soda. with scraps of old mother and baby, breastShake the bottle so food and garden -feeding is best for the waste. Don’t add environment, requiringthat the gravel reaches potato peelings to no packaging andall the dirt and grime, creating no carbonthen empty out and the compost, though, footprint either. as they will sproutrinse with water. - Amy - Yvonne and ruin the soil.Ketchup can be used - Deborah NCT Nearly New Sales areto clean brass. Just a great way to recyclerub some on with a Olive oil can be used your old toys and babyclean cloth, then buff to polish shoes, and as clothes, and grab some a furniture polish on un bargains yourself too!it off for a sparkling -varnished wood. - Tess -Juliafinish.- Jane 15
  16. 16. Going GreenMix bicarbonate of Tea tree oil issoda with water for Try to buy toys that are naturally antiseptica great multi- made from sustainable and antibacterial and wood rather thansurface cleaner. is great for killing plastics. But be wary ofYou can also add a toxic paints that may be mould. Put afew drops of on older wooden toys or teaspoonful in a sprayessential oil to cheap imports. - Renee bottle full of waterfragrance it or to and spray onto anymake use of the oil’s When M was teething affected surfaces afterproperties. - Jane we got some amber cleaning to prevent teething beads and mould from returning.We cloth diaper and only found them really - Susanbuy organic cotton baby effective. Amber We’ve just bought aclothes. Non-organic releases a natural and wormery and the childrencotton production usesmore harmful chemicals safe analgesic (pain (age 5 and 8) arethan any other crop, and relief) which is fascinated by it.- Lornathe chemical residues absorbed through the Grow your own fruit andcan irritate baby’s skin. You can get veg! It’s fun, rewarding,sensitive skin. - Alicia necklaces, bracelets or and most of all it’s eco- anklets. - Casey friendly. Pick fast and easyForget about plastic growing plants for youngerteething rings - a stick children (radishes, runner Walk to school withof raw carrot or beans, or pots of cress your children,cucumber straight make good starters). That rather than takingfrom the fridge makes way they won’t get bored the car. It’s better or discouraged waiting forthe best natural for their health too! their crop to grow. - Joteething aid - Rebecca - Emma Old plastic milk bottlesUse a steam cleaner to Make the natural have many uses - cutremove stubborn dirt world a part of your the tops off and use aswithout the use of everyday life. Go forchemicals. Also, check out paint pots or walks in the for side with your paintbrush holders, orinformation on chemical children, and talk google “milk bottlesensitivity and handy tips about what you find trowel“ for aon chemical free cleaning there. - Julia particularly good one!- Claire - Linda 16
  17. 17. Real NappiesSarah Rands, ManchesterFor many of us nowadays, starting out with cloth nappies can seemlike a daunting option. Here Sarah Rands, of Manchester RealNappies, offers a guide to the different types of cloth nappy onthe market to help you decide what is right for you and your baby...I was delighted to receive an email From then on, we never lookedasking me to contribute an article to back. Adam has been cloth-the Spring Edition of the magazine; bummed from birth, there was neverthere is nothing I enjoy more than any doubt that it would be any otherspreading some fluffy love! way. I set up as aAbout nappy advisor inme… 2010, to offer other mums theI am a full-time service I somum to Noah desperately(born 25/12/08) wished Id foundand Adam (born earlier. I dont20/08/12); and see what I do asthere is nothing I a job, but as alike better than vocation - I wantspending time to help otherwith them and helping them explore families have a great experiencethe world. I looked at going cloth with cloth. Im not here to persuadewhen I was pregnant with Noah, but you to use washable nappies. Oncewas not prepared to spend a large you have decided that real nappiesamount of money on something that are for you, Im here to help youmight not work; especially when I make the best choice for you. I amcouldnt see or feel what I was offering simple, honest advice andbuying. So I used disposables. recommendations; and I believeUnfortunately for him, Noah has there is a cloth solution for everysensitive skin and reacted to every household.brand of disposable nappy we tried.So we had to try cloth nappies. I It‟s not just about getting you inmade lots of mistakes along the way, cloth; its about getting you in theuntil, when Noah was 8 months old, I cloth that‟s right for you. I hope thefound a nappy advisor; and she gave following guide will help you alongme some much needed advice. the way... 17
  18. 18. Real NappiesAbout the nappies… All In One Nappies (AIO) All-in-one nappies are put on in exactly the same way as a Nappies are now made from disposable. They require no extra the softest, modern fabrics; components, no covers or inserts – have shaped designs in nothing! But unlike a disposable, vibrant colours and some when you take it off, you wash and even fasten like disposables! re-use rather than throwing it away! AIO nappies are the easiest to use Reusable nappies are not of all washable nappies, but may only better for the take longer to dry. environment, they are super soft and fluffy; better for babies’ bottoms; and save Pocket Nappies you money too! Pocket nappies are designed to be easy to use, quick to dry and During infancy your baby will downright cute! Pockets are defined spend approximately 25,000 by an opening at the back allowing hours in nappies, and need you to „stuff‟ the nappy with about 6,000 nappy changes – absorbent inserts. This allows you to control the level of absorbency so your decision to use either real nappies or depending on your babies‟ needs. disposables will have a big Pockets are often favoured by impact on your baby’s health nurseries, as once assembled they and well-being, your wallet go on just like an AIO or disposable. and your planet. As all the parts separate easily, they are super-quick to dry. Disposable nappies take up approximately half a wheelie Two Part Nappies bin per week… Are you on a Two-part nappies have a waterproof fortnightly collection? wrap, and a prefold, flat or fitted nappy inside for absorbency. Cloth nappies and all added Prefolds and flat nappies are one of extras (including laundering) the cheapest ways to use cloth will cost less than half what nappies, but they can be a little fiddly you could spend on to use especially if you have a disposables wriggly baby! Fitted or shaped nappies work in exactly the same Most cloth nappies will see way as prefolds and flat nappies, but you through multiple there is no folding required as they children are already shaped perfectly for little bottoms! With this system you may 18
  19. 19. Real Nappiesnot have to change the wrap at Birth-to-Potty vs Sizedevery nappy change. Some cloth nappies are sized in the same way as disposables, so youFastenings will need to buy newThe most common fastenings for nappies as yourwashable nappies are aplix (also baby grows.called Velcro, hook-and-loop); snaps However unlike(poppers); nappy pins and nappi disposables therenippas (the new improved nappy are usually only 2 orpins, so no need to prod your baby!) 3 sizes. Birth-to-potty nappies fit fromAccessories around 7 to 35lbs,Apart from the obvious (your and are verynappies!) you will also need a nappy adjustable; so theybucket or storage bag and a wet bag should fit from whenfor your changing bag. You may you are ready toalso want nappy liners to go in your start using cloth untilnappies. It is also always worth your little one isconsidering washable wipes. ready to potty train! Breastfeeding Friendly Stockport! Breastfeeding while out and about can be daunting at first. Knowledge of breastfeeding friendly venues can boost confidence when heading out. To coincide with World Breastfeeding Week we plan to publish a feature on local breastfeeding friendly venues in our next newsletter. Do you know of a café, restaurant, leisure centre or other venue in Stockport (or even the Greater Manchester area) where you or someone you know felt comfortable breastfeeding? If so, please drop us a line at, giving the venue name and location, what you found good about it, and any other details you think may be helpful to other parents. 19
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  21. 21. Grow Your Own!John Halsall, TarporleyGrowing your own food can be a very rewarding experience foradults and children alike. Here NCT husband John Halsallshares some handy tips on what to plant to get the best out ofthe experience no matter what your size of garden or level ofgardening knowledge…It started with a radish ……………It was grown in a strip of soil behind the shed.I was aged 7 and since then, to a greater orlesser extent, I‟ve always grown my own.This is a simple appeal to encourage you andyour kids to have a go at growing some of yourown food this year.WHY …………Stuff you grow yourself tastes better than things you buy in the shops. It‟s a cliché, but it‟s true.Kids love to play with soil and it‟s a great way to get them interested in food. If they are not that keen on eating their fruit and veg this may help.You can be “organic”. You probably won‟t get a certificate from the Soil Association but you can be sure about what is going onto the food you and your family eat.It‟s great to be outside in the fresh air and, if you choose to, digging is a great form of exercise.If you are worried about “food miles” it‟s only a few “food metres” from the garden to your kitchen.LET’S START SMALL ……….If you‟ve only got a tiny garden or just want to have a bit of fun with the kids,why not try growing some things in tubs and containers. They won‟t feed afamily of four but they will give you a taste of home grown veg and could makea few nice salads to enjoy with the BBQ. 21
  22. 22. Grow Your Own!Why not try ………..Salad Leaves – Garden centres sell loads of mixed salad leaves seeds(sometimes referred to “as cut and come again” varieties). These contain amixture of different lettuce types and you can pull a few leaves off each tomake an interesting salad base. Sow them thinly in a plastic trough and, if theweather is good, you could be eating them in a few weeks.Tomatoes – Probably the easiest way is to buy a couple of tomato plants froma garden centre in the spring and simply plant them into a 12” (or bigger) potfilled with compost. Choose an outdoor bush variety such as “Gardener‟sDelight” and they will need no maintenance, other than regular watering. Makesure they‟re in a sunny position and you can‟t go wrong. Nothing tastes betterthan a sun warmed tomato picked straight from the plant – kids love them.Herbs – These are great and take no effort. A large pot, planted with a fewherb plants from the garden centre will help to liven up your spag boll. I‟d gofor rosemary, dill, parsley, chives and thyme. Herbs don‟t mind a bit of droughtso don‟t worry about watering them too often. Keep them in a sunny spot,near the back door if possible so you can just pick a few sprigs as you‟recooking.GO ORNAMENTAL ……..The French would probably call this a Potager i.e. “an ornamental kitchengarden”. If you want to grow a bit more but don‟t want to dig up the garden,why not incorporate a few things into your existing garden. Lots of vegetableplants are very ornamental and will blend into the existing garden whilstproviding a few tasty treats. Garden centres will have all of these so you don‟thave to think about growing from seed unless you want to!Runner Beans – Not everyone‟s favourite, but if you grow them yourself, pickthem young, before they get stringy, you will be converted. Make a wigwamout of 4 or 5 bamboo canes in a border and plant one or two plants at thebottom of each cane. Water well in the early stages to get them growing.Beans are prolific flowerers so you will get a great show as well as loads ofbeans.Lettuce – time to expand your range and incorporate a few different varietiesin amongst the flower beds. I would always grow these from seed as they areso easy. When the soil has warmed up, May would be fine, sprinkle a fewseeds in a gap in the border and cover with a fine layer of soil. When they‟ve 22
  23. 23. Grow Your Own!germinated, thin out so they are six inches apart. Use the ones you‟ve pulledup in a salad. Waste not, want not! Leave the remaining plants to mature intofully grown lettuce.Strawberries – I think you probably need a field of plants to get a decentdessert for a family on a regular basis but that‟s not what we are aiming forhere! We just want a treat. A few strawberry plants dotted in a sunny borderor in a big tub will provide a few delicious summer morsels. Ours get eatenstraight off the plants and never make it as far as the kitchen.Courgettes – If you‟ve got a bigger gap you want to fill why not try a courgetteplant. Garden centres sell these and one or two plants will provide enough foryou and your neighbours! Be careful though as they can grow to over a metrein diameter. Jamie‟s Courgette Carbonara is a great way to use them.GETTING A BIT MORE SERIOUS ……….If you‟ve got the space and fancy going for something in a bigger way why notdig up some grass and go for a full blown vegetable garden. Even a patch 3mx 3m would give you a chance to try a wider variety of things.My advice would be not to grow “standard stuff” which, by the time yours isready, will be cheap and plentiful in the shops. I would focus on taste. Thingscooked straight from the garden taste so much better than things which havetravelled half way around the world and then sat in a fridge for days!New Potatoes – Potatoes can get a bit complicated, with loads of varieties,first earlies, second earlies, maincrop ………… forget about it. Go to thegarden centre, pick some “seed potatoes” with early on the label, plant themaccording to the instructions and then dig them up when they have flowered.It‟s as easy as that and they will taste sublime ….. I know we are lucky withCheshire potatoes around here but your own taste even better.Sweetcorn – Apparently it‟s all about sugar. As soon as a sweetcorn cob ispicked the sugar starts to turn to starch. If you pick them and take themstraight to the pot you will be amazed how good they taste. BUT beware abadger ate most of mine this year ….. he/she is a convert too!Salad crops – If you have a bit more space, and if you sow things little andoften it‟s easy to be self sufficient for salad crops through the summer.Try salad leaves, spring onions, radishes and a few tomatoes. 23
  24. 24. Grow Your Own!Beetroot – These are dead easy and have been a revelation to our kids.Forget pickling, just roast them wrapped in a foil parcel with garlic, thyme, oliveoil and balsamic vinegar. An absolute must with the Sunday roast.GETTING REALLY SERIOUS ……….If you want to go the whole hog or want to upgrade why not get an allotment.This is where I have ended up!An allotment allows you to grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetables on ascale where you can be self sufficient for most of the year.Local councils have allotment sites available and there may be otherorganisations in your area which have allotment sites. The best approach is tokeep your eyes open and if you are passing a site call in and ask someone.We are a friendly bunch and will tell you how to go about joining the ranks!!! 24
  25. 25. The Green ToyboxCaroline Carpenter, OxfordshireProviding stimulating play options for your children needn’t costthe Earth, as Caroline Carpenter shows in her guide to some ofthe more eco-friendly toys on the market, as well as some youcan make yourself…Recycling When toys have been outgrown pass them on to others. Or if you are looking for something new for your child don‟t forget second-hand toys. Small children are not too proud to receive something that has been owned by someone else. And a second-hand toy does not come with all that irritating packaging that just hinders you from playing with it! The ideal opportunity to pick up or pass on excellent used toys in good condition is NCT Nearly New Sales. Also try charity shops. Children hanker after certain toys long after they have gone out of production. (Here speaks a woman with a Thunderbird-crazy 4-year-old!) We have bought beloved toys second-hand from eBay.Battery operated toys Try to avoid battery-hungry toys altogether but if you must have a battery driven toy make sure you use re-chargeable batteries. Alternatively there are items such as musical boxes that are wound by hand or even a few solar-powered toys. See Organisations such as Traidcraft and Oxfam offer a range of toys, including footballs, rag dolls and wooden puzzles. They ensure that people in developing countries are offered a fair wage and good working conditions. Also see and from recycled materials How about a teepee, Wendy house, rocket, fort or dolls‟ house made from recycled cardboard? They are easy to assemble (and pack away flat in a protective storage case when you have finished playing) and, as they are made from plain cardboard, they offer a blank canvas for your child‟s own personal decoration. Try pencil cases, lunch boxes, backpacks, tidy boxes and aprons made from recycled drinks cartons. See,, and for some of the recycled products on offer. 25
  26. 26. The Green ToyboxMade from materials from Eco-friendly sources Organic cotton toys are suitable from birth and a particularly appropriate for children with allergies or sensitive skin. Wooden toys from simple puzzles to pull-along trains to swing seats can be purchased from companies that ensure they obtain their wood from sustainable sources. (To make sure look for the Forest Stewardship Council logo that guarantees wood is from sustainably managed supplies.)DIY or Make-do-and-mend You don‟t have to be a sewing machine goddess or a craft diva to create a few fun items from recycled materials. Sock puppets, robots made from junk, pictures made from shells or leaves - it could even be fun! Make up your own games using items from around the house or garden. Try obstacle races or crazy golf using flowerpots, garden chairs or anything else you can find. The perennial favourite – the kitchen band. Bang on saucepans with wooden spoons or crash lids together for cymbals. Do this on a headache- free day! Large cardboard boxes are fantastic things! Turn them into cars, boats, aeroplanes, dolls‟ beds, houses or just put them out in the garden and let the children climb in and around them. Have fun painting them, sticking things on and getting generally messy. And when you have finished with them put them in the recycling bin. (Although in my experience the children have enjoyed making them and playing with them so much that they hate to part with them!) Try dressing up clothes made from old clothes, either from the back of your wardrobe or from charity shops. Cut sleeves off that are too long or add scalloped edges. Draw on designs with fabric paints or sew on simple felt shapes. (Felt does not fray and so doesn‟t require hemming but it doesn‟t take kindly to machine washing.) Add costume jewellery – the gaudier the better. (But keep an eye on small children in necklaces.) 26
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  28. 28. Stockport and District Yellow PagesNCT Numbers NCT National ‘One Line’ helpline number: 0300 330 0700 For all subjects including: Pregnancy and Birth Breastfeeding Postnatal Shared Experience EnquiriesTextphone: 020 8993 6714Fax: 0844 243 6001Membership: 0844 243 7000Antenatal Bookings: Services Administrator: 0844 243 6971 (class bookings)Local Branch Enquiries: 0844 243 6282 (local rate)NCT WebsitesAntenatal classes: Stockport website: Local NumbersBreastfeeding Stockport: Sarah McKie Breastfeeding Specialist Midwife 0161 419 5502 Mobile 07767 870506 Family Info Link: 0808 800 0606 28
  29. 29. What’s on Offer?Antenatal ClassesThese are small and friendly courses run by NCT trained teachersand are arranged so that partners can come too. The courseexplains many subjects including birth choices, labour positions, painrelief, breastfeeding and life with a new baby. Space is limited soplease book early. For more info, dates and availability pleasee-mail or visit our Coffee Contacts Coffee contacts are often the first point of contact for new members. They are volunteers responsible for co-ordinating the members in each particular area of Stockport, providing a warm welcome and promoting relevant activities to those in their area. They are also a general source of knowledge and information on the child-friendly activities in their area (NCT and non-NCT). Please see next page for details of your local contact orcontact the Parent Support Co-ordinator (Lizzie) stockportnctparents@gmail.comDrop-insStockport & District NCT offer a range of local drop-in groups.Bumps and Babies groups are for pregnant members and members with babies (under1s generally). Older siblings are welcome with a baby. These are friendly groups whereyou come to have tea, cake and a chat with other mums. Open to all (members andnon members). Some groups charge a small entry fee, others just charge forrefreshments.Toddler Time is for walkers/pre-school age children. It is held in a public soft playcentre but our group has a reserved sofa area in the cafe. The entrance fee includes adrink and biscuit for the children. Please see next page for full listings.Nearly New SalesThe cost of kitting out your child for the first fiveyears can run into thousands of pounds. NCT NearlyNew Sales are the perfect solution, offeringaffordable accessories for you while fundraising tosupport other parents in the UK.Sales are open to both members and non-members,although NCT members have the benefit of earlyaccess to the sale.Stockport & District Nearly New Sales run twice yearly in Cheadle Hulme.For more information e-mail 29
  30. 30. Area by AreaCheadle Heath/ Coffee contact: Meg aletea@gmail.comDavenport/Edgeley: Bumps, Babies & Beyond Fridays 10am-11.30am Held weekly at members’ homes (no requirement to host) Please see our facebook group NCT Cheadle Heath, Edgeley and Davenport for details of the rota.Bramhall/ Coffee contact: Julia joolzdavison@hotmail.comHazel Grove/Cheadle/Gatley: Bumps and Babies Fridays 10.00am – 11.30am (all year round) St Michael’s Church Hall, St Michael’s Avenue, Bramhall SK7 2PG Contact Tracey nctstmichaels@gmail.comThe Heatons: Coffee contacts: Petra and Sarah Bumps & Babies Thursdays 11.30am-12.30pm The Orangery, 54 Heaton Moor Road, SK4 4NZ Contact Sarah srakane@gmail.comMarple: Coffee contact: Annie Bumps, Babies & Beyond Wednesdays from 1.30pm Wyevale Garden Centre, Dooley Lane SK6 7HE Contact Annie or see our Facebook page Marple NCT Bumps & Babies for up-to-date information Toddler Time Mondays from 10.00am (term-time only) Rough & Tumble, Goyt Mill, Upper Hibbert Lane Marple SK6 7HX Contact Tracey (07595 020276) 30
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  33. 33. ADVERTISING FEATUREIf youre like us and need more space, help is at hand. Our friends at BigYellow rent secure storage rooms from as small as 10 sq ft to as large as 500 sqft, from as little as 7 days, to as long as you need. As an NCT member, just quote‘NCT’ either in store or at to get an extra 10% off your storage. 33
  34. 34. Now from Stockport NCT Hire and sales of breast pumps from the leading Swiss manufacturer:Why express milk to feed your baby? • There may be various reasons: Yourbaby is in special or intensive care • You are apart from your baby, to go out orto work • For comfort, if your breasts are engorged or if your nipples are sore(whilst you review baby‟s positioning and attachment to solve these issues) • Tosupplement your babys direct breastfeed if there is concern about how activelyhe is feeding, and to help him gain weight • To boost your milk supply byincreasing demand. For further information and rates please contact NCT Volunteer Breast Pump Agent Maria Novelly 0161 431 5037 • ARDO is WHO code compliant and supports breastfeeding. AdvertisingThis quarterly newsletter goes to clinics, health professionals and hospitals,Glo Family and other play areas as well as to new and expectant parents inthe Stockport area, with a current print run of 450.Rates for advertising in the newsletter start at just £30 for a half page, withdiscounts given for multiple insertions booked in advance.We can also send out your flyer or leaflet with each newsletter for only £36.To enquire about advertising with Stockport NCT please contact Angela:stockportnctadvertising@gmail.comThe deadline for the next issue will be 1st May 2013. It is the revenue from our advertisers that makes the publication of this newsletter possible - so if you use their products or services, please remember to let them know that you saw their ad in our NCT newsletter! 34
  35. 35. Key Branch ContactsChair: Annabel stockportnctchair@gmail.comTreasurer: Emily stockportncttreasurer@gmail.comNearly New Sale Treasurer: Stephen stockportncttreasurer@gmail.comBranch Secretary Clodagh Secretary: Billie-Jo stockportnctmembership@gmail.comAdvertising Co-ordinator: Angela stockportnctadvertising@gmail.comFundraising Co-ordinator: VACANT stockportnctfundraising@gmail.comGrant Application Treasurer: Sarah stockportnctfundraising@gmail.comNewsletter Editor: Julia stockportnctnewsletter@gmail.comPublicity Co-ordinator Ellie stockportnctpublicity@gmail.comParent Support Co-ordinator: Lizzie stockportnctparents@gmail.comWeb Editor: Tom stockportnctweb@gmail.comHome Birth Group Contact: Jay S 07807 189562 bethandtash@hotmail.comNearly New Sale Team: stockportnctnearlynewsale@gmail.comAntenatal Teachers: Jane Sally-July Heather Jane Laura Sarah Sue Jay S bethandtash@hotmail.comBreastfeeding Counsellors: Maria 0161 431 5037 Annie 0161 449 0377 annie.simmonite@gmail.comARDO Breast Pump Agent: Maria maria.novelly@googlemail.comValley Cushion Agent: Jo K 07876 318690 jo.kennedy@ntlworld.comPSA Link: Heather hthorpe105@aol.comUser Rep: Sally-July 35
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  37. 37. Herbs for Nursing MothersAvani Rose, StockportHerbs are plants that can be used in food, medicine or perfume.In this article Avani Rose takes a look at the effect of a varietyof herbs on breastmilk production, the nursing mother and herbaby...Like many breastfeeding mothers, I sought the advice of an appropriatehave been keen to limit my intake of practitioner.caffeine. I tried decaffeinated coffeebut didn‟t like the taste, and after Some herbs can affect blood sugarreading how decaffeination could levels, so it is particularly importantactually increase certain health risks, to seek medical advice if you sufferI turned my attention to herbal teas. from conditions such as diabetes, orI enrolled on a correspondence if you have any known allergies.course, learning about the medicinalproperties of different herbs, andmaking my own herbal teas (or Milk increasing teastisanes, as they are more properly (galactagogues)known) became something of ahobby. For centuries, herbs have been used around the globe to boost milkOne thing that became clear to me supply. This can be very useful forwas that all herbs have some kind of people who want a natural solutioneffect on the body and so it is to supply issues. However, beforeessential to do your research before trying to increase your milk youeven consuming off-the shelf herbal should make sure low supply reallyteas or remedies. Due to my own is the problem, perhaps bysituation, I was particularly interested consulting a breastfeedingin the properties of herbs in relation counsellor, as feeding problems areto breastfeeding and thought I would often caused by other factors suchshare some of my research with you as the baby‟s latch and increasingnow. milk supply beyond what is needed can cause its own problems. HerePlease note, I am not a qualified are some of the better known herbalherbalist or medical practitioner, and galactagogues:have written the following only as aguide based on my own research Fenugreek: Fenugreek is one of theand experience. If you are unsure few herbs that has actually been theabout the safety of any substance, it subject of scientific study in relationis best to avoid it until you have to lactation, with results supporting 37
  38. 38. Herbs for Nursing Mothersits galactagogue effect.A study published in the September2000 issue of the Academy ofBreastfeeding Medicines journalmeasured the breast milk productionof exclusively pumping motherstaking a fenugreek supplement threetimes daily and found their milkproduction increased by an averageof 124%. One harmless side effectof fenugreek is that it can cause themother‟s sweat, milk and urine tosmell of maple syrup or curry.Fennel: Fennel is a herbalgalactagogue that is thought to aid inpromoting let down rather thanactually increasing milk supply,which can be particularly helpful if Fennel: A botanical illustrationsupply is adequate but you arehaving trouble getting the flow nutrients that may boost milk supplystarted when pumping. Fennel can in breastfeeding mothers as well-aid digestion, so may also be helpful nourished mothers suffer from fewerin settling a fussy baby. One supply problems than under-advantage of fennel is that the tea is nourished mothers.actually rather pleasant tasting,unlike many of the other herbal Goat’s Rue: This traditionalpreparations! galactagogue has been used for centuries and gets its name becauseThistle (milk & blessed): Blessed dairy farmers noted a milkthistle and milk thistle are members production increase of 35-50% inof the asteraceae family of flowering animals who grazed on the wildplants which includes asters, daisies, herb. Fresh goat‟s rue can be toxicchamomile and sunflowers. Both so caution should be taken ifare thought to be galactagogues, wildcrafting the herb to prepare yourand milk thistle is also known for its own remedies.restorative effect on the liver. Nettle: Nettle is rich in vitamins andAlfalfa: Alfalfa is a mild minerals, and these are thought togalactagogue that is very high in increase milk production. It is oftenessential vitamins, minerals and combined with other galactagoguesother micronutrients. It may be these in commercial preparations. 38
  39. 39. Herbs for Nursing MothersCare must be taken, however, as the herbal discovery.herb has an astringent affect and inindividuals who are sensitive to this Ginger: Great to settle an upsetmilk production may be inhibited stomach, promotes an overall feelingrather than increased. of wellbeing.Raspberry Leaf: Best known for its Citrus & citrus peel (orange,use in toning the uterus before birth, lemon etc): Full of vitamins,raspberry leaf is also recognised as minerals and anti-oxidants, a greata galactagogue. As with nettle, boost to the immune system.caution must be exercised due to theherb‟s astringent effect. Rose hip: Contains high levels of immunity boosting vitamin C.Safe herbal teas Cinnamon: Eases indigestion, can fight the onset of colds and viral infections. Chamomile: Promotes restfulness and natural sleep. Can help settle a teething baby. Evening primrose: A very calming herb, thought to be a natural anti- depressant. Herbs to avoid There are some commonly usedIf you are not looking to increase herbs that reduce or impede milkmilk production, but want to find a supply and should therefore betea that is safe to drink while avoided by breastfeeding mothers.breastfeeding, then you may want to These include:consider some of the followingherbs. This is obviously not a Sagecomplete list, just a few of the more Mint/menthol (spearmint &common herbs and their better peppermint)known properties. It is amazing to Parsleythink that nature offers us this vast Oreganopharmacy in the form of plantlife,and I hope that it may inspire you to Thymeembark on your own journey of 39
  40. 40. Herbs for Nursing MothersIt is unclear whether using a small Herbs that should be avoidedamount of these herbs in cookery completely by breastfeedingwill have any impact on milk supply, mothers include goldenseal,but if you are at all concerned about rhubarb, liquorice root, guarana,the sage & onion stuffing you are ginseng, angelica root, ephedra andserving along with your Sunday senna leaf.roast, why not swap it for thedelicious traditional Scottish oatmeal Again this is by no means astuffing, as oats are known to have complete list, and any herbala beneficial effect on milk production preparation should be thoroughlyand also said to promote general researched before consumption,feelings of wellbeing: even if it is sold in a supermarket or health food store, as it may not beJust mix 100g rolled oats with 50g suitable in your specificsuet and a finely chopped onion, circumstances.adding a small amount of water ifnecessary to bind, and season totaste. 40
  41. 41. Acupuncture in Pregnancy & LabourEllie Thouret, Stockport & District BranchAcupuncture is a complementary therapy which treats patientsby inserting fine needles at certain points in the body. HereEllie Thouret talks about her experiences with acupuncture forfertility, pregnancy and labour.My first experience ofacupuncture was as a child,accompanying my dad to asession. I clearly rememberbeing upset at the thought ofmy dad being punctured withneedles, so the acupuncturistput a couple in my hand toshow me how it worked. Bothmy parents had regularacupuncture treatments for a Photo: Pat Olsonrange of conditions, and inthe 80s this was quiteuncommon! reasons behind my interest in acupuncture. She also explained in aWhen my husband and I decided to nutshell how acupuncture workedstart a family, a friend recommended and gave me the opportunity to askacupuncture as a safe, non-invasive questions.and non-pharmaceutical fertilitytreatment. She fell pregnant I initially had treatments for anxietyimmediately after her first treatment! I and stress, as well as to improveknew acupuncture couldnt fertility. Funnily enough, I fellguarantee that Id fall pregnant pregnant after my second treatment!straight away, but I liked the idea of I also felt much less anxious andcomplementary medicine (I also use generally happier, so I continued witharomatherapy and homeopathy), so I acupuncture throughout mydid some research and found Fiona pregnancy.Bullock, an acupuncturist in HazelGrove who has experience with An acupuncturist tailors treatments toantenatal acupuncture. you as an individual, taking many factors into account, which makes itI didnt really know what to expect at very different to Western first session, but Fiona made me As I suffered badly with morningfeel very comfortable. She took a full sickness during my first and secondmedical history and we explored the trimesters, many of my treatments 41
  42. 42. Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Labourwere geared towards providing relief. various pressure points during myFiona even gave me some tiny very short and painful labour, but Iacupressure balls to put into found it really helpful to cope with thepressure points in my ears, which pain, along with aromatherapy, yogaraised some eyebrows at work! breathing and positions. In the later stages, my husband helped me toWhen I started to prepare for labour, use one particular pressure pointI was interested to learn that (between the thumb and forefinger)acupuncture and acupressure can be to focus during contractions andused for pain relief. Fiona talked me concentrate on pushing.through various techniques to helpduring labour – there are some I found acupuncture very effectivepressure points which are even during pregnancy and I recommend itsupposed to help speed labour up, to everyone!help the baby engage in the correctposition, etc. British Acupuncture Council amazed that I remembered the 42
  43. 43. OsteopathyGemma Irvine, CheadleGemma Irvine, of Cheadle Osteopathy, explains how osteopathictreatment can benefit mother and baby during pregnancy andafter birth...When you find out you arepregnant it’s a very exciting time.There is a lot to do and preparefor – the nursery, prams, clothes…..the list goes on, but whatabout preparing your own bodyfor the huge changes ahead?What is Osteopathy?Osteopathy is a hands on treatmentfor the joints, muscles, nerves andligaments. We look at the body as awhole and recognise that problemsin one part of the body can have aknock on effect on the way we walkand move – subsequently affectingother areas and joints and muscles.The body is very good at adapting to changes within your body. Severalthese stresses but sometimes it is physical factors can determine howmore than it is able to cope with and well your body can adapt to thewe start to feel discomfort or pain. changes required.Osteopaths look for the root cause of Nobody‟s body is perfect, we allthe problem so we can treat it more carry various stresses and strainseffectively and prevent it from with us due to poor posture, previousreturning. injuries and strains of everyday life such as working and caring for children. Whilst normally your bodyYour body and adapts to these strains very well, thepregnancy increased pressure and demands of pregnancy makes this more difficultDuring pregnancy there are huge and pain can start to develop.physical, emotional and chemical 43
  44. 44. OsteopathyCommon problems in baby has to go through to be born.pregnancy include: The baby‟s whole body has to go Muscular and joint aches through several twists and turns in and pains order to be born. Cleverly a baby is designed with the birth process in Sciatica mind. They have tiny joints between Pubic symphysis the bones in their heads. These discomfort, pelvic girdle joints are very soft and allow the pain (SPD / PSD / PGP) bones to overlap, making the head Headaches smaller. This process is called Digestive discomfort e.g. “moulding”. heartburn Whilst it is beneficial that the baby‟sThrough massage, stretches and head and body are soft andjoint mobilisations, Osteopathy can “mouldable”, sometimes when thehelp to reduce strains within your stresses of labour are increased itbody. This enables you to can mean that the baby‟s body isaccommodate the changes better, easily strained and compressed.elevating your discomfort.Osteopathy is also great forpreparing your body for the labour.Reducing physical restrictions withinthe pelvis and lower back enablesyour pelvis to open more easily toallow the baby to pass through. Insome cases this allows a back toback or breech baby, for example,more room to wriggle and turn into abetter position for the birth.Welcome to the worldbaby….. When it doesn’t all goNow the time has come to meet yourbaby. However there is some hard quite to plan….work to be done first, by you and Cranial Osteopaths believe thatyour baby. While everyone several factors during birth canappreciates that birth can be a contribute to additional stresses andstressful and emotional time for the strains on the baby‟s head and body.mother, let‟s think about what the 44
  45. 45. OsteopathySlow labours: This can be a signthat the baby isn’t quite in the right What is Cranialposition and may need to twist and Osteopathy?wriggle a bit more to get out. Cranial osteopathy uses gentle andFast labours: Although this might subtle pressures anywhere on theseem like a good option, it doesn’t body (not just the head, as the namegive the baby’s body enough time to suggests) to relieve thesegradually mould to the birth canal. It compressions and strains. Cranialcan be a bit of a shock for mum and Osteopaths recognise thebaby. importance of subtle changes inMalpositioning/presentation (e.g. body mechanics and their effects onback to back or breech): This can the whole body. As children grow,make the labour more difficult and bumps, falls and stresses of growthstressful for mum and baby. spurts can result in mechanical dysfunctions which could be helpedVentouse or forceps are sometimes through osteopathy too.needed to deliver the baby safely.Nature provides again to help the Cranial osteopathy is used in adultsbaby, as after the birth crying and too and many pregnant ladies prefersucking help the baby to relieve this gentler approach to treatment.these compressions. Most babiescope well with these additionalstresses and resolve them Don’t forget mumthemselves. However some babies Now your baby is here, in betweenmay need a little help. In addition to nappy changes, feeding andthe compressions within their head sleepless nights it is easy to forgetor body, there are also tiny nerves that your body is trying to recoverwhich pass between the small bones from the birth and getting used toin the head which supply the new postures involved with feedingdigestive and other systems. and caring for your new bundle.Parents of babies who have had An osteopathic check- up after thedifficult births sometimes report that birth can help to identify and correcttheir baby cries excessively, doesn‟t any strains and imbalances, helpingseem to be able to relax or seems to your body to recover more fully andhave digestive discomfort such as quickly from birth.wind. Infacol, colief, easy digest Your new baby needs you to bemilks and dummies are some healthy.common options which may help to So when your write your “to dorelieve the baby‟s discomfort. One list….” as you prepare for your newoption you might consider is cranial baby don‟t forget about yourself!osteopathy. 45
  46. 46. Birthaid! The First Few Sacred DaysRozy Kalliabetsos, CroydonRosanna Kalliabetsos is the Founder of InJoy Yoga, a Doula andbirthing tutor. She is also Co-Chair of the Croydon UniversityHospital MSLC. This article is written as a guide to naturalhealthcare during and after birth and in the first few days ofbaby’s life, in order to help us make the most of this sacred andwondrous time. Your breath is there for you no your bum sends the baby too far matter what happens during birth back. Just relax, when you get and after, use all the breathing the urge to bear down, follow it techniques you love to create a and do nothing until you get that feeling of peace and trust & urge. If you have an epidural, lie acceptance of what is. on your left side during 2nd Remember that the antidote to stage and ask the care team to pain is breathing OUT, not let the epidural wear off so you holding your breath as many can at least feel when to bear midwives will tell you to do, down. during the pushing stage. During contractions focus on breathing  Pure essential oil of lavender, out and sounding your breath, and a gentle baby carrier oil during moments of rest focus on (grapeseed, organic sunflower, breathing in deeply and taking apricot kernel, vitamin E oil) can lots of extra oxygen to your baby. Please note that if a mother is breathing well, there is no need for the baby to go into foetal distress - even during 2nd stage. The Royal College of Midwives has published papers stating that „directed pushing‟ (holding breath style) is counter productive to a normal vaginal birth both for mother and baby. And you certainly don‟t need to push like you are doing a poo! Babies don‟t come out of your bottom, and focusing on pushing into 46
  47. 47. Birthaid! The First Few Sacred Days be bought online through Neil‟s best oil/moisturiser ever if you Yard remedies [or at their store want to put anything on. Note that in central Manchester—Ed.] in cold temperatures it solidifies Neways also do them (http:// but will soon warm up in your – this hands. will take you to my page on the site and you can order from  Arnica 30c tablet form and Bach‟s there). The smell will soothe you Rescue Remedy will benefit both both during labour and after. you and your baby during labour Please note that most baby care and as you recover physically ranges available on high street and emotionally from the labour are made from mineral oil as a and birth. base oil and this dries out your baby‟s skin. There are lots of  Even the most awesome and companies online that do ecstatic experience is still HUGE wonderful organic and non-toxic for both of you! If you can, hire or creams and potions and your purchase a pregnancy and birth local health food shop should homeopathic kit. Your birth have some great ranges to try. partner can help to administer relevant remedies throughout the Pure sea salt combined with a birth experience and after. few drops lavender oil and a Homeopathy is said to work on carrier oil as mentioned above, healing the emotional state as added to a bath every day, will well as physical ailments. do wonders to help you with Homeopathy and other holistic healing your perineum and approaches to health are much getting over any bruising. This gentler than conventional will help you to heal if you treatments and aim to treat the needed stitches or just feel a bit cause rather than just the „sore‟. symptom. Often they do the job perfectly, but if conventional Babies need nothing but water on treatment is strongly advised, their skin for the first few months, homeopathy can support the so if you are using nappy wipes, healing and recovery. make sure you wash your baby‟s Homeopathy has no known side skin when you are home with effects. water only. This will minimise skin irritation such as nappy rash, and  If you or your baby were reduce risks of developing skin administered any antibiotics complaints such as eczema. through pregnancy, birth or after, Allow plenty of „bare bottom‟ time nutritionists strongly recommend too! Organic coconut oil is the taking a course of high grade 47
  48. 48. Birthaid! The First Few Sacred Days probiotics (multi strain not just can look at before your baby acidophillus) for at least 2 weeks. comes so you can familiarise Its best to go to a good health yourself with the basics of food shop - tell them what enjoyable breastfeeding. antibiotics you had and they will let you know what probiotics are THE FIRST FEW DAYS! best suited. This helps to line the Now your baby has come into the gut with good bacteria to boost world, what’s next? immune system and fight future infections. Antibiotics kill ALL bacteria in the gut and that means the good ones too! Probiotics are also good for your baby if they were born by Caesarean, if you formula feed, or if you or your baby are prone to thrush. Go online for more information, or consult a recommended nutritionist or dietician. An organic Savoy Cabbage (for when milk comes in), ideally refrigerated. When colustrum turns to milk, roughly 3 days after birth, your breasts can feel as though they need cooling down!  Please remember your baby has Take one leaf of the cabbage per been inside you for a long time breast, „score‟ the inside with a and the most familiar sounds he sharp knife and then place within knows are your voice, the rhythm the cups of your bra so that the of your heartbeat, and breathing leaf surrounds the breast. This rhythm. will decrease swelling and engorgement and allow the milk  It comes as a shock to many to flow. parents that all babies want is to be held all the time! This can Make sure you have the number worry some parents as they don‟t of a recommended breast feeding want to „spoil‟ their baby, but specialist and contact the NCT, research shows that babies who local hospital, and La Leche are held close either by mum, League for breastfeeding support. dad or a close person to the There are little clips online you family, all of the time, sleep 48
  49. 49. Birthaid! The First Few Sacred Days better, feed better, put on weight engaged with your baby when and grow into inquisitive and they were inside you, will pacify secure older babies. your baby once they are outside. Often they simply miss the womb- How long will you need to carry it was always warm and they and hold your baby? It depends were always held - remember on your baby, the birth that from complete dependence experience and environment your comes complete independence! baby is born into. Generally Look at within a few weeks, babies start to „unfurl‟- you see their limbs are for lots of info on what our babies less tightly closed up in a ball and need from us in the early days. massage and baby yoga really helps to instil trust in you as a parent able to meet the needs of your baby. Invest in a good sling - please look on for lots of info on good slings. I love the kari me sling, or for later on the ergo carrier or Joey maitai slings. Your baby was carried by you for a long time - it is natural that what she will find most soothing is being carried whilst you go about your day. It is common for babies to become restless or cry a lot during the hours of the day/night that were the last hour of their birth. This is the time to talk to  You will both need PLENTY of your baby about the birth and rest to soothe the nervous system what was happening at this time, after birth. Please resist the to reassure them they are safe, temptation to invite everyone and if necessary, to play them round to see the baby and for you familiar music that you listened to to look as though you are „back to a lot when you were pregnant, or normal‟ in 3 days. The more you to chant the sounds you loved to rest over the first 3-6 weeks, the chant in class - all the ways you quicker you will recover and feel 49
  50. 50. Birthaid! The First Few Sacred Days good about being a new Mum. birth to keep your essential Your baby will also get to grips nutrients topped up, along with with life much more easily. When EFAs. Floradix is a liquid mineral babies are over-stimulated by & iron supplement that is great if noise, light and too many hands you had a long labour or blood touching and holding them, they transfusion. It will help to keep tend to „shut down‟ so that their your energy levels up as you get nervous system can cope. Babies used to new mummahood. take 6 times as long to process what is going on around them so  Sleeping with your baby - talk to them softly, move slowly, sometimes this is the only way to and make sure those who are get some sleep! Personally I co- around do the same. If slept with my daughter for the first grandparents want to visit, or couple of years and all I needed friends want to „help‟- they will be was a big bed to get good rest! much more useful supporting you There is lots written on with chores around the house about co- and cooking, tending to you in sleeping and the benefits. Also bed, than holding YOUR baby so the book „Three in a bed‟ is worth that you get on with everything. reading with your partner before These first weeks are precious your baby is born. Some babies and set the tone for babyhood will be happy in another room and the positive nurturing from early on - it depends on your dynamics of family life.. Your baby and what works for you as smell, your touch, your voice are parents. what your baby wants - the rest of the world can wait!! Sleep when  Please read „Why love matters‟ your baby sleeps, and when you before considering any Gina Ford are both awake, your baby will be methods of getting your baby into happy to be in a sling with you as a „routine‟. Please also trust your you go about your day. instincts as a parent, rather than the voices around you - Late pregnancy is the time to remember you and only you are cook lots of nourishing food and hardwired to understand the freeze it for when you are in the unique needs of your own baby. throws of new parenthood, and You know what your baby needs the more you invest in good if you listen inside to your heart nutrition, the better your milk and not so much at what „helpful supply will be. advise‟ others want to give you. Your baby chose you both as It‟s worth continuing to take a parents with good reason. You good quality multivitamin post cannot spoil your baby with love!!! 50
  51. 51. Birth StoryIn this issue’s Birth Story, Ellie shares her experiences of thenatural birth of son Lucas at Stepping Hill Hospital.On Sunday 29th April 2012, I went hospital (Stepping Hill maternityinto labour with my first baby. Id triage) and they said to try and staystarted to lose my mucus plug from at home as long as I could deal withwhen I first woke up that morning the pain - I didn‟t think it would beand it continued much longer at thatthrough the day. I had point. I put on my yogaa bloody show during breathing CD and triedthe afternoon and I‟d out some yoga poses,been having period- but nothing reallypain-like cramps. helped alleviate theHowever, as I‟d had pain, so I started toBraxton-Hicks think I‟d like to go tocontractions regularly the hospital…thefor the past three thought of gas and airweeks, I didn‟t want to was very appealing atget my hopes up that this point!true labour hadstarted! I felt very sick so during the car ride, IAt about 5pm, I was on clutched an oldthe phone to my dad washing up bowl (Iwhen the contractions started to get didn‟t need to use it, luckily) andquite painful and difficult to talk wrapped myself up in a blanket. Wethrough. I got off the phone and ran got to the hospital and I found ita bath, and my husband poured really, really hard to walk to thewarm water over my back between ward as the contractions felt socontractions. We burned some strong. When we finally got toessential oils (jasmine I think) and triage, I was begging for gas andtried to create a relaxing air! I had an internal and I wasatmosphere, which was difficult as I dilated only to 3cm, which meant Iwas in a fair amount of pain by this was not in established labour andpoint. I got out of the bath and would normally be sent home. Butstarted to struggle with the because I was in so much pain, thecontractions, completely zoning out lovely midwife gave me some gaswhen they hit and clutching onto a and air and put me on the fetalblanket and towel. I also started to heart/contractions monitor. The gasshiver and shake quite a lot and had and air really helped me to copereally bad back pain. We called the with the pain, although it also made 51
  52. 52. Birth Storyme throw up a few times. I This period is a bit hazy as I had aremember telling my husband, “I lot of gas and air and was in a LOTlove gas and air, it‟s like being on of pain, but I remember asking fordrugs!” and telling the midwife that I stronger pain relief and quiteloved her. forcefully being offered pethidine. I specifically hadn‟t wanted pethidine,Next, things started to go downhill as I was concerned about itas the baby‟s heart rate was crossing the placenta too close todropping quite dramatically with the delivery and affecting the baby.each contraction, although it was My husband asked me whether Irecovering in between. The midwife was sure, and I remember saying, “Ion the birth unit spoke to the can‟t cope with this if it‟s going to bemidwives on the delivery suite hours, it‟s code red,” which is what(where any labours with we‟d agreed as a code word when Icomplications have to go) and they absolutely needed pain relief.decided to monitor me down therefor a while, and if the babys heart While the midwives were out of therate seemed fine, I‟d be allowed to room dispensing the pethidine, Icome back up to the birth centre threw up while having a contraction(with the lovely water pools and (not very nice) and suddenly got theeverything - that‟s where I‟d wanted urge to push. I told my husband,to give birth). and when the midwives returned he asked them to wait until I‟d finishedAt this point I was completely out of the contraction to make sure I wasit and almost fell asleep in the toilet 100% happy having the pethidine.while the midwives were waiting for He also told them that I had theme with the wheelchair. I was taken urge to push and they asked me if itdown to the delivery suite and had felt like I needed a poo - it didn‟t, soto lie flat on the bed so the baby I said, “No, it feels like there is acould be monitored. The consultant head coming out down there!” Theyobstetrician came in to check on me offered me an internal beforeand said he wasn‟t too concerned administering the pethidine, andas long as the babys heart rate found out that I was 9cm dilated! Ididn‟t drop any further. At this point I couldn‟t believe it and kept saying,was still only dilated to 3cm (it was “What? What? 9CM?!” At that pointabout 1am on the 30th April now), I knew it would only be an hour orso the midwife dimmed the lights, two more until I met my son, so Isat in the corner and said they‟d decided not to take the pethidine. Atperform the next checks in four some point, my waters broke whilehours. he was crowning but I‟m not sure of the chronology of events. 52
  53. 53. Birth StoryI really wanted to push at this point pooed, and looked up at me with hisand was screaming through the beautiful, angry, inky blue eyes.contractions and feeling very out ofit and confused. I was inadvertently I was so tired and overwhelmed atpushing a bit and the midwife kept this point that I elected to have atelling me not to, and my husband managed third stage. My husbandkept telling me to keep the gas and cut the umbilical cord, which heair nozzle in my mouth as I was found very strange and said it felttaking it out to scream. Then the spongy. The whole thing took 2baby‟s heart rate started to drop hours 45 minutes from 3cm dilationeven more as he was getting tired, to the placenta being delivered. Iand it seemed like all of a sudden had a second-degree tear so I hadthe room was full of people - I found to have stitches but I didn‟t mind,out afterwards that there were two because I had gas and air and mymidwives, the supervisor of gorgeous new baby to look at andmidwives, the consultant OB and a distract me.consultant paediatrician. Theydecided that the baby needed to be The whole experience was verydelivered right now, so they would traumatic because it happened soneed to use forceps. They gave me fast and I felt like I had no controla local anaesthetic in preparation whatsoever over what wasfor an episiotemy and explained to happening to me and my baby. Wemy husband and I what was still don‟t know why his heart ratehappening. Possibly in response to was dropping - he swallowed quitethe threat of the forceps, my body a bit of amniotic fluid, so it couldstarted to push extremely effectively have been that or he could just(although I kept trying to keep my have been getting tired. It had nolegs shut!) and in no time the baby‟s lasting effect on him, thankhead was delivered! I‟ll never know goodness, and he got a perfecthow I managed to stop pushing score on his Apgar test at all threewhile the body turned, but I did, and intervals.the rest of our beautiful baby wasborn. The midwives placed him on And the tea and toast afterwardsmy chest and he started to cry, was the best thing I‟ve ever tasted! If you have a Birth Story to share, we’d love to hear from you! Just e-mail We depend on your stories, pictures and articles to keep this publication local, relevant and interesting to our readers — so do keep them coming! 53
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