Guest Blog by Neerja Vasishta
One thing I’ve learnt since having a baby is this: there is a mountain of expert advice on every pregnancy and baby-related topic I could imagine.
That can be very useful. But I’ve also been seriously impressed by myself. By the sheer amount of learning I undertook from conception to birth and beyond. And this on a subject that started out abstract and alien and became one of the most fascinating and precious – my child. Just as my baby grows, my learning and experience evolves.
Of course this isn’t unique to me – this is the case with each and every mother around me. Which means that in a relatively small area, there is a huge wealth of baby knowledge. In other words, everyday we are in the midst of an army of true baby experts.
Since this is the case, why aren’t there more opportunities for us to learn from each other? And for pregnant women to talk to women who have just had babies? Wouldn’t that be a really great antenatal class?
That’s why Joy Vick and I are running a three-part series of conversations between mums and expectant mothers. These conversations offer a space:
- for women to learn from one another by sharing knowledge and experience
- to share fears, expectations, and hopes
- to build confidence in birthing and caring for babies
- to affirm the value of our own intuition, and
- to make friends with other mothers-to-be
In each session, a theme is discussed through: 1) personal experiences and reflections of a handful of new mums and 2) the expectations and thoughts of mums-to-be.
Session 1: The connected baby We know it’s hard to get beyond the thinking about the birth, but this session is about how you and your baby can connect in the very early days and how you can continue to read and interact with your baby.
Session 2: Feeding Feeding and growing your baby is top priority. But so many women simply wish they had been more prepared for how much of the early months of a baby’s life revolves around breastfeeding.
Session 3: Expectations & birth Each birth is a major life experience for a woman. At antenatal classes, you get the technical side of things, how to cope with breathing, what to expect with a hospital birth, etc. Here we look at preparing mentally for birth, fears and listening to you.
Many people find the most valuable part of antenatal classes is not the information presented, but the new friends with whom to share experiences. This series of conversations is intended to recreate the way we learn from one another about birth and babies and can serve as a complement to traditional antenatal classes.
Joy Vick, founder of social enterprise Nappy Ever After and currently manager of the Real Nappies for London Network. Joy has extensive experience supporting and connecting mums and their families to one another.
Neerja Vasishta has a seven-month-old baby who has provided great surprises to her from before birth. She wants new mums to trust themselves and feel confident in their ability to birth and raise their child.
“As a trainee teacher I was taught that you learn more from the students and they learn more from each other than they learn from you. During my 10 years of teaching in FE I found this to be true. So that will be the philosophy of the workshops. The main thing is to exchange ideas, get the brain cells ticking over and make friends.”
Details and how to register:
The sessions will take place on August 15, 22, and 29 from 6:30pm–8:00pm at Nappy Ever After, 96 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1HJ. To register a place, call Nappy Ever After on 020-7383-5115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is £20 per person for the three sessions.
Neerja Vasishta & Joy Vick Parents
Film stills with thanks from The Connected Baby website; their DVD will be used as reference in some of the sessions.