August 2021 Newsletter
Is the end really in sight?
It really does feel like we are finding our post-Covid feet again doesn’t it? I am LOVING being back in the room with my groups of parents and babies for NCT Early Days courses. It’s such a joy to see these women grow and blossom into the parents they want to be, normalising the struggle and finding support and camaraderie in their new tribe.
The Thursday Belper Baby Club gives me the same vibes, it’s the highlight of my week. As we move into the school summer holidays I don’t have the lovely Emily helping me out so much as she’s got her littlies to wrangle. My not-so-littlies are a bit more self-sufficient these days so the Club will be running through summer for all those parents who really don’t care that the schools are out! I remember being so disappointed that all my baby groups and activities stopped over the summer so it’s my pleasure to stay open for you now.
I’m also back face to face for my NCT Antenatal courses, which is lovely, but with pregnant people remaining in a high vulnerability group and many declining the vaccine, we are still being super cautious with masks and distancing. However, it’s just so good to be able to bring these fantastic people together in a room to share experiences, hopes, and challenges in a way that we tried so hard to approximate over Zoom. It makes me swell with joy to see them chatting, learning and making friends organically, even from behind masks.
My Doula work has slowed down a bit lately, which isn’t a bad thing as preparing to return to face to face teaching has needed my energy and attention, but with enquiries for a birth in October and two in November I feel like things are where they need to be. I just hope the hospital policies will shift back in favour of allowing birthing people to be supported by 2 birth partners on labour wards and birth centres by then. Many are still not even allowing one partner for the duration of the stay. I’m still hearing such horror stories of women being left for hours, unattended and unsupported on induction and postnatal wards. It’s at the root of so much disappointment and trauma. It’s vital that we allow newborn families to bond and settle together – these early interactions are not optional but form the cornerstone of postnatal emotional wellbeing for both the parents and the baby. When fathers and co-parents are having to watch the clock, or hide at the end of visiting time so they don’t get thrown off the ward, it can cause more problems than it solves. Likewise, when birthing people have to labour alone, for hours, without their partner or their doula to soothe and support them, to make them feel safe and loved, it can make inductions longer, tougher and more likely to end in further intervention.
Those of us working in the arena of birth trauma release and postnatal anxiety support have seen the fall out of our NHS’s rigorous Covid restrictions in maternity settings. These have been in place to protect staff and families but they have also created such hidden trauma and it’s time to talk frankly about this. How do you feel about the birth of your baby? If it was negative, how might it have been more positive? What support do you need now to move forward? If you are pregnant, what can you do to ensure that you have a positive birth and early postnatal experience, regardless of the path your birth takes? These are the conversations we are having at Belper Baby Club, on our Bump Birth and Baby Club facebook group and individually with the clients I support
Come and join the conversation.