This week marks six years of the Birth & Baby Network, now the Birth, Baby & Family Network. It is an extension of my work as a practitioner, it is words of reassurance for parents and links to the best local classes, support and services for expectant and new parents. I am immensely proud of this website.
The Network and this website became my focus in a time of illness. Four years after my son died, when I ‘should’ have been getting better but grief and undiagnosed PTSD got the better of me and I needed a positive focus. I have some wonderful guest writers but the other words are mine, often written late at night to help me stay sane and written to inform, support and reassure on pregnancy, birth and early parenting. It’s a celebration of parents and the different challenges we face. It addresses babyloss and it addresses mental health issues.
And there’s always more to come, I am currently writing new posts and information pages for parents with babies as well as with older children. Huge thanks to everyone you has contributed to it, read it, shared it, used it. And huge thanks to the Network Practitioners, who provide brilliant classes and service.
It is also three years since I started running sessions in the community centre that has to become the Birth, Baby & Family Centre. As I have grown stronger, so the centre has expanded so more parents can be better informed, listened to, understood and reassured. It is a home for my consultations, antenatal classes and postnatal sessions, as well as for the North East Sling Library, Usborne Books, Tots Play, Sing & Sing, Tumbles & Grumbles First Aid and Captured Forever Photography.
It has become an informal and trusted haven for parents – from pregnancy and throughout life with your young family. And when you don’t need support, you can come for the tea and cake. It is important to me for the centre to feel safe and friendly, where you can come when you are happy and where you can definitely come to if you are feeling low and tired. It is used by about 100 parents a week and I can’t thank you all enough for trusting me and for your ongoing support.
antenatal teacher, doula, postnatal group leader, baby massage instructor, life coach