So much has happened since lock down started and the world has changed. I wonder what our 'new normal' will be, hopefully we have learnt that; we don't need to rush, that family is super important, that we missed our loved ones that we were unable to spend time with and will now cherish moments with them a little more.
I have completed 6 sets of antenatal classes during our lock down - a combo of weekend classes, mainstream and one on one sessions and I have loved every minute of it. I currently have 3 sets of online classes running which are going great and with numbers coming in for the next sets of classes, I am anticipating these may be online too. As much as I absolutely love face to face classes, these have fast become favorites too!
We are doing some extra work around getting to know each other and I have made promises to everyone, that we will meet once contact tracing is no longer required and I'm bringing the cake.
Photo shared with permission - one of my online classes
Thank you so much, to all the incredible people that have referred their family, friends, and colleagues to my antenatal classes. These are the 'thank you' packages I have 'collected' over several weeks while we were in level 4 & 3.
I haven't had the opportunity to see them 'pile up' before, as I usually pop out to hand-deliver or go to the post shop regularly.
Thank you, you guys rock! ❤️😍
Exciting news, I am adding to my product line.
I currently have beautiful wheat bags that are fantastic at easing aches and pains under your belly, across your lower back or in your groin during pregnancy and labour. Also ideal for warming up your baby's bed before you pop them down (must be removed before putting your baby in). I will be doing a giveaway to announce the arrival of these items.
Take care & stay safe,
I’m an experienced birth educator, and since I have been working in this industry for fifteen years, I feel confident and competent in delivering antenatal education to families. Yet, at the moment providing Zoom support for my clients is taking A LOT more time than when I’m doing it face to face. I am not complaining, I love learning new skills and this sure is keeping my brain working overtime!
When I’m face to face with classes I no longer need to prepare much ahead. I have enough knowledge to deliver at the drop of a hat, I can also react to my clients feelings and adapt accordingly and I've become pretty good at 'winging it' situations!
This isn’t the case with the Zoom stuff, because not only do I have to think and prep in advance how to deliver stuff that is easy face to face but much more complex online (for example teaching someone how to swaddle their baby), but I also have to constantly keep up with the forever changing medical guidelines.
I have been making You Tube videos and creating new activities that are working online well but may need tweaking as time goes by.
I'm having to manage this whilst having to deal with my own anxieties about the lock down situation we are all in and my own families’ needs.
I am currently teaching four, live, interactive online classes throughout the week, along with several One on One sessions staring very soon.
Feedback from class participants has been fantastic, with loads of encouragement and reassurance that they are happy and grateful they can still be educated, supported and informed so they are prepared for their baby's imminent arrival. Yay !!!
While teaching live, interactive online antenatal classes has always been part of my plan, the current level 4 restrictions sped up this process for me.... and I'm kind of glad it did. It certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone, it's not a platform that I was jumping for joy about using. Once I had my first night under my belt (so to speak) I was relaxed about the following class the next night... while it's been a huge learning curve, I honestly wouldn't change it for the world. I can't wait until the restrictions are lifted and we can go back to face to face classes, online classes will continue to be an option for parents choosing their education path.
Watch out the rest of New Zealand, none of the static classes with workbooks which can be boring... I'm here to put the FUN and INTERACTIVE back into online antenatal classes.
I'd love for you to join me. Sign up today.
During these scary and worrying times I am super happy I can still support, educate and help parents-to-be with their antenatal classes and we have the technology that allows others like me to be able to do this. While it breaks my heart somewhat, because I love meeting everyone face to face and watching people learn and grow and helping them interact and make new friends that will go on to be fantastic support we are still continuing to do this, just on other platforms at present.
I won't go on about Covid-19, the internet is bursting at the seems with information, some worrying, some unsettling, some educational and some just down right wrong! It's all about keeping everyone safe and minimising the outbreaks. I am proud to be in NZ, we have a fantastic PM and I feel she has stepped up to support NZ time and time again.
There has been lots of changes to our Maternity system too and although many parents are worried about birthing during this time, be assured they are doing everything they can for you so you can still have a safe and healthy labour. Talk to your LMC if you have any worries or concerns. Yes, your partner may not be able to stay over night as per usual but this is about keeping you and your precious little one safe.
As for no visitors, yes, this is hard, but let's look at the positives: you will have heaps of time to bond with your newborn, you can stay in your PJ's all day, you can still facetime your family and friends, you have plenty of time to rest and relax, you still have access to support services in our community such as your LMC, plunket and breastfeeding support - via online meetings and phone calls, your partner may be working from home and able to spend copious amounts of time bonding, bathing and massaging baby too.
If you need anything, a virtual hug, reassurance, advice, a roll of loo paper...... let me know... I'm here.
I love supporting our hard working Midwives and after chatting with a few and lots of parents-to-be and the I came up with an idea that I delivered to the Clinical Manager and Midwifery Director of the HB District Health Board. Their reply was "You get the big tick and a lot of gratitude from us".
So, what am I doing to help support our awesome midwives and parents-to-be that are considering birthing in Ata Rangi or Waioha???
Guided tours !!!!!
These guided tours are available for everyone who wishes to view the units before they labour and birth here. This will help parents-to-be view both units in calm and relaxed manner so they can take in all the details and starting thinking about what they may need to bring with them to create a safe, comfortable and relaxing space for their labour. Often just 'knowing' where to go, where the after hours doors are, where they can park and what the rooms actually look like, can help reduce fear, anxiety and worries for them. These tours are scheduled monthly, alternating between a week night and a weekend day to accommodate those that will be working or busy.
Dates and Times for guided tours:
18th March - Wednesday 6.00 pm
25th April - Saturday - 10.30 am (ANZAC Day)
12th May - Tuesday - 6.00 pm
13th June - Saturday - 10.30 am
7th July - Tuesday - 6.00 pm
8th August - Saturday 10.30 am
1st Sept - Tuesday - 6.00 pm
2nd Oct - Saturday 10.30 am
14th Nov - Saturday - 10.30 am
16th Dec - Wednesday - 6.oo pm
Whoa..... 2020 started on fire!
I started the year with an awesome Boutique Weekend Class (see photo below for my beautiful couples that attended - shared with permission) this was the first of a few weekend classes planned for throughout the year and being held across Napier and Havelock North. Enquiries and confirmed bookings for these are coming in regularly.
6 week classes also started in Napier, Hastings and Havelock North this week. Super excited to watch these parents-to-be grow and learn about all their options during classes and make life time friends. We have so many laughs and it's just a great place to be.
This year is going to be bigger and better than last year, I have quite a few ideas and plans to make that happen!
I love my job and can't imagine doing anything else. I am super lucky that I am able to combine my passion and my career together - hey, it's not even really like work. I get up in the morning and think, wow I get to talk/chat and educate some awesome people today - BLISS!!
It was fantastic to meet lots of families at the Mums, Bubs & Dads Wellness Expo last weekend held at the Conference Centre on Marine Parade along with catching up with lots of families from my Antenatal classes and meeting their wee baby's was an added bonus. This was the first year the expo had run and it included lots of other health professionals and support services available in our community.
I had a huge gift basket giveaway filled to the brim with goodies for Mum, Dad and Baby. Thank you to all that entered. The winner was picked using a random number generator and Hayley B was the lucky winner!!
Photo shared with permission.
Congratulations Hayley!! She was off to share some bits and pieces with her Mum, who had also entered.
I'm also excited to let you know, I will be teaching Antenatal Classes in Havelock North next year. I have been looking for a suitable venue for a wee while and have finally found the perfect location. These classes will be held at Cherry Grove Family Centre 95 Napier Rd on Thursday nights 5.30 - 7.30 pm. If you or someone you know is due soon, let them know they need to book early, as classes fill up fast. Class dates for 2020 have been added to my website, with new class options and new venues for Hastings and Havelock North.
Baby Massage classes will now be held at my home in Napier. I have a large separate room that's accessible from outside with plenty of space for leaving your buggy or capsule. I'm just waiting for new carpet to be laid which will be just in time for the November classes. It will be great to have these held in a relaxed, comforting, friendly environment and we can sit and chat while enjoying a cuppa and refreshments. Baby massage classes will also be held at Cherry Grove Family Centre, Havelock North in 2020 - dates to be advised.
Well, in my last blog entry I mentioned that I was busy with multiple enquiries about classes for 2020. I have now booked my venues for all my classes for next year along with several 'new' classes which is super exciting. The first new class are Boutique Weekend Classes - these will be held several times throughout 2020. Classes will cover everything you need to know so you are confident in your labour and birthing choices and have all the tools you need in your early parenting journey. BONUS - a light lunch and refreshments are included. Bookings are essential, spaces are limited.
Early Pregnancy Classes are also new next year. These classes will be held in Napier multiple times throughout 2020. These fun and comprehensive, one off classes will cover everything new parents to be need to know so they can start considering their options and will be fantastic for those who want to create early connections/support and coffee groups early on.
Topics include (full list not included):
Baby massage classes are going well and proving popular, it's so neat to see the babies blossom from each class, they learn really quickly what the cues are for 'massage time'. I love listening to them babble away while they are being massaged, such a heart warming noise :) Love promotes love!
A change of venue will happen for these classes at the beginning of 2020 - I'll keep you posted.
I've had quite a few inquiries about antenatal classes for next year and while it feels a wee way-a-way...it's actually not when you have to plan and book venues. So, that has been my main focus this week, trying to fit classes in and working around the public holidays we will be having - quite a few in April which is proving tricky to work around!
There are plans in the pipe line for some new classes next year too which is really exciting, these will help support more families in Hawke's Bay so they can feel supported and confident in their choices and options throughout their entire pregnancy and parenting journey.
Mums and Dads will now have the opportunity to make a Soothing Peri Spray (for their perineum) to use after birth or a Soothing Padsicles (cold pads for after birth) during class. These are easy to make (although sourcing all the ingredients for home use may be tricky and possibly costly) and easy to add to their postnatal self-care regime. Cold therapy may help soothe the pain, inflammation and help with wound healing. The padsicles can been made up ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer and the peri spray needs to be kept in the fridge and used within 1 month. I'm excited to see how they get on making them and the feedback after birth.
After an extensive period of learning, studying, practicing, reviewing and teaching I am able to let you all know what I have been doing for the last 3 months.... I am now able to offer families in Hawke's Bay - Baby Massage Classes !!!
Over the years teaching antenatal classes I have had multiple conversations with parents about the stresses that some of them endure with trying to be the best parent they can be. I've had many conversations with parents about the worry they have when their baby has colic, reflux, wind or gas issues and they have tried everything under the sun to help their little one not be in pain and discomfort any longer. I've had Mum's in tears when they have been told they have postnatal depression and they worry about the impact that may have for their baby. This has worried me too and I always wondered what I could do to help?
I was cruising on google earlier this year and stumbled upon Infant Massage Instructor training. I was intrigued and researched some more.
There are so many benefits for baby, mum, dad, extended family, our community and our world (see below for benefits) and I was excited that this could be something I could do to help families in HB so they could, in turn be helping themselves and their baby.
And so, my journey began.... I have met some beautiful Mums along the way doing their Infant Massage Instructor training alongside me from across NZ. I have watched my first group of parents blossom with confidence as the weeks went by while they massaged their wee ones. And watched as their little ones engaged, enjoyed and anticipated their massage.
Classes have started - upcoming sessions start July 12th. If you are interested in learning to massage your baby or your know someone who may be, please pass on my details. Numbers to attend classes are limited so bookings are essential.