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.
Did you know I also foundered and own Earth Friendly Cocoons? I handcraft biodegradable cocoons for burial of your placenta - giving back to the earth to enrich another life. Since 2012 I have created hundreds of cocoons for many families around the world!
So many families are embracing this long standing, world wide tradition again. It's not just a NZ tradition, many cultures around the world the placenta was seen as the baby's spirit guide helping the child navigate the birth and then returning and connecting after death. Placenta burial was also considered as a sacred connector of the child to his birth place or heritage. It was also to bestow blessing or protection for the child's future. An item representing the future calling, was often buried with the placenta.
Lots of families not only to bury their placenta and holding a ceremony for family and friends but they also choose to plant a tree on top. Ceremonies can be as simple as re-telling the birth story and thanking the placenta for supporting life. They can be elaborate and include poems, stories, and planting additional items as symbols.
Most of us will have memories or a connection with a tree from our childhood. Eating the fruit, swinging or climbing in the branches, playing in their shade, sharing picnics and BBQ's.
We are grateful for their calming and peaceful yet strong presence and the important role they play in the protection of our world. They are vital in maintaining the balance of our climate and our fragile ego system. Trees are our future from storing the carbon of green house gases to nurturing animal and insect life and medicines we know and are yet to be discovered.
If you are interested in burying your placenta or would like to know more, please follow the link below. I recommend you order your cocoon 4 - 5 weeks before your estimated due date (it takes about a week to be created and posted to you), you will need it 'on hand' about 2 - 3 weeks before your due date.
Or, if you have yours sitting in an ice cream container in the freezer, you can still bury it anytime you like.
I've just spent 5 days in Auckland training and up-skilling, something that is very important as an educator and because I am self employed, something I take very seriously. While I can't be specific with the training just yet.... I am fully committed and super excited.
The training included four x 8 hour days of meeting parents, teaching, practicing, theory, laughter, tears, revision, nurturing, encouraging, reflecting and practicing some more. By the end of the fourth day, I was absolutely exhausted and ready to sleep in my own bed and hug my kids. I still have to complete several assignments, teaching, research and an exam before I will qualify but I am looking forward to enhancing and offering something extra to parents in Hawke's Bay. Watch this space !!
The Baby Cafe was unfortunately closed in December by the HB DHB. This was a safe and secure place supported by families in Napier and Hastings with all their breastfeeding concerns and issues. It is a huge shame the DHB made this decision without consulting everyone concerned.
There is a great need to be supporting our Muma's and Bubs with their breastfeeding journey in our local communities, one I personally believe we can't be without. But, fear not, there is a team of dedicated Midwives trying to get something up and running at a community level, fingers crossed it's not too far down the track. Talk with your LMC, Plunket Nurse or Well Child provider or see pic below if you want breastfeeding support.
Do you groan when your boss says "right time for some training"? Well, I love it!!