A morning (or two) in the woods

What could be better than spending an hour-and-a-half in the woods on a Saturday morning? That’s right, four hours in the woods!

Muddies To Be is now offering two half-day sessions as well as the six-week block of classes. The first will cover late pregnancy, labour and childbirth, and the second will be all about what happens once your baby is here. You can book just one, but we highly recommend coming to both!

Lots of parents have been telling us that they didn’t feel prepared by antenatal classes for actually having a baby. Labour was covered in detail, but how you might feel both physically and emotionally after the baby was in their arms was not given enough attention. So that’s why we decided at Muddies To Be that our classes would try to redress the balance.

We still want to give you all the information and support you need with preparing for labour and birth. But we also want to equip you with the knowledge and skills for life after childbirth, and that is why our classes give equal time to both.

There’s always time for a marshmallow at Muddies To Be!

As ever, there will be time for a chat questions and refreshments. If you have any comments or queries about the class, please get in touch via the website, Facebook or our brand new Instagram page! Or you could just book now…..

Muddies To Be: The final session!

Goodness, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun, toasting marshmallows and learning almost everything you need to know about labour, giving birth and navigating the first few weeks of having a newborn baby. Week six of our midwife-led antenatal classes will be here before you know it, and our final session will look at caring for your newborn, and caring for yourselves.

There will be a host of dolls for you to practise dressing a baby, changing a nappy and bathing the baby.  (This may take a competitive turn….)  We’ll talk about ways to bond with your baby and sooth your baby (skin-to-skin contact ticks both boxes).   The ways in which you can reduce the risk of SIDS will be explored, from safe sleeping practices to how to safely use a car seat.  And we’ll also look at the screening tests your baby will be offered in the first week of life – what are the conditions being screened for, how is the test done and when will you get the results?

Skin-to-skin is a great way to bond with you baby and soothe her.

Mental health after having a baby is increasingly being recognised as an important factor, and we know it is something people struggle to talk about.  We will discuss the fluctuating emotions you may feel after having a baby; what is normal and also what might be a sign of postnatal depression.  This is something that can affect both parents, and support is available should you need it after having a baby.  We’ll talk about when and how to access that support, as well as how you can support each other.

Just as important is your physical health, and how you can aid your recovery from months of pregnancy and the actual birth of your baby.  There will almost certainly be more pelvic floor exercise chat!  It’s a really good opportunity to think about what support you can put in place before the baby is born; to consider what you might need straight away and what can wait a few days or weeks.  How to cope with interrupted sleep and sleep deprivation will also be a topic of conversation – the value of a nap will be thoroughly explored!

We really can’t wait to get going on Muddies To Be once lockdown eases, and are really looking forward to seeing some of you in the woods. We really think our antenatal classes are unique, combining the benefits of being outdoors in the woods with the knowledge of a midwife and experience of a mother.  If you have any questions, or would like to book, please get in touch via the website or Facebook!

Muddies To Be: How to feed a baby

As we feed ourselves with marshmallows, tea, and biscuits, session five of Muddies To Be will be all about how to feed your newborn baby.  It’s an issue that has a range of factors that can affect your decision, and we will be discussing the benefits and drawbacks of infant feeding by breast, bottle and doing a bit of both. 

And then there is the literal how of how to feed your baby.  We’ll discuss the way in which the body makes breastmilk, and how it responds to the frequency your baby breastfeeds.  This will once again be Fran’s time to shine as Demonstration Diva (we’ll come up with a better name by the start of the course!) to show you the many positions you can hold a baby to breastfeed (they all have a few crucial things in common).  And I will get in on the act to give you an idea of how to promote bonding when bottlefeeding a baby.

We’ll talk about how to make up bottles, and your options for sterilising the equipment.  Hand and pump expressing will also be discussed (and likely be demonstrated using one of our bizarrely fluorescent knitted breasts!).  We are working on a ‘Play Your Cards Right’ style game as a fun yet informative way of discussing how long you can store expressed milk and formula milk.

So you know how to feed your baby, but what about when to feed your baby?  We’ll talk about feeding cues, and roughly how often you can expect to be woken up at night by a hungry baby. 

And we’ll also talk about how you can tell if your baby is feeding well, as well as when to get help and support if the baby is not getting enough milk, or you have sore or painful breasts.  There is plenty of support out there from health professionals such as your midwife and health visitor, to specialist infant feeding groups and helplines.

Finally we’ll look at how you as parents can look after yourselves when it comes to infant feeding – ways you can support each other and help make dinner time for your baby an enjoyable time for all and not a stressful part of your day.

As always, if you have any comments of questions, please get in touch through the website or Facebook.