Is mindfulness selfish?

As Christmas approaches, it is a time which we associate with good-will, giving and thinking of others, and some recent conversations and questions have got me thinking about how this all relates to mindfulness.

Over the last few years, I’ve been privileged to introduce the practice of mindfulness to many people who I have supported and worked alongside, and many of them have reflected upon how it has made such a difference for themselves personally. I have always been careful to say that mindfulness is a complex philosophy, and a life-long practice. No-one can attend a few classes, read a book, and ‘know it’ never mind, ‘do it.’

One thing I have noticed especially, is how liberating many have found it to embrace what they interpret to be one of the key messages, saying mindfulness has helped them be more aware of their feelings, and it has given them permission acknowledge those and stop putting themselves last. To focus on how they feel about things and taking actions in line with this. To put their own, and their family’s needs, first above other things in day-to-day life.

Indeed, many of the books, classes and practices of mindfulness focus on what the benefits are to the individual who has chosen to learn and practise it. Promises of helping with anxiety, managing pain, minimising stress, promoting relaxation, etc.

Which raises an interesting question – especially at this time of year – is mindfulness basically a selfish practice? Continue reading

The language of birth sensations

Contractions?

Surges?

Waves?

Tightenings?

What name for that normal labour sensation do you prefer to use?

One of these? Something else entirely?

Many antenatal programmes advocate not using the term ‘contraction’ as they suggest it is a harsh word, with medical associations, which often holds negative connotations.

However, at The Natal Family, we know that language is individual to all, and so we suggest YOU use the word which you feel is most relevant to how you experience the sensations of birth.

Why is that important? Continue reading

To push, or not to push?

In many antenatal programmes, special techniques for the ‘second stage’ of labour, or the part where your baby is being birthed, are often taught.

Some programmes teach breathing your baby out, and have their own individual techniques of breathing to achieve this.

Some teach bearing down techniques, which might involve making specific movements or noises.

Some may be a combination of the above.

Some may discuss coached pushing.

In our MummyNatal birth preparation classes, and Natal Birth Workshops for mums & birth partners, we don’t teach ANY second stage techniques. Why? Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day to the dads of today!

5611_134319185158_508110158_3261532_2726408_n“Stereotyping fathers potentially sets up self-fulfilling prophecies and limits the potential of men as birth partners and fathers, to the detriment of mum and baby” – Dean Beaumont, “The Roar behind the Silence”.

Stereotyping is never very helpful, and when it comes to fatherhood, the stereotypes are usually quite insulting – you know the ones… Dad holds a baby like a football, puts a nappy on upside down, can’t work out how to get baby dressed etc… Dad-shaming is rife on social media, and still seen as acceptable! Continue reading

Practising what we preach

‘Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames’ – Rumi

Or as Will Smith puts it, ‘Look to the people around you. Are those people throwing logs on your fire, or p*ssing on it?!’

Whether it is about how you are planning to give birth, how you want to parent, a dream or ambition you hold… what these quotes remind us is that when we find something we believe in, that we feel passionate about, we need to surround ourselves with people who will help us towards our goal. Continue reading

Who are The Natal Family?

At every opportunity, you will hear me talking about The Natal Family, our amazing programmes, inspiring values and dedicated practitioners. I am so passionate about our work, our ethics, our vision, and how our approach of empowerment really is quite unique!

Continue reading

5 reasons to train with The Natal Family – becoming a Natal practitioner

If you’ve recently been to one of our classes or have come across our websites MummyNatal and BabyNatal, you may have noticed that we have a team of amazing teachers all over the country. Thanks to our regular teacher training courses in Leeds and Wiltshire our team is always growing, and with more teachers joining The Natal Family every year, we are able to expand our reach and help more and more families across the UK. But why do so many parents, and mums in particular, want to train with us? If you’re curious about training, these are some of the reasons you may want to consider.

  1. You want the freedom and flexibility to work around your family

It’s no secret that for most of us everything changes when we start a family. You now have a new child or children in your life, and you simply want to be there for them. Unfortunately, a lot of 9-5 jobs don’t give parents the freedom and flexibility that they need to be able to earn a living whilst also caring for their children. What happens when they’re ill? Or when they start school? Who’s dropping them off and picking them up? Who’s taking them to after-school activities? Who covers for half term and long holidays? Not to mention all the favours you need to ask from your employer if you want to attend the Christmas show, Assembly, or Sports Day! Becoming a MummyNatal or BabyNatal practitioner (or even better, training in both programmes) allows you to create a business that works around your family. Not the other way round. Continue reading

A MummyNatal Birth Story – Iris Seren

The Natal Family co-founder, Steph Beaumont tells the story of the birth of her new daughter. 

Although this was our fifth pregnancy, it was still unique in its own ways. At 13 weeks pregnant, we nearly lost our little one, and became at ‘high risk’ for a ‘late miscarriage’ for the next 11 weeks. Continue reading

Why buy from The Natal Family shop?

Are you after something a little bit different for yourself or forHeath_TNF shop your little ones? Perhaps something ethically made, a little special, colourful, practical and fun and packaged up with love especially for you?

Then here’s why you should go and have a peek at The Natal Family online shop, as it might just become your favourite go-to place for all things pregnancy, birth and baby-related!

Continue reading

Top 5 festive picks from The Natal Family shop


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If you have been following The Natal Family on our Facebook community page, you’ll know that our elves had a very busy November getting surprise Christmas Bundles over to their new family in time for the Festive Season.

But the fun isn’t over! Christmas isn’t here yet, so if you’re still out looking for that special present for your little one, you can still head over to The Natal Family shop and grab yourself a bargain!

Just for you, we asked the Natal Elves to put together a list of the 5 top items that they would recommend, and here they are! Continue reading