Tongue-tie and breastfeeding – can mums and babies experience difficulties?

tongue tieWhat is tongue-tie?

The correct term to describe this condition is ankyloglossia (but we can stick to tongue-tie, can’t we?), and it’s a congenital anomaly that can reduce mobility of the tongue tip. It happens because the membrane connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth (called lingual frenulum) is just a bit tighter and shorter than in most people. Although this is just proof that we are indeed all different, tongue-ties can vary in degree of severity – this is also due to where, under the tongue, the frenulum is attached (either towards the tip of the tongue or towards the back of the tongue). Essentially, tongue-tie has the potential to have different effects on different people, and difficulties in breastfeeding (and then later on in life, if the tongue-tie is severe and not corrected), eating and speech are the most common effects. Continue reading “Tongue-tie and breastfeeding – can mums and babies experience difficulties?” »

Boxes, builders, bellies and babies

Being in the business of providing antenatal classes to parents-to-be or classes to new parents in the postnatal period, we noticed that a lot of parents move house at some point during their pregnancy, and often towards the latest stages of the pregnancy, or carry out building / extension work either during the pregnancy and during the early weeks and months of their babies’ life. Continue reading “Boxes, builders, bellies and babies” »

The His and Hers Guide to Pregnancy and Birth – an interview with authors Steph and Dean Beaumont

Here at The Natal Family we have impatiently been waiting for months for the publication of the His and Hers Guide to Pregnancy and Birth (available for pre-order here), written by The Natal Family amazing founders Steph and Dean Beaumont and out on the 9th of June 2016. The His and Hers Guide is the second book published by the Beaumont’s, with The Expectant Dad’s Handbook published by Dean in May 2013. Continue reading “The His and Hers Guide to Pregnancy and Birth – an interview with authors Steph and Dean Beaumont” »

What our teachers say about their favourite Natal classes

With the range of classes we offer here at The Natal Family and the number of teachers across the country excitingly growing, we thought we’d ask our teachers what their favourite class to teach is and what it is about that class that they love so much.  It was great to see that most of us can’t even single one class out and ended up picking two or more! So, in no particular order, let’s just hear from… Continue reading “What our teachers say about their favourite Natal classes” »

An empowered, calm and confident birth – Natal teacher Katy’s story

This is Katy.

KatyKaty is our BabyNatal teacher from the Newcastle area and runs BabyNatal and Infant First Aid classes through her business Calmer Parenting Newcastle. An ex Geography teacher, Katy is now an antenatal educator and mum to two gorgeous young children – a boy and a girl. Katy’s little girl is only a few months old, and today we talk to Katy about the recent birth of her daughter and about how being a Natal teacher has given Katy the confidence to explore her options and achieve the birth experience that she wanted. Continue reading “An empowered, calm and confident birth – Natal teacher Katy’s story” »

On Mother’s Day, our Natal wish to all expectant and new mums

It’s Mother’s Day, and here at The Natal Family, we would like to wish ALL mums in the world a fantastic Mother’s Day!Happy mother's day-1

Continue reading “On Mother’s Day, our Natal wish to all expectant and new mums” »

The Natal Family meets The Baby Show (ExCeL)

behind the desksmThe ExCeL Baby Show is coming up, and if you’re going, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to visit The Natal Family stand…

We have some fantastic products for sale!

First things first, you’ll get an opportunity to grab a copy of The Expectant Dad’s Handbook, by our own Dean Beaumont, co-founder, with his wife Steph, of The Natal Family and all its programmes. Stop and talk to us, and you may catch Dean on the stand, in between speaking on the main stage and teaching DaddyNatal classes in our beautiful classrooms – why not ask Dean to sign a copy of his book for you or for that special dad-to-be in your life? Continue reading “The Natal Family meets The Baby Show (ExCeL)” »

A great day out – The Baby Show, Birmingham NEC!

10645330_883698718309392_5635174905919120404_nTime seems to be flying by here at Natal HQ! Not only will our newest addition be a whole month old next week (I am still in denial about that one!) but we are delighted to be travelling over to Birmingham NEC for The Baby Show once again to run our antenatal and parenting classes live from our two show classrooms! Continue reading “A great day out – The Baby Show, Birmingham NEC!” »

Win tickets to The Baby Show!

It is an exciting week here at The Natal Company HQ! We are delighted to be travelling up to Manchester this week to be running birth and parenting classes LIVE at The Baby Show!

For the first time we will be running our full range of classes for parents in Manchester from our special Show stand which includes two full classrooms.

Expectant dads can attend a DaddyNatal workshop, to learn all about their role at birth – YES, there is a lot more dad needs to be doing than mopping a brow, and DaddyNatal shows dads how to help make the birth a positive experience for everyone. If baby has already arrived, DaddyNatal founder Dean is also running New Dads classes, so dad and baby can come and learn a little bit of baby massage and developmental movement, while mum has a bit of me-time exploring the show!

Our BabyNatal classes have almost sold out… but we have a few places left on both our Practical Baby Care workshop (perfect if you are an expecting parent wanting to learn all about caring for a newborn) and our Colic and Calming workshop, were we support you to try some different techniques for easing your little ones cries and troubled tums. Our local BabyNatal teachers, Suzy from Warrington and Natasha from Sheffield will be at the show too, so if you can’t get onto the class you want during the show, grab them for a chat about what else they have coming up!

MummyNatal will also be on hand each day of the show, providing a chill-out zone for any mums-to-be – complete with footbaths, we’ll also give you some ideas about how to relax during pregnancy, and techniques you can also use for labour.

Of course, we will also be on hand for anyone to drop by who has a question or a query. You can find us at the Show on stand E45, and we will be easily found on the Show Guide & Maps – just look for The Natal Company stand! We have a lovely sofa and lots of teachers who will be available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to pop by and say hello.

To celebrate our first Baby Show, we are giving away 12 pairs of tickets! To win a pair, please leave us a message this blog telling us which class we are offering you think sounds the best, and why!

Terms and conditions
Tickets are for entry to the Manchester Baby Show only, classes not included.
Competition will be closed at 12 noon Thursday 30th August.
Winners will be announced on this blog by 5pm Thursday 30th August.
Winners must contact The Natal Company to claim their prize.
Winners will be chosen at random.
No cash alternative.

What are your values?

This week has been one of those weeks where I have spent a lot of time considering values. My personal values, our organisation’s values, the values of others around me.

This weekend I will be welcoming a new intake of 10 BabyNatal trainee teachers from around the country. We always open our training weekends considering our personal values and how they fit with an empowering approach. All teachers who hold a Natal licence have been through a process of learning reflective practice in order to ensure that they are mindful about what and how they teach.

Why is this important? The core values throughout the Natal Company are about empowerment. In order to empower, one must be non-judgemental and unbiased. However, judgement and bias is part of human nature, and we must first be aware of it, in order to manage it. Natal classes aim to present options to parents in an empowering way, and it is this which differentiates us from a lot of education which does exist, teaching specific methods or approaches.

This leads to confusion sometimes. Does this mean that I disagree with or put down other programmes which exist which have an agenda or a method? No, absolutely not – everything has a place – but I do question the idea that one method is right for everyone.

Indeed, I find it worrying when any education programme or teacher claims to be the best. Any teacher worth their salt will know that it is impossible for one person/approach to suit every individual. The moment we suggest that we have the best approach for someone, before hearing their needs out first, means we are putting what we have to say above listening to that person – and that certainly does not make for empowering or person-centred practice.

My main pet-dislike is for programmes, methods or individuals who claim to be empowering when they are infact only putting forward one approach (while clearly dismissing others). Quite simply, if you give people just one way of doing something, it is not empowering practice – empowerment is about a range of choices! But this said, even this does not mean I disagree with any programme for what it is, or that I would not recommend it to someone who specifically wanted that kind of information. I do however think we owe it to parents to be honest about what we all represent, so that they can be empowered to choose an education provider who meets their individual needs or wishes.

It has clearly been the time I spent working in the third sector, where my values became deeply rooted. My priorities are always about social outcomes, or in plainer speak, ‘making a difference’. Cash and funding was important – but the most successful, life-changing projects were often those which applied a business approach to social impact, keeping the big goal in sight but not for personal profit.

Our values at the Natal Company will always centre around empowerment. We dont teach one particular method, but introduce parents to their choices. We don’t judge parents, no matter what their background, approach or desire to learn. We value mothers and fathers equally, but recognise their differences, and the strength of those differences. We do what we do to help others find their way, not impose our way. We are a business, but not one which puts profit before values.

Those are our values. What are yours?