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?