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Inspiring and informing NCT supporters
Win gr prizes eat our p in compe hoto tition!
The latest news Keep in the loop on parenting issues Member benefits Expand your horizons with the NCT Picture perfect Share precious pics with other parents
Signs of love
The truth about deaf parenting
Your vision: The perfect midwife Time to party: Cheeky Monkeys have a ball! Baby on board: A pregnant passenger’s tale
Photo: Mother and Baby Picture Library
4 newgen magazine winter 2008
Inspiring and informing NCT supporters
Welcome Hello everyone, my name is John Pinching, the proud new editor of Newgen. We’ve given the magazine a fresh new look for 2009. We’ve revamped regular sections and also added columns from our press and campaigns teams to provide you with all the gossip. Newgen still covers real-life experiences of parenthood and tells you about all the fun, money-saving ways to get involved with the NCT. Now we’re also offering you the chance to win some amazing prizes in an exciting photo competition that celebrates what it is to be an NCT member – check it out on page 11. This is your magazine, so get in touch and let us know what you think.
4 What’s new
Stay in the know with conference updates and more
6 In the know
News from our press and campaigns departments
9 Your say
You tell us about your experiences
11 Get the picture
Share your images and you could win a prize NCT Nearly New Sales uncovered
13 Bag a bargain
14 Time for tea 17 Travel tales
We join the fun with NCT Cheeky Monkeys Tackling the Tube while pregnant
18 Silent witness 23 No age limit
Cover story: Deaf mum Sabina Iqbal on parenthood Profile of Chole Morton, a 16 year old mum
24 Family movie 25 20:20 Vision
A look at the new Bumps to Breastfeeding DVD
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to John Pinching, newgen, NCT, Alexandra House, Oldham Terrace, London W3 6NH
Pregnancy and Birth line: 0870 444 8709 Breastfeeding line: 0300 33 00 771 enquiries line: 0300 33 00 770
Calls to 0844 numbers will be charged a maximum of 5p per minute (+VAT) from BT phone lines. The price of calls from mobile networks will vary. Published by Axon Publishing, 11 Plough Yard, London EC2A 3LP www.axonpublish.com Advertising enquiries to Mongoose Media Ltd, 2 Lonsdale Road, London NW6 Contact: Ben Shoesmith Tel: 020 7306 0300 Email: email@example.com
NCT members discuss the perfect midwife
34 First person
Simone Costello on her move to Rugby
Cover photo: Lucy Johnston
ThE NCT iS A REgiSTEREd ChARiTY No. 801395 All advertisements submitted for inclusion in newgen are checked for compliance with our Sponsorship Commercial Relationships & Advertising policy. The NCT reserves the right to accept or reject advertising material. No correspondence will be entered into. Advertisements are accepted in good faith but the NCT cannot be held responsible for any claims made by advertisers. Please note that none of the food products advertised in this magazine is suitable for babies under six months and some will only be suitable for older children and adults. Views expressed by contributors to newgen are not necessarily those of the NCT charity or of Axon Publishing.
Printed on 100% recycled paper
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 3
email: firstname.lastname@example.org telephone: 020 7846 4567
Let’s get together!
Celebrate the NCT at our Annual Conference in June
GET PASSIoNATE ABouT THE NCT, fIND out more about the work we do, and take the opportunity to make new friends at The NCT Annual Conference The Conference – which takes place in the at Brangwyn Hall in Swansea from 26-28 June 2009 – is where the charity can get together and celebrate the achievements of the last year, while also looking to the future. It’s the NCT’s aim for all parents in the uK to have an enriching pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. We strive to increase involvement with the people we seek to support. We also encourage interaction with volunteers, specialist workers and professional organisations. So, the theme for the weekend is ‘increasing involvement’. For the first time the conference will incorporate our Specialist Workers’ Joint
4 newgen magazine Spring 2009
what’s going on in the world of the NCT
“I believe that no child should miss out on a good start in life simply by default of being poor.”
Actor, and supporter of the campaign to end child Poverty, chris Parker
To the end
Help NCT Campaigns to help children in poverty
ThE NCT iS PRoud To BE A MEMBER of E the Campaign to End Child Poverty. in october 2008, 10,000 campaign supporters attended the organised rally in London and urged the government to keep its promise to halve child poverty by 2010. According to its pre-budget review in November 2008, the government is committed to its ultimate pledge – to end child poverty by 2020. Real progress towards eradicating child poverty, however, has been missed. The government will now have to re-double its efforts in 2009 if it is going to meet its targets as time is rapidly running out. The Campaign to End Child Poverty is continuing to put pressure on the government to keep its promise. find out more about the campaign by visiting nct.org.uk /endchildpoverty.
get involved and join us this year
f forum. The Joint forum will begin on friday f 26. The main theme of this Forum will be diversity, listening to all parents and focusing on birth and beyond. Inspirational speakers and workshops are sure to make it a truly unforgettable event. full programme details can be found at update.nct.org.uk/sw. our AGM and Members’ forum – taking f place at 9.40am on Saturday 27 – are also part of the conference weekend. AGM information is available online at update.nct.org.uk/agm. Meanwhile, if you have a question for the board at the Members’ forum please email f email@example.com. Don’t miss your chance to attend, so book now and take advantage of our great ‘early bird’ offer at update.nct.org.uk/conference
« CONFERENCE HIgHLIgHTS INCLudE:
• Expert speakers • Specialist workshops covering a wide range of topics • A debate on preparation for birth • The Father Monologues: a theatrical approach to involving dads • The 2009 Volunteer Awards • 2009 AGM and Members’ Forum
In you we trust
Ready for a new challenge? How about taking your involvement with the NCT to the next level and becoming one of our trustees…
grab your chance to make a difference
Since 2000, numbers of home births have risen 54% compared with the rise in total numbers of births of 14%. for more on this go to BirthChoiceuK.com/HomeBirthRates.htm
Fight for the right to feed your child – no matter where you are
IF YOu’RE INTERESTEd IN helping to guide the NCT’s work and development, why not join the board of trustees? A respected, responsible volunteer role, trusteeship is also a route to developing new skills, gaining more experience and getting involved with new networks. You’ll spend at least 12 days a year on your trustee work. This includes four daytime board meetings in London and two training or strategy days, which can involve an overnight stay. Other trustee work includes writing proposals, commenting on papers and maintaining email and telephone contact with
fellow trustees. Another vital function is to serve on at least one board committee. Although the role is unpaid, reasonable expenses will be covered. We have at least five vacancies and are particularly looking for members – or partners and friends – with experience in HR, IT or legal property at a strategic level. We’d also like to encourage candidates from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland so that our board reflects all the UK. You’ll have the chance to stand for election as a trustee at our annual conference in Swansea. To apply, please request an information pack at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your say on breastfeeding
fight for the right to feed in public – whatever the age of your child
The forthcoming Equality Bill is likely to give all women across the uK legal protection against discrimination when breastfeeding in public. It is possible, however, that this will only protect mothers who are breastfeeding a baby up to the age of six months. We want to know about your thoughts and experiences of breastfeeding beyond six months and why you think it is important that the law protects a woman’s right to breastfeed for as long as she and her baby want. Please send your views to email@example.com. We will use this information to demonstrate to the government that a woman deserves the positive right to breastfeed in public.
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 5
We’re getting the wheels in motion for 20:20 Vision – the NCT’s new plan for transforming our charity over the next decade, and beyond. The NCT wants to think again about its strategy for 2010 to 2020, making sure we help all parents in the uK have an experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood that enriches their lives and gives them confidence as a parent. In order to do this, we need your help: first we need to understand more about the difficulties and dilemmas parents face. In the near future we will be sending an email out to our members with some specific questions. Your response is essential as we establish new, modern and informed targets for the future. To find out more go to nct.org.uk/2020
for everything you need for you and your baby call 0845 8100 100 or visit nctshop.co.uk
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6 newgen magazine Spring 2009
Read all about us
Press column campaigns column
With nicola Ryan The STAGGerING AmouNT oF NcT medIA coVerAGe From juNe To decemBer 2008 meANS We’re oFFIcIAllY record BreAkerS – leT’S hoPe We do ThIS AGAIN IN 2009 It’s official – we’ve broken records for the amount of NCT media coverage. In the last six months of 2008 there was a whopping 1,000 items of coverage on TV, radio and in print – including 70 items in the national newspapers. Mentions in the Mirror, Daily Mail, Independent and even the Financial Times covered a wide range of subjects such as home births, lack of NHS antenatal classes and breastfeeding octuplets. The early part of this year saw French Minister Rachida Dati return to work only five days after having a caesarean birth. The move prompted a volley of press coverage, and Mary Newburn, NCT’s Head of Research & Information was quoted in several papers saying: “It would be disappointing if mothers today felt pressurised into returning to work as soon as possible after having children. We must value families and giving babies a good start in life. Employers should also respect the rights of parents to have a work and family life balance.” We’ve been working on several articles for magazines such as Take A Break and Real People. It’s this sort of publicity that raises awareness of our charity and the issues it supports. Local branches have also been working tirelessly to promote regional activities and issues. A total of 88 stories made it into the pages of local newspapers nationwide. And, on an international note, the NCT’s comments on induction rates in Scotland even surfaced in Malaysia! We’re keen to build on this success, here’s to the rest of 2009!
With Elizabeth Somerville our cAmPAIGNING TeAm hAVe BeeN WorkING TIreleSSlY All oVer The uNITed kINGdom To chANGe The lIVeS oF PAreNTS For The BeTTer! The start of the year has been extremely busy, as we push for positive change on a number of issues. We’ve been particularly prominent in campaigning for a maternity services plan in Northern Ireland – England, Scotland and Wales have all devised long-term strategies for the years ahead but a lack of focus at central governmental level has meant Northern Ireland’s agenda has been neglected. The NCT urges its members to call for change both locally and nationally. Meanwhile, the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition is getting ready to start a new campaign to give better support for mums to breastfeed their babies in public. Look out for news of the campaign in your area and how you can get involved in making your locality more breastfeeding friendly. NCT campaigners in England will also be pushing for Maternity Matters to deliver on its promises, such as pregnant women having the option of a home, centre or hospital birth. The Department of Health has promised to make this a reality by 2009 but there’s still a lot to be done. By joining NCT Active you can add your voice, ensuring the Government remains committed on this. Finally, I would like to say thank you for your continued passion for NCT campaigns and NCT Active. Remember, it is your help and enthusiasm that makes positive change happen. If you haven’t had the chance to campaign yet, check out the department online at nct.org.uk/active. 4 Retail therapy: Kit out your kid in style with the NCT Shop. Call 0845 8100 100 or visit nctshop.co.uk. 5 Comfort zone: get measured for a comfortable feeding bra by one of our expert volunteer fitters. Call 0300 330 0770. 6 Food for thought: Speak to an NCT breastfeeding counsellor for support with feeding your baby. Call 0300 330 0771. 7 Bargain hunt: Save money at NCT Nearly New Sales. Visit nct.org.uk/nns. 8 Mother beyond: The first tentative steps for a new mum can be daunting. fear not, NCT Early days courses are here to help. Visit nct.org.uk/confidence.
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 7
AS you START youR jouRNEy THRouGH PARENTHooD, THERE ARE So MANy WAyS To RECEIVE HELP FRoM THE NCT
We support thousands of mums and dads each year through courses, helplines and a fantastic local network. As soon as you are pregnant, we will be there for you.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS THE NCT CAN HELP YOu BLOSSOM AS A PARENT 1 Step on: Sign up to Stepping Stones, the NCT’s free eguide, to keep informed about life as a parent from your third month of pregnancy to your baby’s second birthday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. 2 Parent trap: Your local Bumps & Babies group is a great way to get out and about, make new friends and swap tips on life as a parent. Visit nct.org.uk/events. 3 Question time: Get your questions answered on our Pregnancy & Birth line. Call 0300 330 0772.
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Available from Waitrose, independent health food stores and pharmacies or direct from Weleda. To learn more visit www.weleda.co.uk
WIN! £30 OF NCT SHOP VOuCHERS
Every issue, the writer of Newgen’s star letter will be sent a £30 NCT Shop voucher to spend on whatever they like. Visit nctshop.co.uk
As usual you’ve been keen to send us your views on the NCT and respond to the winter Newgen – share your opinions on this issue at email@example.com
I was touched by the article about antenatal depression in the winter edition of Newgen. When I was pregnant with my second son I too experienced a strange personality shift, during which I became detached from the world and was confused by everyday tasks. Reading the article was like finding an old photo of me. unfortunately, unlike the person in your article, my midwife and gP effectively told me to pull myself together as depression didn’t happen during pregnancy, but after. I spent the rest of my pregnancy in a strange cocoon – never quite knowing what was going on and having to look after my toddler at the same time. I was so pleased to find out that antenatal depression is now a recognised condition and as common as its postnatal equivalent. It is very encouraging that the NCT is highlighting the issue and providing support for the people affected. In fact, I’m so impressed that I have rejoined the NCT even though my kids are now teenagers! I want to add my voice to a charity that provides education and empowerment not only for birth choices and breastfeeding but the whole holistic experience throughout pregnancy and parenting. Rosemary Thomas, Bridgend
It’s an education
emotionally available to them. i am, therefore, amazed at how many parents (advised by health professionals) practice ‘controlled crying’ with babies of this age. Consider how much worse it must be for the baby to experience these emotions when they are alone in a dark room at night? Parents who’d never dream of leaving their baby during the day to scream in distress, routinely do it for hours at a time at night. i fully appreciate how debilitating it is having a baby who does not sleep well, but I question whether our parenting responsibilities should stop at 7pm, just to meet our needs? Name withheld, Wharfedale branch
I’ve just watched the film from Bump to Breastfeeding and I was pretty impressed. As an NHS breastfeeding counsellor I felt the film covered all the essential tips to successful breastfeeding – skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, correct positioning and attachment, the importance of finding support and the health and emotional benefits. The mums in the film also talk about their experience of breastfeeding in public and show just how easy it can be. In my experience most people are completely unaware of a breastfeeding baby. It really does look as if baby is asleep on your lap – skin and boobs safely concealed by your own clothes and the baby’s body! I’m so happy that the DVD is going to be available free to new mums – I just wish it had been made earlier as it would have given me immeasurable peace of mind when I was having my first child. Fran Keene, dulwich branch
A crying shame
i read with interest your recent article on Separation Anxiety and the description of the physiological events occurring in a baby’s brain when their parent leaves the room. The author advises that parents should recognise their baby’s distress and respond to their cries, thus letting the baby grow up secure in the knowledge the parent is always
I’d like to say a big thank you to the NCT for all the help and support my husband and I have received following our enrolment on your antenatal and postnatal classes. I was initially sceptical about going on another course, having already attended a very useful NHS version. But I found the teacher extremely professional and the course really informative, which definitely helped me to feel more confident as the labour approached. As a result of our sessions, I felt that I was in a better position to make the right decisions for myself and my beautiful baby boy. The best part was finding six other mothers with whom I can share the highs and lows of any given day – they’ve all become really great friends. They have also been the best source of support throughout the initial months, as we’ve had to cope with a newborn and all the trials and tribulations that brings. We all have very different babies and different problems but each of us has been able to offer the others advice or support along the way. So thanks again – without the NCT my husband and I would have gone through this alone; that wouldn’t have been so much fun! Kay Hudson, Farnham branch
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 9
We need you to help us create a fantastic nationwide photo album of real-life pregnancy and parenting
Some of the fabulous images already in our NCT Flickr group
IN JANuARY THIS YEAR, AS ouR WAY of saying ‘Hello 2009’, we launched NCT Photo Group on Flickr.com. This official site will enable NCT members from all over the country to make contact with Newgen and share their photos and videos with other members. It is our hope that by posting images that document your parenting experience and local NCT branch events, you’ll establish a connection with other NCT groups, use the site to promote your events and create an online picture library to enjoy with your local NCT branch. This is your opportunity to share images that reflect the real life story of both pregnancy and parenting with us. Your submissions will enable us to use a better variety of photographs in our NCT publications. of course, if we do choose to use your image for an NCT publication we will request your permission beforehand. flickr is very easy to use. You can upload digital images on to the site from your computer, send by email, or use your camera-phone. Plus, you can set up your image library so that your
To encourage you to get snapping, and celebrate our new NCT flickr account, we’re launching a special photo competition with great prizes on offer. To enter, just send us a special photo that you think sums up what the NCT means to you. You don’t need to be the new david Bailey – we don’t mind if the picture is a feat of technical wizardry or is a simple, spontaneous snap. We just want to see warm, wonderful images that mean something to you. Because we’re looking for a range of captivating images, our judging panel will shortlist ten lucky winners who will receive an enlargement of the winning image (8"x10") , a free printing booklet (25 free prints per month ) and a 1gB uSB stick, all courtesy of Snappy Snaps.
WIN A cAmerA!
how to enter
Our NCT Flickr page
pictures can be seen only by the people who you want to see them. We’ve already had a great response to our flickr site as the images above show. All you have to do to join in the fun is, if you already have a flickr account, search for ‘offICIAL NCT GRouP’ under ‘Groups’ and join – then you’ll be free to post your pics. If you don’t have a flickr account then simply set one up by filling in a simple online form or, if you have a yahoo email account, use your yahoo log in and ID then upload your perfect pictures.
Upload your photo on the official NCT flickr group and tag your photo ‘NCT MEMBERS CoMPETiTioN’, and make your image viewable to the public, alternatively you can email your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org or post your picture in an envelope marked ‘NCT Photo Competition’ c/o Axon Publishing, 11 Plough Yard, London EC2A 3LP. Closing date for entries is 15 April 2009 and entries will be judged on 24 April 2009. Winners will be notified by email on April 28 2009. For terms and conditions visit our website at nct.org.uk/competitions.
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 11
Peace of mind before, during and after pregnancy
Model and clothes by Isabella Oliver www.IsabellaOliver.com
From Boots, Superdrug, Holland & Barrett, leading supermarkets, chemists, health stores & www.pregnacare.com
Having a young child is an expensive business and kitting them out can cost thousands of pounds. But never fear – help is at hand with NCT Nearly New Sales
my sanity over the last few months as it swings Asa to sleep with a lovely tune.” TOP QuALITY “I have bought all sorts of things from the NNS, from maternity equipment and washable nappies to baby clothes and toys. The quality of the items are good as the sellers’ guidelines are quite strict and I have never seen something that I wouldn’t be happy for my children to use.” lAurA ANd dAISY
“I always have a good time and chat with people”
Scenes from the Southfields NNS
NOWAdAYS, MANY OF uS ARE looking for ways to tighten our belts, which can be difficult when you’ve got a growing child. NCT Nearly New Sales (NNS) can be the perfect solution – where else can you get top-quality baby and children’s clothes plus toys and equipment at bargain prices, straight from their loving owners? That’s the idea at least, but what is it like in practice? We visited a recent Southfields NNS and asked two mums what they thought of the sales… cATherINe, TArIq ANd ASA
hadn’t any close friends with kids so I didn’t know what was available – it was great to see what was out there. At the NNS I could buy whatever I wanted and if I made any mistakes it hadn’t broken the bank. When Tariq grew out of his things I sold them at one of the sales, though I probably spent the proceeds on buying more clothes and equipment for him!” SOMETHINg dIFFERENT “The best thing about NNS is that it cuts down on the quantity of consumables, and raises money for the NCT. I prefer to buy second-hand as I feel less guilty about the amount of stuff that I buy and the impact on the environment. I like the fact that I can find all sorts of wonderful things that people might have got online or abroad and not just the ‘normal’ things you find on the high street. I like to be a bit different and creative with what my baby wears! “I went to the Southfields sale before I had Asa and I had a better idea of what I wanted. Six years on, there is a lot more on the market and I was delighted to pick up an electric baby swing – which has saved
“I like to be a bit different and creative with what my baby wears”
NNS regular Catherine has been taking part in the sales since her eldest son Tariq, aged six, was a small baby. She now has another son Asa who’s eight months, and she’s still bagging bargains… “When I first went to a NNS, I
Laura has been to the last three sales and has found them a great way to make some extra money by recycling daughter Daisy’s old clothes and toys. “NNS are a fantastic way to recycle perfectly good clothes and baby items and make a few pounds. I know that all the items are going to a good home. I’ve had customers come up to me from previous sales and say how happy they were with everything they bought, which is nice. “I really enjoy the atmosphere too. I always have a good time and chat with people. NNS provide a great opportunity for me to make contact with other parents.”
FINd YOuR NEAREST NNS
Looking to grab some baby-friendly bargains? You can search for your nearest NNS by tapping in your postcode on the NCT website. Search today by visiting nct.org.uk
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 13
See how you can raise funds for the NCT and have a giggle in the process at a Cheeky Monkeys Tea Party
THE MuCH-ANTICIPATED CHEEKY Monkey’s Tea Party season is starting soon. Why not join in the simian silliness by hosting a party of your very own? Registering online at the NCT website will give you access to all manner of party paraphernalia, ensuring your event will be an unforgettable and enjoyable family fundraising extravaganza! A Cheeky Monkey’s Tea Party is a really great chance for parents to relax (to some extent) and children to have fun (guaranteed). There is also no limit to the kind of activities you decide on – you can be as creative and wacky as you want. NCT wants to make 2009’s round of Tea Parties the best ever, but we can only achieve that with your help. All the funds raised will, of course, continue to develop, create and deliver the early days helpline. If you’d like more help and information on holding an event, email email@example.com Take a look at three examples of just some of the parties that have taken place already, with useful tips from the surviving organisers!
14 newgen magazine Spring 2009
Raking it in
South Gloucestershire’s Alison enjoyed a fundraising success
“We wanted to offer local parents a social event for all the family. It was a really fun day and a great success with around 50 families joining the fun. After the party, we discovered that the money we raised made us one of the top five fundraising branches. “There was a rolling entertainment programme of three performers: Hullabaloo Kids (sensory play and singing), Talking Tots (language development play and singing) and Music with Mummy (songs) along with Barefoot Books doing some storytelling. We also had baby reflexology and a photographer positioned in the hall with a ‘mini-studio’. We ran our own craft activity table, a tombola, face-painting for £2 a go, and sold simple refreshments. “We had a lot of support from local businesses; we charged each one for a stall and also offered them the chance of providing flyers to give to people as they entered (charging £10 per flyer). The rest was easy, just a matter of taking bookings and selling tickets (£4 per family) in advance. “I’d advise keeping your party simple and try to make sure there’s a big open area (inside or out) for children to run around in. Also, don’t underestimate what local businesses such as supermarkets will offer if you approach them (either vouchers to spend on refreshments that you can then sell, or actual food and drink). Be brave – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
Carol and julie recently became co-chairs of the Wirral branch. They wanted an exciting party (pictured) to re-launch the branch and raise some money in the process
“We wanted the party to have a good family vibe, our choice of venue – the Maize Maze – was perfect as it was not only outdoorsy and packed with things to do, but also very accessible as it was close to the motorway junction. We created a village fete feel by putting up bunting around the refreshments kiosk and the reading tent. It looked great in the barn with all the hay bales around. The weather was also a bonus as it turned out to be such a fantastic day. “We decided not to charge an entrance fee but to have a good mix of paid and free activities. We charged £1 for activities such as the bouncy castles, face painting, tombola and the Maize Maze, and had plenty of free stuff like a colouring/craft area, Sing & Sign and Dancing Tots sessions. We wanted people to come away feeling they’d had a great time, not that they’d been fleeced. Having said that we wish we’d put a bucket for donations in the car park – people were offering to pay and it would have raised some extra funds. “Most of the takings on the day were from refreshments, bouncy castles and the maze. We sold raffle tickets before and during the event, which was also successful as we had some very good prizes donated. The cost of hiring the venue was paid for by selling tables to local businesses so we had a mini baby fair inside the barn, and produced a souvenir brochure (paid for by advertisers) that we gave out free to every family attending. “We advertised the event online with the local Netmums site and our website. We also gave out flyers at our Nearly New Sale and at a baby fair. The week before, we put up banners and posters on local roads. “We have had some fantastic feedback from people who attended, not just families, but also from the local businesses that came along. We enjoyed it too. Next time, we’d start planning a bit earlier as things got very hectic in the last few weeks. The party has got more people excited by the branch and we’ve established some very useful contacts. I think next time will be easier.”
Caroline of the Malvern Hills branch ran her party as a parting gift to the NCT
“After being membership secretary for three years, I decided to step down from my post in 2008. I chose to organise our annual summer event under the umbrella of a Cheeky Monkeys Tea Party. It was a thank you for the fun and support that my son oscar and I have received since relocating to the Malvern Hills. “We advertised the party by putting posters in shops, leisure centres, schools and nurseries. Press releases featured in the local newspaper as well as our branch newsletter. We also relied on trusty word of mouth. “The event was held in my local village hall. It looked great decorated with brightly coloured balloons and signage. I was amazed my how many local companies wanted to help; five Bridges osteopath practice, Little Dolphins swim school and usborne books were more that happy to donate the room hire charge. “The party went without a hitch and I was elated by the attendance and people’s goodwill.”
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 15
Store Managers • Assistant Managers • Sales Associates Great money, bonuses and benefits, including free phone, with free calls & texts
Who are our most successful salespeople? The ones that love chatting to customers. In fact, understanding exactly what customers want from their mobiles, pinpointing how we can help and seeing them leave the store happy is what it’s all about here. So if you’re keen to get back to the adult world, this is a chance to have fun at work and really get a buzz from what you do. As long as you’re naturally curious, a good listener and determined to deliver a top-notch customer experience, our training will soon make you an expert on our products and services. Who’d have thought talking to people could be so rewarding? Find out more at three.co.uk/careers
Swap baby talk for
out and about
NCT Member lucinda van der hart, describes the trials and tribulations of a pregnant woman’s daily commute on the London underground
Lucinda is not alone; many pregnant women feel overlooked on their commute, as one interesting survey revealed A recent survey carried out by London underground highlighted a number of issues facing pregnant women travelling in the Capital. The Mind the Bump report discovered that more than two thirds of pregnant women questioned cited rude and discourteous behaviour as a source of anxiety and stress during pregnancy. one in three felt they had to avoid public transport for fear of having to stand for the duration of the journey, and one in five spent more than £100 on taxis and private vehicles during their pregnancy to avoid standing on the Tube. it was in response to this that London underground launched ‘Baby on Board’ badges designed ‘to help women at all stages of pregnancy feel more confident in using the Tube and to make journeys less awkward for pregnant women and fellow passengers’. The badges are available from Transport for London’s Customer Service Centre, or by calling 0845 330 9880 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN, AT 24 WEEKS AND THREE DAYS pregnant, I was finally offered a seat on the Tube I was absolutely delighted. It was as if the day I had been waiting for throughout my pregnancy had actually arrived. I know this sounds dramatic but after struggling to and from work in an ever-advancing state of pregnancy, with no recognition from my fellow travellers, I was overjoyed when someone showed me some kindness. As a regular London commuter I know that Tube etiquette and pregnancy is a potential minefield. I’m aware what it’s like from the perspective of a non-pregnant person. When you’re sitting on the Tube bleary-eyed, at some ungodly hour, or shattered after a long day in the office I understand that the last thing on your mind is whether there is a pregnant passenger standing nearby. on the rare occasion that she is there, trying not to topple over, nobody wants to be the one to offer her their seat. It’s not because most commuters are mean, but the nightmare scenario of someone asking a woman if she would like to sit down, only to discover that she was not pregnant at all, just a bit overweight, is too embarrassing to contemplate.
I never suspected that being pregnant could make me such a grumpy traveller. Every time someone buries their head further into a newspaper – while I stand next to them, out of breath and buckling under the weight of my baby and handbag – I can’t help thinking what a selfish, seat-hogger they are. Then there’s the ‘Baby on Board’ badge! I found out about these potentially pride-saving labels in a less-than-desirable way. When offered a seat, that I gratefully accepted, a woman sitting next to me inexplicably asked if I was pregnant. ‘I am’, I replied, wondering if it wasn’t fairly obvious as I had reached almost 26 weeks. ‘Well, you shouldn’t expect to get a seat unless you have a badge telling people you’re pregnant,’ she exclaimed, adding, ‘You’re very small, you know.’ feeling rather f incensed by the impromptu lecture, I resolved never to buy a badge! Although I am deeply grateful for equal rights for women, I wish we could go back to the days when men were chivalrous. That way we could save a lot of aching backs and swollen ankles – and maybe even see a seated pregnant woman smile on the Tube from time to time.
WHAT’S YOuR STORY?
What is your experience of commuting while pregnant? Did you encounter any hostility from your fellow passengers? We would love to hear your story wherever you are. Email us your account at email@example.com
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 17
Photography: Lucy Johnston
Sabina Iqbal with her two children Samaira and Areeb
18 newgen magazine Spring 2009
Mother, writer and founder of Deaf Parenting uK, Sabina Iqbal, on how the only barrier for a deaf parent in bringing up two hearing children is the attitudes of others
t the moment life is a rollercoaster ride for my partner Asif and I. We’re both deaf parents to two hearing children, Samaira (31 months old) and Areeb (nine months old). The reason things are so hectic isn’t because we’re deaf, nor is it due to having a small baby and a very active toddler, but because we’ve bagged seven awards in the last two months for our voluntary work with Deaf Parenting uK! Being deaf parents was quite normal for myself and Asif as we’ve been deaf since birth. However, since deciding to become parents access to services has been one of the biggest challenges we’ve had to face. It was fortunate that I founded the charity Deaf Parenting uK. This organisation aims to support and give confidence to deaf parents in getting information and services in an accessible format, so I knew how to get what I needed. I also wrote a book, Pregnancy and Birth – a Guide for Deaf Women, in association with the NCT,
i was very well-informed of the birthing options and choices available
which was the first book in the world targeted at deaf parents. Although I wasn’t a parent while researching for the book, I did get to meet and interview many deaf parents. It was the insight I gained from them that helped me enormously when I fell pregnant the first time. Their experiences enabled me to be more confident in my approach to health professionals and exercising my right to have a British Sign
Language (BSL) interpreter present at all my antenatal appointments as well as my birth. Positive experience My midwife was new to meeting deaf parents but at my first antenatal appointment I explained my needs and expectations. I even gave her a copy of my book, which includes a section for health professionals with useful deaf awareness tips. My BSL interpreters were invaluable during my pregnancies and births; I had two during antenatal classes; the group class was very comprehensive, involving group discussion and it was impossible for one interpreter to cope without breaks. The class ensured that I was well-informed of the birthing options and choices available to me. I also had a BSL interpreter at the birth. Both my antenatal and postnatal experience was extremely positive – the staff at the birthing centre where I had my two children were very supportive
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 19
THE RIgHT SIgNS
British Sign Language is the first/ preferred language for more then 80,000 deaf people in the uK. Many hearing people also use BSL, meaning it is used more than Welsh or gaelic. Research shows that both hearing and deaf babies benefit from sign language before they learn to speak, as it reduces frustration and enables them to communicate their needs. for deaf parents, it is best to communicate in the language that is comfortable for them. Don’t worry if children, especially hearing ones, miss out on sounds. Those hearing children will pick up sounds from TV, radio and outside the home in school/nursery. They’ll pick up spoken language at every opportunity in hearing/auditory environments. Children of Deaf Parents (CoDA) reported that many children benefited from sign language as the first language to communicate with their deaf parents, whereas research showed that if deaf parents attempted to speak to their child (on advice from non-deaf aware professionals), the child will miss out on home language development and attachment to their deaf parents. Communicating with deaf parents: advice for professionals For staff/professionals working with deaf parents, it is vital to be aware of their needs; communicate directly with them face to face and enable them to see your face when you speak. The onus is on service providers to book BSL interpreters to enable deaf parents to have the same access to your services, as any other parents. This is in line with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995/ 2000.
20 newgen magazine Spring 2009
it’s important for Samaira to see that it’s natural to have deaf parents
and deaf aware. I made an extra effort to meet them prior to the labour, making them aware of my needs. I was lucky, as I’ve known many deaf parents who have had experience of bad attitudes, little deaf awareness and a limited choice. The midwife/health visitors were fully aware of my needs and looked at me face-to-face so I could lip-read. If further discussion was needed, a BSL interpreter would be booked to meet our communication needs. The right response The obvious thing about being deaf is that we are unable to hear crying or baby sounds. But we are visual, so we can tune in with our baby’s emotions visually, seeing if they are upset, happy, sad or tired usually it works for us. It takes time and practice to get used to each baby. We have a silent alert pager that alerts us of our baby crying and have two pagers, one for each baby so we know which one is crying. This, although bulky, is useful for identification. Sound development As I mentioned earlier, both our children are hearing. Although we use BSL at home, our families speak urdu and English with them. our daughter is tri-lingual and learning french once a week at nursery (which she loves). We believed that it was essential for Samaira to start nursery as early as ten months old to aid with her spoken language development. My background in social work, and current position as team manager for Sensory Team, has meant I’ve supported
HELP IS AT HANd
Deaf Parenting UK is the first ever charity and small organisation run by deaf parents for deaf parents and represents the needs of deaf parents in the uK. The aims of deaf Parenting uK are: • To enable confidence, empower and support deaf parents and deaf parents-to-be • To highlight the gaps in UK services and address those gaps • To work with various organisations including health, social services, education, deaf and mainstream parenting organisations to improve access to information and services to deaf parents. deaf Parenting uK has also worked in partnership with the NCT by commissioning an NCT antenatal trainer for deaf Parenting’s prenatal course in Spring 2008. The classes gave deaf parents the opportunity to participate fully and exercise their right to make informed choices. For more information and resources visit the website deafparent.org.uk
Sabina makes sure she is tuned in to her children’s needs
many deaf parents with hearing children to gain places at nursery, enabling those children to gain the language development that they would otherwise lack. We felt it essential for Samaira’s learning and overall progress that she has the opportunity to meet and socialise with other children in the nursery. our instinct was right; we discovered how well Samaira did at nursery and her language development soared so steeply – she’s ever so chatty! All staff at the nursery have been fantastic. We were actually the first deaf parents they have come across but they have taken us through Samaira’s development, explaining and gesturing to us as well as using a communication book. Some of them are even learning BSL so they can continue using it with Samaira. It’s important for Samaira to see that it’s natural to have deaf parents in the same way as having parents from a variety of backgrounds, including cultural, religious or combinations of them all. We are now introducing Areeb to nursery and hope he will develop just as happily.
other parents have also been great, with party invites galore for Samaira. I’m very relieved as I have known many other children of deaf parents who don’t get invited to things because hearing people do not know how to communicate with the parents – it’s a shame because it’s the children that miss out. The future My maternity leave is coming to an end and like many parents, I have mixed feelings about returning to work. financial necessity aside, it will be good to get back to an adult environment after a year with a baby and toddler. I know, after my previous maternity leave with Samaira, it will take six months to settle back into the work routine and will be exhausting in the first few months, so I am a bit daunted at that prospect! While our experiences as deaf parents have been positive so far, this doesn’t mean we won’t encounter some barriers. When we do, we don’t make a big deal out of it – why make it worse? unless of course, it has an impact on our children.
PREgNANCY ANd BIRTH - A guIdE FOR dEAF WOMEN
by Sabina Iqbal
Written for deaf mothers and mothers to be, the book provides clear information on pregnancy and your baby’s first few days. £14.99
Available from nctshop.co.uk or call 08458 100 100
No fairy tale
QUINNY BUZZ UNFOLDS AUTOMATICALLY
Now here’s a clever trick: the Quinny Buzz unfolds itself fully and automatically with no effort at all. The stylish design and excellent handling is great for you whilst the soft and comfortable seat makes every journey a pleasure for your child. What’s more, the Quinny Buzz can be used from birth as a travel system with the Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix infant carrier or the Quinny Dream Pram Body. Choose your favourite colour from the 2009 collection and discover the amazing world of Quinny. The Quinny Buzz now comes as a three-or-four-wheeler.
After the shock of becoming pregnant at just 16 years old, young mum Chloe Morton is adjusting to her new life with the help of an NCT initiative
THERE ARE PLENTY of uNfAIR stereotypes surrounding teenage mums – mainly generated by the popular press. We wanted to look beyond the negative labels and ask someone who is going through the experience first hand, so we contacted Choices – a Brighton-based NCT initiative that helps young parents by providing information and support throughout pregnancy and the first few months of their child’s life. We spoke to Chole Morton, one of the mums who utilises its services. Emotional rollercoaster Chloe disproves the theory that teenage mums are irresponsible – her pregnancy came as a huge shock as she had been on the pill. It was a rude awakening for the 16-year-old. “I was totally unprepared,” says Chloe. “I never imagined I’d be in the situation I am now – living on my own, with a child and no support from the father.” After giving birth to a healthy boy, Amari Kye (which means ‘eternal beauty’), Chloe briefly moved in with her father but, as time went on, she realised that she and Amari needed their own space. With no previous experience of motherhood and still a child herself, Chloe and her baby moved into their own home – something she cites as “the greatest challenge of her life”. Becoming a parent brings enormous changes – physically, emotionally and socially. These changes are difficult enough for people who’ve benefited from the support of their partner and years of life experience, Chole had to deal with this alone at the age of 16. She is honest about the reality of being a teenage mum: “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. I would often dream about what it was going to be like when Amari was born, but nothing could prepare me. I just had to focus on dealing with the situation. “I lost most of my friends and I don’t get much help. Nearly all of my time is spent with my baby and I only get to go out on
I’ve met some really good friends who’ve provided me with support
my own about once a month. I don’t have much money to get by on – it’s tough,” Support network Shortly after giving birth, Chloe was introduced to Choices and has found the sessions to be very valuable: “I’ve met some really good friends who’ve provided me with a support network that I can rely on. We’re all in a similar situation so to be able to meet every week, share experiences and offer each other advice, has been brilliant,” she says. “If I’m worried about anything, I always know I can discuss it at the meetings.” There is also a social side to the initiative and the young mums are encouraged to go out and have fun such as enjoying ten-pin bowling or swimming trips together. Alison Porges, who runs Choices in Brighton and Hove, says “It’s so important that these young mums, many of whom are single, have a place to go and meet likeminded people. It can be a very isolating experience so to be able to get out and learn about cooking, weaning and childcare while enjoying themselves is vital.” Although Chloe’s situation is not ideal, she has remained positive and her outlook provides great hope for the future: “If my child is happy then I’m happy.”
WHAT’S YOuR STORY?
Whether you are a younger or older parent, the NCT aims to support you. If you’d like to share your experience with other members, then we would love to hear your story. Email us your account at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 23
The NCT is proud to premiere a new DVD that aims to empower new mums from all over the country to feel proud about breastfeeding
NCT STAff WERE AMoNG THoSE oN the ‘red carpet’ for the eagerly anticipated premier of from Bump to Breastfeeding – a 30-minute DVD, which every pregnant woman in the uK will receive for free, during their antenatal period. As the title suggests, the film tells the story of the beginnings of pregnancy to the vital stage of breastfeeding. The film was created by the charity Best Beginnings, who received funding from a number of health departments – including the NHS and Department of Health – and guidance from the NCT throughout production. The DVD will be distributed by health departments and is available to health professionals through the usual channels.
24 newgen magazine Spring 2009
Photo: Courtesy of from Bumps to Breastfeeding
NCT Chief Executive, Belinda Phipps, was very enthusiastic about the film’s launch: “The NCT is delighted to have been involved in the production of this fantastic new resource for expectant parents. from Bump to Breastfeeding delivers all the helpful tips and information that parents need. Indeed, it brilliantly summarises a lot of what we have been providing to parents for many years. our
experienced breastfeeding counsellors helped to produce the DVD and are always available to provide parents with support, so that they can have a positive experience of breastfeeding. We are thrilled that every expectant mother will get a copy.” NCT Breastfeeding tutor Patricia Wise also reviewed the DVD. She enthused: “Over the past 50 years NCT workers have encouraged and supported women to breastfeed their babies – this DVD is a very exciting development.”
Informative and realistic
The film is already proving to be very popular with mums. Sarah Rollings, who is mum to Rosie (six months), responded very positively saying: “I thought the film was informative and realistic about breastfeeding. It included real women’s
Mums on film
“Breastfeeding is fab”
“ThE BLuE ANd WhiTE ‘BREASTfEEdiNg Welcome’ stickers (pictured) that are on most public buildings in Scotland help a lot – they make it obvious that you’ll receive no hassle. “on the whole attitudes are good. i was feeding freya in the library near my home in the West End of glasgow, and a male member of staff happened to be passing and actually stopped to ask me if i’d like a glass of water! i thought that was pretty impressive. “Rolling out the blue and white stickers in England would be a positive step toward making it clear that it is socially acceptable to breastfeed your baby. “i’m fairly boobs-out myself, but the ideal situation would be that breastfeeding advice and support from health professionals would improve and become consistent countrywide, so that breastfeeding became the norm. i know the NCT is working to achieve this. if this happened many more mums would feel confident to feed wherever they are were out and about. “i’ve never come across any negative comments when feeding freya in public. i actually get more irritated by friends and family. i’m often asked ‘Are you still feeding her yourself?’ ‘how long are you going to feed her for?’ ‘You’ll be wanting to wean her off now?’ The answers are becoming more terse: yes, as long as she wants, and no. “I find it sad that I’m viewed as a freak when i’m doing the easiest thing for me and the best for freya. “Breastfeeding is fab – i feel so bonded to freya and we’re very close. i know that not only can i provide her food myself (of course, she does eat some solids now as well), but i can also calm her down, make her feel better if she falls over, get her to sleep easily, quench her thirst and give her some valuable attention if she’s getting overwhelmed. No need for a dummy, bottle, potions etc. That makes you feel pretty strong and confident as a mother. Also, I lost my baby weight and bump very quickly – although sadly, months of sitting around drinking cappuccino and eating muffins has put some back on!”
unlike England, in Scotland, it’s illegal to bar women from breastfeeding their babies in public. one Scotland-based mum, Georgia Reid, tells us about her experience of breastfeeding her oneyear-old daughter freya
nCT ToP TiP* ‘A couple of yellow Pages or another couple of big books placed under your feet if you’re breastfeeding in a chair gives you real support – it sounds really odd, but it works!’
stories and women from different backgrounds, which is an effective way of getting people to relate to and understand that breastfeeding is something they could do. “I cried when I was watching the different experiences of people’s labours (mine didn’t go exactly to plan). It was interesting to see how each mum then got on with breastfeeding. This is a really important thing to include as different labours may have different outcomes with how people bond with their baby and how they may then struggle with breastfeeding. I don’t think this is something that is very widely publicised so I was pleased to see it tackled here.” The DVD even carries a celebrity angle, with Arsenal forward Theo Walcott’s 24 year old sister Hollie appearing in the film with her two children. Theo, whose mother is a midwife, said, “I am very proud of my sister for taking part.”
Give yourself time to establish breastfeeding. Learning how to do it takes patience and practice in the first few weeks. It’s a bit like learning to ride a bike! The NCT info centre is packed with information on breastfeeding; from looking after your nipples to support from dads and friends and family. If you’re having problems or are in pain, speak to an NCT breastfeeding counsellor on our Breastfeeding Line – 0870 444 8708, 8am – 10pm any day of the week.
To see the film for yourself go online at bestbeginnings.info/video. After you’ve watched it, tell us what you think by emailing Newgen on email@example.com
Spring 2009 newgen magazine 25
24 newgen magazine Spring 2009
The NCT believe in midwife-led care before, during and after the birth of your child, and we want to make sure that, in the future, this high-level of treatment is available, as standard, nationwide. So, what do parents need from their midwife?
EMPAThY And undERSTAndinG
“Today’s family usually only has two or three children so people are not brought up surrounded by babies. Therefore the perfect midwife would understand that, although it may be the 10,000th baby that she’s delivered, it could well be the first one that the mother has ever held, let alone looked after.” Susan dinmore, Byfleet & District. (SD) “A midwife is someone who is able to build relationships quickly and engender trust. Someone who understands how to work in a way that suits their clients, so that those who have disadvantages – be they young, poor, disabled, with limited education or in an unusual situation – feel able to make use of their help. A good midwife will listen to a mother and understand her worries and darkest fears, helping her find a way to overcome them. She will inspire confidence in women to give birth and communicate with the baby’s dad too.” Belinda Phipps, NCT Chief Executive. (BP) “I’d like the father’s feelings to be taken into consideration. I was made to feel ‘in the way’ at my son’s birth and got the strong impression that the midwife resented my presence. I’m not one of these men who wanted to be macho about being at the birth, but I’ve been with my partner for 14 years and, as the only person who knew her, I wanted to be there for her. Gone are the days when the bloke would stay at the pub or pace around outside the delivery room – as a caring partner I’d have liked to have been able to provide some useful support.” Ian Rankine, London.
“Midwives need to be able to put across evidence-based information in a way that parents can understand and use to make their decisions.” BP “A midwife should help women to identify their options and empower them to achieve the birth they want. She should talk about safety not risk and treat all women as the individuals they are.” Michelle Barnes, Sheffield, sheffieldbirthdoula.com. (MB) “I got quite big during my second pregnancy – our daughter weighedin at 12lbs – and lots of people were urging me to have a caesarean, which I really didn’t want to do. My midwife supported me in my decision to have the birth that I wanted. I wish all mums could have that valuable backing.” Emma Timpson, Cumbria.
“It would be great if, in the future, a midwife would stay with the mother throughout the labour. We built-up such a level of trust with our ‘first’ midwife during my wife’s labour, only for her to leave when my wife only had an hour to go! This was, at best, odd. We have friends who had an independent midwife with them throughout the whole process – we’ll do this for any future children we have.” Tom Berwick, Colchester.
“A midwife should be passionate about her work and always willing to go the extra mile.” MB “A midwife should be able to orchestrate other public services to meet the needs of the families they are supporting. She should be proactive and skilled enough to know when it’s time to call on the help of others, be it a doctor, a social worker or the housing dept. She’s someone who, within the NHS, can persuade their unit to have homely, suitable rooms and policies that work for the users.” BP “A good midwife is a proactive one. With my second child, I reacted really badly to the morphine tablets after my caesarean. After passing out for a third time, the midwife badgered the doctor until he gave me some different painkillers – within 30 minutes I was up and about.” Sd
onE To onE
“I’d like to see the Independent Midwives Association (IMA) NHS Community Midwifery Model of care implemented across the uK. This is where the woman chooses her own midwife and that same midwife will then support and care for her during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. This would give women the continuity of care that is required to make birth a safer and more satisfying experience.” MB “Midwives are teachers as well as nurses. It can take a long time to learn certain things and surely children are the most complicated of all. one-onone guidance with your midwife is a definite must.” Sd
Getting into Rugby
NCT member Simone Costello reflects on the literally ‘moving’ experience of parenthood, which resulted in her relocating from London to Warwickshire
THE CLICHé IS TRuE; HAVINg A BABY IS a life-changing experience. Once you’ve got that new little person in your life – who is completely dependent on you – the phrase ‘looking after number one’ takes on a different meaning and the path that you once planned out for yourself goes in a totally new direction. f for both myself and my partner, things started to take an exciting new course as soon as I went on maternity leave. He and I had spent our ‘youth’ having fun, studying for our degrees and chasing professions in journalism. After all that, getting pregnant was the best 40th birthday present I could wish for. from that moment onwards my partner and I were thinking of building a family not climbing the career ladder. After lots of research into pregnancy and birth, we decided to join the NCT and attend antenatal classes. It was a great decision – I met some really nice people and benefited from their advice and support. My NCT membership really inspired me so I started to volunteer for Waltham forest f NCT (East London) as a newsletter coeditor and got involved in the local branch. Volunteering was great for me as I could use my skills for charity, meet more people and keep my brain engaged both pre and post birth. When my baby, Michela, was nine months old I was still at home. I didn’t feel ready to go back to work as she was still breastfeeding. My partner, who is selfemployed, also made sure he had time off between projects to be with Michela. As well as the emotional impact of becoming a parent I was astonished at the very dramatic change in our physical environment – after having a baby our home appeared to shrink by the day. If that wasn’t enough there is baby stuff as far as the eye can see, the laundry basket is overflowing and toys are taking over all the floor space. Just after Michela’s first birthday we put our house on the market. our lovely home that we had enjoyed so much, pre-Michela, had proved to be unsuitable for raising a child and the hard-landscaped garden with huge pond was a hazard. We wanted to live in a commutable town with a good quality of life, excellent schools and a lively community. We borrowed travel books on English counties from the library and started researching locations on the internet. We even looked at Google Earth satellite images of various locations! I also posted a message on the NCT Editors’ forum requesting members to suggest good locations and, to my delight, I received many friendly and useful emails. Eventually we settled on Rugby in Warwickshire. It’s just about commutable to London, with good schools and affordable property prices. After exchanging contracts on our house, we found a property to rent in Rugby and I contacted the local NCT. I received a warm welcome and the newsletter as soon we arrived. Thanks to the NCT I’ve met many people in Rugby already and I’m getting involved with the community by helping with the newsletter and breastfeeding café. I’ve now set up my own website, started trying to get work as a freelance writer and proofreader and I am still looking after Michela. It may not be the best of times to start a business, but we are happy to have found a place we can call home.
Thanks to the NcT I’ve met many people in rugby already and I’m getting involved with the community
Rugby Rugb Rugby
illustration: greta dickman
an exclusive interview with World Champion swimmer Karen Pickering, who is pioneering a scheme to get more babies in the water, a look at how pregnant women and babies are represented through popular culture, plus stories about a working mum, parents with autistic children and pregnancy while looking after teenagers.
34 newgen magazine Spring 2009
Coming up in newgen In our next issue we’ve got another photo competition,
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