About Me

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Rugby, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
I am a mother of five children, four daughters all born in hospital (two now grown up!) and my son, born at home. One thing I know is that I would have had much more positive birth experiences if I had been well informed and well supported. Many women are feeling the same way and are seeking out the extra care a Doula can give them. I have been a Birth and Postnatal Doula for several years now, and am also a Lamaze Childbirth Educator providing 1-1 classes in antenatal preparation and baby care. I have special classes to help parents prepare for twins, homebirth, waterbirth, and parenting a new baby/babies. I am also a qualified antenatal teacher with the NCT and facilitate group classes in the Rugby/Coventry area. As a single mother I have an affinity with the special challenges of one parent families, or families where one partner is unavailable much of the time to offer support.

Monday, 28 December 2009

.......doula art! Wales retreat june 09........


Saturday, 26 December 2009

Welcome to baby Charlie...

Baby Charlie came into the world on the 15th October after a super quick labour, with the pool only just filled in time!
his big sister, 18 yr old Ellie supported her mum, Louise and cut the cord once it stopped pulsating...
big congratulations to mum for having a wonderful birth after going three weeks 'overdue'

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Welcome to the world, baby Aron!

Baby Aron, born 17th August, at 7.46am - after a beautiful, natural birth!
Amazing mum laboured beautifully and naturally - giving little Aron a calm and peaceful birth!
A true inspiration - i was honoured to be their doula!!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Money4mum2be : Directgov

Money4mum2be : Directgov

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From April 2009, you can claim a one-off, tax-free payment from H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if you're a mum-to-be who's at least 25 weeks pregnant. The payment is called 'Health in Pregnancy Grant' and is to help you prepare for the birth of your baby.Your due date needs to be on or after 6 April 2009 for you to make a claim.
Who can get Health in Pregnancy Grant?
You can get the grant if all of the following apply:
you are 25 weeks pregnant or more
your expected date of delivery is on or after 6 April 2009
you have been given health advice from a midwife or doctor
you may not get the grant if:
you are subject to immigration control or
you are not present, ordinarily resident or have a right to reside in the UK
How much do you get?
The grant will be a one-off payment of £190 for each pregnancy. It will not affect your tax credits or any other benefits. Everyone will get the same amount – you will not be asked about your income.
How do you claim?
Get a claim form from your midwife or doctor any time from 1 January 2009 onwards - as long as you're at least 25 weeks pregnant and your expected delivery date is on or after 6 April 2009. Your midwife or doctor must fill in their part of the form and sign it before giving it to you. You will need to get your claim form to HMRC within 31 days of your midwife or doctor signing the form - otherwise you may miss out on the grant.You can get a free text message or email reminder to help you remember to claim if you are not 25 weeks pregnant yet.
Sign-up for the HiPG reminder service
How is the Grant paid?
HMRC will pay the grant directly into your bank or building society account any time from April 2009 onwards. Don’t worry if you don't have an account - any bank or building society will help you open one.
More useful links
More about the Health in Pregnancy Grant Download the Health in Pregnancy Grant podcast (MP3, 11mb)
Additional links
Don't forget to claim

More from Directgov
Having a baby
Working when pregnant
Preparing for pregnancy and advice on conceiving
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Friday, 31 July 2009

Rugby Breastfeeding cafe - calender!

All funds raised by the 2010 calendar will go back into the breastfeeding cafe and will directly benefit the parents using the group by providing money for refreshments, information resources, and training.
Rosie and her team have achieved something wonderful here, a really beautiful calender, raising awareness and money for a much valued service in our community.
i couldn't recommend enough to order your copy now!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Fit to Bust!!

Brilliant book!!! written by Alison Blenkinsop, international Board Certified Lactation Consultant:- http://www.linkable.biz/

Fit to Bust - a unique celebration of breastfeeding and motherhood to raise funds for Baby Milk Action. ISBN 978-1-906206-89-5 RRP £9.99

"What do you get when you combine musical talent with lactation? Fit to Bust ~ a gloriously joyful celebration of the breastfeeding life. This is truly a unique contribution to lactation literature, which will be enjoyed by the whole family."Veronika Robinson, Editor, The Mother magazine http://www.themothermagazine.co.uk/

Alison writes:-This book, published in June 2008, is a celebration of breastfeeding, motherhood and related topics. It contains my own compositions of songs and verse, and other material including cartoons, stories, quotations and information on feeding in the human and the animal world.

Click here for a song to celebrate Nestlé-free week, annually in October
Profits from the sale of this book will be given to Baby Milk Action to help its vital work of protecting breastfeeding, and protecting babies fed on formula, by ending the irresponsible marketing of breastmilk substitutes. This is a matter of life and death; in areas with unsafe water a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea. (Alison saw babies die from lack of breastfeeding when she lived and worked in Pakistan with CMS from 1976 to 1990.) In developed countries, a bottle-fed baby has a lower standard of health than a fully breastfed baby in the developing world. According to UNICEF, reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save 1.5 million lives around the world every year.
Baby Milk Action is a non-profit organisation that works within a global network, the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). See http://www.babymilkaction.org/
The book's production is entirely independent of Baby Milk Action, and the organisation takes no responsibility for any of its contents.
For more information, or to order a copy, please contact Alison on her hotmail.com address, putting aliblenk@ first. The book may also be ordered from the publishers, Pen Press, tel 0845 1080530. Bulk orders from them will cost the purchaser less, but direct ordering from her for up to 3 copies gets more money for Baby Milk Action. You can also order online from Baby Milk Action by clicking on the above link.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Mama Packs!

The Mama Pack is here to change the face of the natal pack!
In the UK almost every mother looks forward to her ‘pack’ from the midwife and hospital…. the excitement of opening the pack up and rooting through all the freebies inside is tangible in the ante-natal clinics!
But there are a growing number of expectant mothers who feel let down by the contents as they look through the plastic printed bag.
Disposable nappies, disposable chemical filled wipes, disposable breast pads IF you get any at all….. handful’s of leaflets seemingly encouraging you to have a hospital birth, formula feed and buy the most expensive buggy and feed your precious baby from hermetically sealed jars of food prepared by machines in factories!
The Mama Pack is here to change all that!
Each pack will contain various SAMPLE items not only promoting but also letting you feel and test sample products that are earth friendly, ethical, holistic,natural and geared towards encouraging parents to a more attached and relaxed method of parenting.
Amongst our contributions we have:
Independent Midwives,Cloth Nappies,Cloth Nappy Advisor’s,Sling Makers,Cloth Sanitary Towels,Breastfeeding Advice,Nursing Necklaces,Breastfeeding Dolls,Natural & Organic Toiletries,Bath Bombs & Soaps,Knitwear,Menstrual Cups,Ethical Magazines,Organic Food,Art & Crafts……………………………………..
And SO much more!!
Our list of contributors is growing by the day.
Independent Midwives, Breastfeeding counsellors, Doulas, family of Mums to be and Mums to be are just some of the people who purchase Mama packs!
They are a fantastic gift for any Mother to be, fabulous educational tool for anyone wanting to learn more about a more natural parenting and fantastic tool for advertising and promoting YOUR business!
Materials Used
All paper products are either recycled or have a certain amount of recycled content. If not, then the virgin paper used comes from sustainable sources where at least one tree is planted for every tree chopped down.
All inks used on our paper bags are water based.
Glues and other chemicals are all environmentally friendly (i.e. starch based)
Some packaging may be plastic but we are currently sourcing alternatives as are our WAHM contributors.
• FSC certified labels – made with paper from well-managed forests
• Fully Recyclable – as part of paper waste
• Water-based adhesive – safe for you and the environment - This is a water based adhesive that doesn’t contain any harmful solvent and therefore it is safe for the environment or human beings. It can even bestuck on non-fatty foodstuff. For example you could stick the label to an apple, peel it off again and still eat the apple without any health risks.
• ECF-label paper – bleached elementary chlorine free
Contents of the Mama Pack fall under the individual samplers terms & conditions. Please refer to the website terms of each product. Please keep packs away from children under 16 as there may be products that may have small parts or not taste very nice as a young man who tried a soap nut found out! Actually he was a dad but it just goes to show!
The sample packs also contain discount coupons, free gift vouchers and competition entries for our WAHM stores and other ethical companies! So don’t throw the paperwork away… read it!! Pack contents may vary week by week.


Mama Pack

Mama Pack

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Home- Education and how my life as a Doula works!

I have been home-educating my two younger girls, Ashleigh (8y) and Dana (6y) for 6 years now! We are actively involved in the local HE community which comprises of many families in Rugby, Coventry and surrounding areas.
There are many groups, meetings, activities, outings and even holidays organised by local families! One myth of home educating is that the children don’t socialise outside of the family, but in fact most HE kids are more socialised than schooled children! They are not categorised by age, sex, ability etc... as in school, they mix with each other equally regardless – this generates a good understanding of each others’ needs, and respect for those not ‘the same’ as them. There is no bullying, criticism, segregation by ability (which can undermine confidence) there is only support, acceptance, tolerance and love.
There are as many different ways to home educate as there are families! There are autonomous families, who are totally ‘child led’ which means there is no ‘formal’ academic teaching unless the child requires it. There are curriculums which can be followed, ie sonlight curriculum is an American based Christian one. There is the Charlotte Mason method, which is literature and nature based, there are a thousand more! You don’t have to follow any one of them, or you can research them all and pick the bits you like.
As a family we broadly follow the Steiner Waldorf tradition, which is very home based, the mother (can be the father) is the ‘homemaker’ and the children are not expected to apply academic studies until they are approx 8yrs old, this style is very popular on the continent! And the idea is that children learn nurturing skills through free play, and observation of the nurturing caregivers. They are encouraged to help bake, do natural handcrafts, observe nature, learn songs, stories, care for pets, environment, each other, and THEMSELVES! This gives them confidence and excellent self-esteem, which in turn boosts their academic studies when they are ready to pursue them. My husband is an engineer and works shifts which means that he can be around a great deal of time, and i work as a Doula, which is a fantastic way for me to extend my home role into the community, by offering the same nurturing support that i do at home to other families preparing to welcome a new baby. This way i am not disappearing off to do a job which is completely alien to my children, they understand exactly what i do as it is a role familiar to them, and i believe they truly benefit from that.

is not a case of Home-Education Versus School-Education, they both have their merits and faults, but the important thing is that there is the CHOICE to do either, you can even have a ‘go’ with the one to revert to the other if it’s not proven to be right for your family.

I have had two daughters attend school, Aimee, and Tashie, my eldest girls, as i worked full time when they were young, i did the school runs, the childcare, after school care, holiday schemes etc.. been there, done it, got the T-shirt! But to make the decision to educate my younger children out of the school system was one of the best ones i have ever made, and i could give a million reasons why!

Yes it IS legal!

No, you don’t have to be a teacher!

No, you don’t have to ‘register’ or get ‘permission’ to do it!

For more information about Home-Education support etc.. in Rugby you are welcome to contact me:- fay@sacredspiraldoula.co.uk

For general information contact:- http://www.educationotherwise.org/

:- http://www.heas.org.uk/

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Breastfeeding Support!

There is lots and lots of Breastfeeding support in Rugby, which is wonderful!

19 years ago, when i had my first baby there was little available support (at least none that i was aware of at the time!) and social pressure dictated that it was 'unacceptable behaviour'!! it was only for the fact that i then spent some time in Germany, that i began to feel comfortable with breastfeeding, as it was considered the norm there. but still on my return to the uk, i felt that i couldn't extend breastfeeding my daughter beyond 3-4 months, which was a shame. the difference that good support could have made.

there are two breastfeeding cafe's in Rugby, with trained counsellors available to help with any problems or questions mums may have. Also the La Leche League has regular meetings in Coventry, and can supply support and information to mums before and after the birth of baby.

for more information on La Leche League meetings etc..:- http://www.etribes.com/lllcoventry

for information about Rugby Breastfeeding cafe:- http://www.rugbybreastfeedingcafe.co.uk

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Yoga course!

I have decided to get qualified to teach yoga to pregnant and post partum ladies.
i have been 'doing' yoga for a couple of years now, and have really benefited from the practice, especially while i was pregnant.
i really believe yoga helped me carry and birth my last baby much easier. especially during birth, i naturally found the position to give birth easier.

yoga gives you the body awareness, the confidence and the inner calm through meditation. what a powerful tool for a pregnant woman!

i have just signed up with the British School of Yoga, to train to become a teacher, and cant wait to start the course!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Baby yoga!

took Alfie to baby yoga today, he really enjoyed it! we did baby exercises with baby knees to chest, arms in and out, singing all the time.. wonderful!
then it was time for mum! we did dynamic cat, hip rotations, stretches, and walking around holding the little ones doing camel dips.

Janet Dobbie - teaches mum and baby yoga at the rugby friends meeting house on a Friday morning.
she also teaches a pregnancy class and has classes for regular attendance too!

definitely recommended!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Article in the local paper!

new blog!

hello!! this is my new blog as Sacred spiral Doula!