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.

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