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Summer 2014 Uckfield, Heathfield & District INSIDE: ©NCT, Alexandra House, Oldham Terrace London W3 6NH Registered charity no. 801395 Local Baby Group Listings Lots of meetups - open to everyone Local news & updates on what we’ve been up to Bump, Birth & Beyond ... Please don’t throw me away, pass me on to a friend today!

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  • Summer 2014

    Uckfield, Heathfield & District


    ©NCT, Alexandra House, Oldham Terrace London W3 6NH Registered charity no. 801395

    Local Baby Group Listings

    Lots of meetups - open to everyone

    Local news & updates on what we’ve been up to

    Bump, Birth

    & Beyond ...

    Please don’t throw me away, pass me on to a friend today!

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 2

  • Contents News

    5) Farewell to our Chair!

    20) Baby & Toddler Groups UCKFIELD

    25) Baby & Toddler Groups HEATHFIELD

    26) AMM Reports - Chair

    28) AMM Reports - Treasurer

    29) AMM Reports - Membership,

    Parent Services Co-ordinator, PSA Link

    30) AMM Reports - Newsletter Editors,

    Baby & Toddler Show, Valley Cushion.

    Things to do ...

    34) Name Cookie Recipes

    36) Craft Corner


    6) Uckfield Mums On … Names

    8) What’s in a Name?

    10) A Mum’s Father’s Day

    16) Anna’s Birth Story

    38) Alternative Therapy in Pregnancy

    Branch Services

    5) Breastfeeding Support

    15) Nearly New Sale Dates

    21) Social Diary

    31) Our Upcoming Events

    40) Branch Volunteer Contact Details

    40) Valley Cushion Contact

    41) Advertising in Bump, Birth & Beyond …

    Join our group on Facebook to keep up to

    date with events and local offers.

    Open to members and non-members.

    NCT Uckfield, Heathfield &



  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 4


    Elizabeth & Tiffany

    Hello everyone!

    I am writing this welcome after spending a beautiful day in the sunshine. Ice cream, walking along the beach and happy girlies has made the day just lovely. I really hope the wonderful weather continues but I did see on someone's Facebook status that there will be just one more day of glorious sunshine then back to rain, boooooo! I am a big warm weather fan (I think this is because I am an Aries...) and before having my girls I was cabin crew so I was quite accustomed to spending time in hot countries. I am just waiting on the girl's 1

    st passports to arrive so I can book a foreign

    holiday somewhere hot hot hot :).

    I am still unable to believe that 3 months have passed since the last newsletter, my baby was 1 a few weeks ago and is now walking. Does that make her a toddler? I feel she is still too small and little to be one of those just yet! She had a cake smash the other day and despite the initial cake making disaster she had a brilliant time eating nearly the whole thing!! On her actual birthday we went to Booth woodlands (behind Victoria Pleasure Ground) and took pictures of her and her sister in the bluebells. Going to make this a yearly birthday tradition, will look back at the years of those photos with fondness I am sure.

    Names is the theme of this newsletter. We have compiled a list of names and why they were chosen, we have name related crafts and a couple of other good reads that we hope you find interesting. If you would like to contribute to our newsletter we would love to have you help us. You could become a regular, writing an article for us about something passionate to you. You can then pop something fresh and up-to-date on your CV... Please get in touch with either myself (Elizabeth) or Tiff at [email protected] if you would like to get involved.

    Or send Frances an email at: [email protected] if you’d like to get involved with us and the goings on of YOUR branch. We have lots of events you can help with - Cheeky Monkey’s Tea Party, Uckfield Baby & Toddler Show, Nearly New Sales and NCT Christmas Party, are all being organised now :)

    Thanks to Butterfly for being such a beautiful cover girl.

    [email protected]

    All views expressed in this newsletter are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the NCT charity.

    The appearance of an advertisement in this newsletter does not imply endorsement of the advertiser or its

    products by the NCT, nor does it constitute a recommendation. The information in this newsletter is intended

    for the use of NCT members, only in connection with NCT activities and may not be used for any commercial


    The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) offers information and support in pregnancy, childbirth and early

    parenthood. The NCT believes that parents benefit from being involved with a network of parents in

    their local community to share experiences. www.nct.org.uk (Registered Charity No. 801395)

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]

  • Farewell to our Chair Thanks for all your hard work and leadership, Frances! Following the AMM meeting held last week at Buxted Park Hotel we have to say a huge, gigantic THANK YOU to Frances Baily who has chaired our branch for the last few years. Frances has unfortunately had to step down as chair due to work commitments but will remain on the committee which is brilliant as we all have a lot to learn from her.

    I first met Frances at Under 1s when I was a private nanny. She always spoke to me and following our meeting I did a bit of babysitting for her when she returned to tutoring in the evenings. We have remained friends since and despite having two young boys to look after, working a full time job and running a family and household she has held us together and brought us through the highs and lows the branch has had.

    Frances joined the committee when her first son was small in 2009 and has graduated from newsletter editor to co-chair before takind the reigns as chair before now moving into Parent Support Co-ordinator. We want to wish her all the best for the future and thank her again for the huge contributions she has made towards the Uckfield, Heathfield and District NCT branch.

    If you would like to get involved in your local branch, please email us

    [email protected]

    [email protected] 5

    Drop in breastfeeding support (see p20 for specific venue details)

    Uckfield - Term time Mon 10:30 -11:30am Crowborough - Tues 1:30pm-2:45pm

    Heathfield - Tues 10:00 -11:00am Lewes - Mon 10:00-11:30am

    Princess Royal, HH - Wed 1:30-3:30pm

    NCT Helpline 0300 330 0700

    National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212

    Breastfeeding Network 0300 100 0210

    La Leche League Helpline 0845 120 2918

    Assc. Of Breastfeeding Mothers 08444 122 949

    Breastfeeding Peer Support Co-ord

    Michelle Goldsmith 07775 034907

    [email protected]

    Breastfeeding Support

    Don’t be afraid to ask for information and support if you need help with breastfeeding. If something is worrying you, other mothers are likely to feel or have felt the same. You can get help from your midwife, health visitor or peer supporter (a local trained volunteer mother). Call your GP surgery or health clinic for contact details or go to your local Breast Is Best Support group.

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 6

    Uckfield Mums On ...

    Names We asked you to tell us about why you chose your children's names and this is what you said ...

    Evie after watching 'The Mummy'. And it was the leading lady's name. Immediately loved it and I already knew she was a girl so it stuck from then on. Eliza was unnamed for two weeks, we just couldn't decide on one we both liked until watching Jonathan Ross and Eliza Doolittle was being interviewed. We both actually liked it and it seemed to suit her so we went for it! Maxine Ralph Videan. The Videan was easy as it is my father’s, my sister’s, my niece’s and my middle name. Ralph, took us a while to come up with...lots of names were immediately ruled out as being teachers we had associations with certain names. We also wanted a name that couldn't be shortened. We settled on Ralph after going through lists of names on the internet and then subsequently found out that both of my parents families have Ralphs in their pasts. Anna

    Daisy Iris - Daisy is a family name being one of my middle names and also my grans first name. Nothing Toby said could have changed the fact that this was her name! Iris was suggest by my sister in-law as it was Toby's nans name so another family name also another flower. Dylan Jack - Toby chose Dylan for a first name purely for the fact he likes the name and has always wanted to name his son Dylan. Jack would have been my choice of first name as it was what my grandad was known as and I loved the idea of having my own Daisy and Jack. So we used it for his middle name. Gemma W

    We had Isobel for ages but when we found out it was twins we wanted something of the same length (to make learning to write names the same). I found out later that these are medieval prin-cesses names. We also decided that the first born would have the letter further down the alphabet (I) because in school children are often called out alphabetically and we didn't want the first born to also be the one chosen first all the time. Somewhat for-ward thinking of us! Our other girl is Eleanor. Holly

    Reuben Harry. It was going to be the other way round to make his initials H.R.H (as in His Royal Highness) but we wanted a first name that was a little different and Harry is a very popular name at the mo (also a family name though). Sasha Rhiannonn as Sasha is the Russian form of my name and Rhiannon as I love the song by Fleetwood Mac lol. Alex Timo Lewis. We met someone in Finland called Timo and loved the name; it's unusual without being weird. Also wanted Scandinavian name as my husbands family is from Scandinavia. Lewis as it's a good name and a nearby, cool town (just spelled differently!) Helen Noah as my favourite story is The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks, I hadn't taught a Noah, David could spell it (severely dyslexic) and it could not be shortened. Tristan as I have always loved this name since school and reading Tristan and Isolde (a medieval myth somewhat similar to Romeo and Juliet) Stephanie Our little boy is Jack William, Jack after my Grandad (although his real name was John!) and William after my husband's Grandad. Natalie

  • [email protected] 7

    Ella Jewel - Jewel is Gem in Latin. But Jewel doesn't sound right as a first name, nothing could follow it. But we were listening to Ella Fitzgerald and we both loved the name Ella.... Tadah! Thomas Dexter - Thomas is named after my Grandad. Tom & Thomas. They both love it. And Dexter is a strong name and we thought they went together perfectly. I also read a book when Ella was tiny and it was a story about Ella & Thomas, although I can't find it now.... Maybe a sign. :0) Gemma H Tess. We couldn't agree on a name for Tess until one day when putting books on new shelves I passed my husband 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles.' We both liked the name Tess straight away. Sammi We stumbled across Ophelia in a baby name book. It has a Greek origin and means 'help'. It couldn't be more appropriate she is so helpful and has helped knit our family together! Arthur is a family name and we liked its traditional nature. It means 'bear' in Celtic and his nickname is Arthur bear which very appropriate for all those cuddly and grizzly moments! Ayisha Eleanor Joy, because my mother in laws maiden name was Eleanor and Joy because we waited a long time for her to come along. Zachary Benjamin - we really struggled with boys names that we like and go with our surname, but eventually went with Zachary which means God has remembered and Benjamin seemed to go with it nicely. Number 3 due in July and still trying to work out names for this one. Roanna Elizabeth Anna - both in the title of Counting Crows songs! Emily Our criteria was: definite gender, easy to spell, different first letters, simple and classic. Andrew’s middle name is daddy's name and Peter’s is a shared name of both grandads. Frances Molly and Jake were both names that I really liked and were both late entries onto the list (6weeks prior to them being born!). We used to know a Molly who was lovely and very beautiful and both the Jakes we knew were the most awesome guys so figured that was a good start!. Their middle names are after people we have known that are very special to us - Lucy after my sister-in-law and Benjamin after my husbands best friend who sadly lost his battle with cancer at 29. Both names would have been first-name-contenders, but had to be bumped to middle names. Tiff We chose Frederick because this was my grandfathers name and great grandfather , so he is Freddie the third . Olivia because my husband liked the name! Sabrina

    As an excited Mum-to-be, I had read through a couple of name books, and nothing sprung out to me. One day, while cleaning the dining table, the name Elizabeth popped into my head. As the days went by, I thought of the different variations, and my aunt Ella is also my Godmother, so the name seemed perfect. We didn't find a boys name that had the same ring about it, so it's just as well she turned out to be a girl! I like to think that she introduced herself to me that day I was cleaning the table! Her middle name is my first name, so Elizabeth Victoria sounds very regal! We wondered if our second baby would introduce itself (we didn't find out the sex), but right up to the eve of his birth, there was nothing! That evening, my husband suggested Oliver, and hey presto, Oliver was with us within 8 hours! Vicky

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    What’s in a Name? Retro monikers Stanley and Mabel top 2013 baby name charts as it's revealed that 1 in 4 parents now christen their offspring according to trends. Almost a quarter of families now choose names for their newborns based on fashion trends, new research reveals. While nearly 9 /10 are happy with their choice, 12% quickly regret labeling their newborn with a fashionable name - with 1 in 50 fearing they’ve labelled their kids with the ‘new Sharon or Kevin’. Shockingly, a quarter of all mothers and fathers have had their name choice criticised, with 3% even attacked by strangers over their baby’s name. 5% of children have asked to change their name.

    The huge poll of 6,227 found that the current biggest fashion in baby names is the ‘extreme retro’ trend, used by 40% of parents who follow name fashions. While parents have been selecting vintage names such as Alfie and Grace for the last decade, the extreme retro trend takes this much further with parents vying for the most old-fashioned moniker. Celebs following the trend include Lily Allen who named her children Ethel and Marnie, Bruce Willis who chose Mabel for his daughter and singer Dido who called her son Stanley.

    Despite potential difficulties when the child grows up, a further 28% of parents have used unusual spellings for their child’s name such as Jaydn and Shanelle. 1 in 5 (18%) have adopted a double-barrelled first name, with the most popular choices being Georgia-Mae and Taylor-Rose for girls. And 1 in 8 families (12%) who follow name fashions, now give all their kids names with the same first letter, like the Wayne Rooney’s Kai and Klay. The trend, which was sparked by Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, is most commonly used with J and K names. As controversy rages over Kim Kardashian and Kanye West choosing the unusual name North West for their daughter, 85% of parents agree names are ‘vital’ to how others perceive your child. But that hasn’t stopped British parents adopting some wackier fashions for their child’s name. 1 in 12 who have chosen a trendy name plumped for a colour with choices including Blue, Grey, Red, and Scarlett, while 1 in 50 decided upon an animal name including Bear and Tiger for their tot. And ‘tough’ names for boys are also fast gaining ground with 4% selecting names such as Axl or Diesel, alongside 2% who have chosen the seasonal names Summer, Winter or Autumn for their daughter. While celebrities remain the biggest influence on names with 53% basing choices on stars’ names, 19% look to TV shows and books while 1 in 10 use a family name. Just 4% still choose names for cultural reasons – the same as the number influenced by other families in their local area. Almost 1 in 5 (15%) parents claimed to pick an unusual name as they felt normal names were ‘dull and overused’ while 4% hoped it would ‘make my child stand out’.

  • Least Popular Boys Names 1. Norman 2. Walter 3. Percy 4. Harold 5. Ernest 6. Herbert 7. Clifford 8. Frank 9. Arnold 10. Leonard

    Most Popular Boys Names 1. Jack 2. Oliver 3. Charlie 4. Harry 5. Alfie 6. Thomas 7. Joshua 8. William 9. James 10. Daniel

    Least Popular Girls Names 1. Gertrude 2. Edna 3. Ethel 4. Irene 5. Ada 6. Norah 7. Olive 8. Agnes 9. Elsie 10. Mabel

    Most Popular Girls Names 1. Olivia 2. Ruby 3. Sophie 4. Chloe 5. Emily 6. Grace 7. Jessica 8. Lily 9. Amelia 10. Evie

    [email protected] 9

    Boys Girls

    Least Liked Name Jayden Chantelle

    Most Overused Name Jack, Harry Charlotte, Emily

    Most Rebellious Name Logan Olivia

    Most Intelligent Name Finley / Finn Esme

    Most Likely to be a Leader Oliver Isla

    Future Sports Star Harrison Freya

    Most Unusual Names Reef, Clavier, Laarn, Ocean,

    Nirvana, Blue

    Rimini, Zuanne, Orchid, Stargazer

    The study also found in the UK …

    In a modern twist, 15% have a tattoo of their child’s name and a further 13% are considering it. But names are becoming a parental battleground with 1 in 20 mums having a baby name they selected ‘stolen’ by a friend – forcing 3 in 5 to change the choice. The proliferation of new baby names means middle names have leapt back into fashion. While 75% of children still have just one, 16% now have two and 1 in 100 have three or more. Parents also thought the biggest name trend in ten years time would be 50s comeback with names including Susan, Carol, Paul, David and even Beryl and Barbara coming back into fashion. Siobhan Freegard, founder of Netmums.com, who conducted the study said: 'What’s in a name? An awful lot. It’s something you carry through life and although it’s a private choice for the parents, it’s something everyone has an opinion on. While celebrities are responsible for some of the wilder name choices over the years, ordinary parents are now more than making up for lost time with some monikers which even the starriest A-lister would shy away from. The internet is making it much easier for parents to research unusual names and on Netmums we’ve even seen parents putting up polls and crowd sourcing names for their children from others online. So while 12% of parents who choose trendy names say they regret their choices, it’s clear fashionable or wacky names are only going to get more common in the playground.' Katy Winter for Daily Mail, July 2013

    [email protected] 9

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 10

    We interviewed Elizabeth to get her take on Father’s Day.

    Do you like the idea of Father’s Day or do you feel there should be appreciation all the time, rather than a special effort made on one day of the year? I feel that as Mothers have a special day it is only fair that Fathers get one to! I think that all year round appreciation goes without say-ing but it is nice to be spoilt and have the extra effort put into things. Some people also need this celebration to get them into gear. I think it is particularly special if it is your first Father’s Day

    What do you look forward to about Father’s Day? Seeing both my little girls faces and their Daddy's too when Bunni gives him a gift and card she has created.

    Have your opinions on Father’s Day changed since becoming a parent? I think I am more aware that I need to provide a special day from my children to their Daddy but that I also need to see my Dad to let him know he is still very much appreciated...

    What did you do for your Dad on Father’s Day when you were growing up and how do you juggle having to do it for your little one’s Dad now as well? I always remember buying my dad either Maltesers or Whole Nut chocolate for Father’s Day. He also received a home-made card. The girls will do something similar for their Dad, although we will probably make him cookies/cake instead of buying him confectionery! Last year I paid for both my Dad and the girl's dad to do a whisky tasting course for Father’s Day. Killed two birds with one stone; they had a great time and we got some time to shop!!

    Will you start any traditions now that you have a little one to do things with? I like this idea a lot but I think it might be nicer to wait until the girls are a little older and can create the tradition themselves so it comes from them rather than me. I think that will be more special. Although, perhaps something like a photograph every Father’s Day of the girls with their Dad would be a nice one to begin now.

    Do you shop last minute or well in advance for Father’s Day? I will probably buy something that catches my eye when out shopping or something that I see in an email! There will of course be home-made treats whipped up in the days preceding which will be well thought out so they are something he would like/need. This article is getting me thinking of what we can do so I'll probably be more organised than usual!

    Will you take your little ones shopping to buy Daddy’s gift so they can help choose? I will either see a few things in the shops and ask Bunni to pick one or we will sit down together to decide what we will make for Daddy. Getting her to think of someone else will be tricky if chocolate is involved!!

    What’s the best Father’s Day gift that you have given/bought/heard of? Ooh this is a tricky one. I honestly don't know! Off to Google for inspiration...... Ok well I am not into the whole 'best Dad ever' stuff and don't intend to buy things with that on. The girls Dad doesn't wear ties or suits or play sport! I did however find a really nice idea that involved a picture of a child holding a little speech bubble saying why they love their Daddy, this would be very sweet and it ticks all the right boxes for me! Right gift idea sorted!!

    A Mum’s Father’s Day

  • [email protected] 11

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  • [email protected] 13

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  • Uckfield, Heathfield and District

    Saturday 7th June 10.15am-12.00pm

    (10.00am for members)

    Civic Centre, Uckfield ,TN22 1AE

    Brighton & Hove

    Saturday 21st June 10.15am-12.30pm

    (10.00am for members)

    Hove Park Lower School, Hove, BN3 8AA


    Saturday 12th July, 10.15am-12.00pm

    (10.00am for members)

    Ratton School, Eastbourne, BN21 2XR

    Horsham & District

    Saturday 7th June, 2:00pm-3:00pm

    (1:45pm for members)

    Broadbridge Heath Village Centre, RH12 3LY

    NCT Nearly New Sales in our area ...

    Summer Sale Dates

    NCT nearly new sales are the perfect place to find top-quality

    baby and children’s clothes and equipment at bargain prices.

    Early admission for NCT members.

    Don’t forget your membership card!

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 16

    ‘We are going to induce you at 38 weeks’. It was music to my ears; finally

    the consultant gave me the news I had been wanting to hear since the 30

    week scan.

    My baby had been measuring large since the first scan so my pregnancy

    was dominated with extra check ups, GTT’s and extra scans. The news that

    my baby was large was of no surprise; my Grandma was 14lb, my mother,

    over 10lb and I was a healthy 9.7lb - big babies ran in both mine and my

    husbands family. However, I was desperate for a natural birth and as my

    baby’s measurements went further and further off the scale I was getting

    worried that if I went to my due date, or past it, that giving birth naturally

    would be much more challenging and the last thing I wanted was an

    emergency section. Being induced was what I wanted and was what I got.

    But it didn’t go quite how I thought it would.

    * * *

    The day before going into hospital, I remember feeling both excited and

    terrified as I knew that I could be giving birth the next day and that our lives

    would change forever. At this point I had no doubt that the induction would be

    successful and that I would have a natural birth. I knew that it would be the most painful experience

    of my life, as everyone had been telling me for the past nine months, but it was a pain I wanted to

    experience. That may sound strange but everyone said that there was nothing like it and I wanted to

    feel my child being born and know what everyone had been talking about. I imagined James, my

    husband, helping me to keep calm and focus on my breathing. I pictured my newborn baby being

    placed on my chest and James cutting the cord. I imagined how I would love this tiny being I had

    just given birth to. Imagine is all I can still do as none of these events happened.

    My husband and I said goodbye to our beloved dog Daisy and set off for the hospital. It was very

    calm, there was no rush, it was as if we were going for yet another check up. We arrived but this

    time we went to the second floor and onto the ward. Then the waiting began …

    We had to go through the relevant forms and checks which went on and on but finally a midwife said

    that they would administer the first prostin. She told us to not expect fast progress as this was my

    first pregnancy and often women needed multiple prostins. She could not have been more right.

    Progress was slow at best, nothing had really happened so later on that day the second one was

    administered. That would be it now until the morning as the third could not be given until 24hours

    after the first. James was sent home saying he would be contacted if anything happened and I

    settled down for the night, thinking I should get some rest as tomorrow could be a very busy day!

    Needless to say, sleep and I were not to be. The lady in the next bed went into labour, babies were

    crying, midwifes being called, and to top it off, my already fluctuating blood pressure went through

    the roof so I was placed on blood pressure medication and was woken up every two hours to have

    my blood pressure checked! I think it was fair to say that by the next day I was exhausted. Not only

    was I exhausted from lack of sleep there had been no progress at all with my induction; the last

    prostin had done nothing.

    Anna’s Birth Story

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    I was disappointed as I really thought that something would have happened. I guess that this is

    where there was a lack of information regarding induction prior to going into hospital. All I had was a

    printed leaflet from the hospital about the procedure. I felt ill informed and was unsure about what

    would happen next and how long the time span would be from start to giving birth .

    I tried to brush off feelings of failure and we went ahead with the third prostin…. And no surprises it

    did nothing and then I was onto the final one. That evening a nurse told me to prepare to have a c

    section the following day, Wednesday.

    This news devastated me. Upset does not describe how I felt and for almost two hours I cried - the

    last thing I wanted was a c section. This was not in my plan, this was not how I pictured it or how I

    wanted it to happen. They hadn’t even tried to break my waters so how could they jump straight

    from prostins to C section? I remember waiting up until midnight just so I could have some food as I

    wouldn’t be allowed breakfast just in case. We went through the same routine as the night before

    with regular blood pressure checks and emergency bloods as it went up again.

    The morning of day three came and the consultant came to see me and gave the news I had

    wanted to hear; they are taking me to delivery and they will break my waters. I was overjoyed,

    excited and couldn’t wait. I thought this is it, I will be going into labour and having the birth I wanted.

    It took a while to get up to delivery but I didn’t mind, I was too excited to care.

    Upon arriving on delivery, they scanned me as I was carrying a lot of fluid, but the consultant said he

    thought it was only slightly above average so everything should be fine. He examined me but was

    not able to break my waters so gave me a sweep and had to ‘walk’ my cervix forward. The pain

    brought me to tears - it is not something I would like to repeat any time in the future. He advised that

    I went out for a walk as this could help, but yet again my blood pressure was an issue and was

    155/98. Again, we waited around to see what the doctor wanted to happen, which resulted in

    doubling up the medication.

    We walked all around the car parks and did crab steps up the stairs and then returned back to the

    delivery room. The consultant came and was able to break my waters, and oh my did they break.

    The earlier scan was just slightly out, I was carrying a huge amount of fluid. I was on a stack of pads

    a foot high! I thought this was it…my labour will start. As you will now have assumed, my labour did

    not start so onto the drip I went. I had an epidural beforehand but was petrified. The whole way

    through, my husband held my hand and had a photograph of my dog up on the phone as it was the

    only thing keeping me calm (you have probably already noticed that I have mentioned my dog a

    couple of times and that she was something I heavily relied on).

    When it was done, I was surprised that it was actually OK and

    didn’t hurt at all. My husband was of great help when he commented

    on how large the needle was - that was exactly what I wanted to hear!

    I went onto the drip and they said that I would be on it for about 16

    hours, as you are expected to make half a centimetre progress every

    hour and so far in two and a half days I had made a whopping two

    centimetres progress.

    We settled into the long haul, and it felt like ages before the first four

    hour check - it didn’t help that I was throwing up from being on the

    drip. I was exhausted, bored, fed up and miserable. All that kept me

    going was that I would be making progress and that I had a time


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    Anna’s Birth Story (cont) The first four hour check came, ‘I haven’t made progress have I?’ I said to the midwife. She

    confirmed that I was correct, and that we would review it again in another four hours. She advised

    us to get some sleep so they brought in a mat for my husband to sleep on and I tried to rest

    between vomiting sessions.

    * * *

    The next four hour check came. I had been on the drip for eight hours now, surely something had

    happened. Nope, nothing, nada, zero progress made so we prepared ourselves for the c section.

    There was no ifs or buts now as it would become dangerous for me to be on the drip for too long.

    Despite my earlier feelings, I was now relieved to be having a section as I had been in hospital over

    three days. The decision was made at 02.00 on Thursday 14th November. They had to prepare both

    myself and James for theatre. The anaesthetic team were great, really upbeat and put me at ease.

    They did what they needed to do through the epidural and I was all ready to go.

    I was wheeled into theatre. Everyone was so calm but inside I was petrified. I had no control over

    what was going to happen to me. I hated the thought of being cut open, what if something went

    wrong? I was introduced to all of the team … there are a lot of people in one room! It was

    overwhelming. Then it began.

    I tried to block out what was happening to me, but couldn’t because you

    can still feel the pressure of the surgeons rummaging around inside

    you. I chose to have the tent remain up high; the less I saw the better. It

    only took a few minutes then my baby was out and being held up above

    the screen. ‘it’s a Ralph!’ my husband said, ‘It’s a Ralph’ I repeated in

    my half conscious state. I was relieved that I had got my boy. I had

    always wanted a boy so finally at least one thing had gone my way! I

    heard him cry but they needed him to cry louder so took him over to the

    machine and then they did what they needed to do, and then he really

    did cry. He was then swaddled and placed on my shoulder, I looked at

    him properly for the first time and a tear rolled down my cheek. He was

    then taken away and my husband held him.

    Then began the longer process of sewing me back together. Unfortunate-

    ly I experienced pain during this so they gave me an anaesthetic to help. It did the job but I was

    completely out of it; my speech was slurred and I have very little memory of the next few hours.

    The first day was a strange day. Lots of family came to visit, they were all cooing over Ralph, who

    weighed a healthy 9lb 5oz. I felt detached from the whole situation. It felt so alien to be a mother. My

    hopes of loving my baby when they arrived did not come true. Ralph and I had to stay in hospital un-

    til the following Monday and it was during this time I became incredibly emotional and more

    exhausted than I had ever been. I had now been sleep deprived for a week as being on the ward

    you got no rest from the constant crying of babies. I was also in agony from the c section - just trying

    to sit up to feed Ralph was incredibly challenging.

    We were kept in as Ralph lost too much weight too quickly due to my milk not coming in. This is ap-

    parently fairly normal after a C section, but I didn’t know this. He was put on a feeding plan but this

    kept changing throughout the day as different people came on shift. This was very frustrating, as we

    didn’t have a clue and for people to keep on changing things made it even more difficult. We were

    told we were doing things wrong but we were simply following what the previous person had told us.

  • [email protected] 19

    Thank you Anna & Ralph for sharing their amazing story

    Luckily he gained weight over night but it wasn’t recorded so they only had our word for this. Argh….

    Would we ever get home?! We then had to wait for Ralph to do a normal poo, he has his meconium

    poo but then didn’t do anything. In the end on the Sunday evening he was given a suppository and

    he did a poo! Thank goodness as now we would be able to go home. For my last night, my parents

    paid for a private room just so I could get some rest. It was bliss – I could shut out the hustle and

    bustle of the ward and relax for the first time in a week. Looking back, I know now that how I was

    feeling wasn’t right from very early on. I didn’t want to be a mum, I didn’t want the responsibility, I

    didn’t want to hold him, he was already a chore to me. I was told that I would receive extra support

    when I left hospital, because I had been so emotional, more than would be expected. I am glad that

    I received this support as this is what ultimately helped me get better.

    For the first month of Ralphs life, I struggled. Like every new mum, you are exhausted, nothing can

    prepare you but for most mums there is the pleasure of holding your newborn bundle of joy. I didn’t

    want to hold Ralph, I would do anything to shut him up so that I could leave him and be in another

    room. I got obsessive over cleaning and would clean for most of the day. As soon as my husband

    came home I would hand all responsibility of Ralph over to him. I spent most days going through a

    checklist of things to be done. Despite how I felt, I always looked after Ralph. He was breastfed,

    cleaned, changed etc. Looking at it like a job was how I got through each day. I didn’t think of him as

    my son and I would barely interact with him or look at him. I wanted to run away from it all. I had

    emotionally shut down just to cope with day to day life. I was no longer living but simply existing.

    I hid this from those around me; who wants to admit that they don’t want their own baby? The only

    time I was truly honest was when I met with Melissa from the perinatal team. She was fantastic and

    she helped to change my life. I was admitted to the Eastbourne Clinic with severe post natal

    depression. It was here where my life changed. I owe them so much. Without them I wouldn’t have

    the most amazing and precious bond with my beautiful baby boy. They helped me see and feel the

    bond that was always there. I was there for six weeks.

    When I first went in I was embarrassed and ashamed. I thought I had let everyone down, I didn’t

    think that I should be a mum, I blamed myself for anything that was wrong with Ralph and I thought I

    had failed at giving birth.

    When I left, I was a confident mother, I was happy, I loved my son more than anything and even

    though I didn’t have the birth I wanted, I no longer think I failed at birth and I now take every oppor-

    tunity to hold my boy. When he is put to bed, I miss him. For me, his arrival happened not on 14th

    November but Boxing Day. This is the day that, for the first time, I wanted to spend time with my

    son. I had him on my bed and I remember just looking at him, as if I was looking at him for the first

    time. I had an overwhelming feeling of love for him, my bond had


    Ralph is now six months old and I couldn’t imagine my life with-

    out him. I love being a mum, I love holding him, playing with him

    and loving him.

    My final words are that it doesn’t really matter how you give birth;

    it is not your fault if things go wrong. Not everyone will have a

    bond straight away but in the end everyone does. Speak up, if

    you feel that something is wrong, don’t be ashamed, it is not

    your fault that your hormones didn’t rebalance. There is help out

    there for you, and it could change your life.

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 20

    If we have missed

    anything, please tell us!

    Email us details/correct information to

    [email protected]

    Weekly Baby Groups - Uckfield area Monday

    9:00 - 11:00am - Maresfield Parent & Baby/

    Toddler Group, Maresfield Village Hall. TERM

    TIME ONLY. £1.50 suggested donation. Health

    Visitor in attendance once per month.

    9:30 - 10:15am - Music & Rhyme, Uckfield

    Children’s Centre, Manor Close.

    TERM TIME ONLY. 01323 464300

    9:30 - 11:00am - Fairwarp mums-to-be, babies

    & toddlers group, Fairwarp Village Hall. TERM

    TIME ONLY. £2 per family. 01825 760668.

    10:00 - 11:30am - Breastfeeding Support,

    Orchard House, Lewes TERM TIME ONLY

    01273 402508

    10:00 -11:30am - Ridgewood Toddlers, Ridge-

    wood Village Hall. TERM TIME ONLY. £1.50 per

    child or £2.50 for 2 or more siblings.

    10:30 - 11:30am - Bumps to Babies

    with Breastfeeding support,

    Uckfield Children’s Centre, 1 Manor Close.

    TERM TIME ONLY. 01323 464300


    9:15 - 11:30am - Chippers, The Source, Luxford

    Car Park. £1.50 per week for Under 3’s.

    01825 767442

    10:00 - 11:30am - Buxted Mother, Baby &

    Toddler Group, Buxted Methodist Church

    (entrance via side door). TERM TIME ONLY. £1

    per family. 01825 733098

    10:00 - 12:00am - Toys & Tots, Luxfords

    Restaurant, Civic Centre, Uckfield. Free drink

    refills. 07043 544229.

    10:30 - 11am - Rhymetime, Uckfield Library.

    0345 608 0195.

    1:30 - 2:45pm - Breastfeeding Peer Support.

    Grove House (2nd,4th week).

    07908 878 552

    2:15 - 2:45pm - Storytime, Uckfield Library.

    0345 608 0195.


    10:00 - 11:30am - Under 1’s, Kings Church,

    Uckfield. TERM TIME ONLY. 01825 765115

    10:00 - 11:30am - Newtown Baby & Toddler

    Group, United Reform Church, Newtown . £1 per

    family. 07969 638280

    10:00 - 11:30am - Newick Tiddlers & Toddlers.

    Newick Village Hall. TERM TIME ONLY. £2 per

    family. 07850 646072


    9:30 - 11:00am - Pop in and Play with Messy

    Play, Uckfield Children’s Centre, Manor Close.

    TERM TIME ONLY. 01323 464300

    9:30 - 11:30am - Baby Clinic, Uckfield Hospital.

    01825 745008

    1:00 - 3:00pm - Twins Group. Crowborough

    Children’s Centre. FORTNIGHTLY

    07779 096265

    1:30 - 3:00pm - Chippers, The Source, Luxford

    Car Park. £1.50. 01825 767442


    10:00 - 11:30am - Over 1’s but Under 2’s, Kings

    Church, Uckfield. TERM TIME ONLY. 01825


    10:30 - 12:00pm - Little Stars Baby & Toddler

    Group, Village Hall, Blackboys. TERM TIME

    ONLY. Donations welcomed. 01825 890029

  • [email protected] 21

    Our NCT Events Coffee & Play / Craft & Play

    We are keen to restart these informal

    get-togethers. If you are able to help host (at

    your house/coffee shop etc, PLEASE get in

    touch at [email protected]).

    It is very little work and a great way to meet

    new parents (and feel good about getting

    others with new babies out of their houses!)

    Out & About

    An opportunity for mums and their friends to

    meet and visit parks, farms, indoor play

    centres and other places of interest. Can be

    muddy or “off-road” so check with host about

    prams vs slings!

    Baby Chat/Bumps & Babes

    An informal gathering for pre-walkers to get together, chat about all things baby. We apologise but

    older children cannot currently be accommodated. We are always seeking more hosts for these

    events so please get in touch if you think you could help. [email protected]

    Team Meeting

    This 6-weekly get-together is where all the event planning and running of your NCT branch begins.

    If you would like to come along, we would love to see you there. We welcome members and

    non-members and love hearing people’s input and ideas. Meetings normally take place at team

    members homes or a local hostelry and lifts can be arranged.

    Please contact Frances 01825 769819 for details or email us at ([email protected])

    Cheeky Monkey’s Tea Party (Wednesday 6th August)

    Our annual afternoon of entertainment & craft activities at Ridgewood Village Hall. Tickets required

    (email [email protected]). More details & prices on page 31.

    Toddler Games / Teddy Bears Picnic

    One off events created and hosted by our volunteers. A great excuse to get out in the English

    sunshine and let the little ones run off some steam!


    NCT members &

    Non-members welcome to

    all events.

    Please let the host know if you are coming along to an event so they can

    contact you if there is a change of plan and have an idea of numbers.

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 22

    What’s on - June

    Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

    2 3 4 5 Baby Chat Carol’s house

    10am - 12pm Carol 07966 275618 TN21 0QJ Pre-walkers only


    9 10 11 12

    Baby Chat Tiff’s house

    10am - 12pm Tiff 07748 803905 TN22 2AD Pre-walkers only


    16 17 18

    Out & About Hughes Way Park

    10am Alex 07834 394564 TN22 1DX


    Baby Chat Anna’s house

    10am - 12pm Anna 07886 877657 TN22 1DN Pre-walkers only


    23 24 25 26 Baby Chat Tessa’s house

    10am - 12pm Tessa 07828 185062 TN21 0QJ Pre-walkers only



    Out & About FunAbounds 10am - 12pm

    Alex 07834 394564 TN22 1QL

    Saturday June 7th 2014. 10:15am -12 (members 10am) Nearly New Sale, Uckfield Civic Centre. Natasha & Jo [email protected]



    7th Ju

    ne 10



    y New



    s belo








    Out &



    @ B







    9 874


  • [email protected] 23

    What’s on - July

    Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

    1 Team Meeting Venue TBC

    8pm - 1-pm [email protected]


    3 Baby Chat Carol’s house

    10am - 12pm Carol 07966 275618 TN21 0QJ Pre-walkers only



    8 Out & About Raystede

    10am Hannah 07799 874641 BN8 5AJ

    9 10 Baby Chat Tiff’s house

    10am - 12pm Tiff 07748 803905 TN22 2AD Pre-walkers only



    15 16

    Toddler Games

    Victoria Park

    Time TBC


    07986 403366


    Baby Chat Holly’s house

    10am - 12pm Holly T 07880 515651 TN22 2DR Pre-walkers only



    Out & About Hempstead Park

    10am Alex 07834 394564 TN22 1DZ

    22 23


    Out & About

    Sheffield Park



    07905 353185

    TN22 3QX



    Teddy Bears Picnic Laura’s House

    2pm Laura 07900 243449 TN22 4PU

    29 30 Out & About Buxted Playground 2pm - 4pm Holly S 07779 096265 TN22 5FD


    Baby Chat Anna’s house

    10am - 12pm Anna 07886 877657 TN22 1DN Pre-walkers only

    TEAM MEETING - Tuesday 1st July, 8pm. Venue TBC

    Please contact Frances if you would like to join us. [email protected]

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 24

    What’s on - August

    Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

    1 Pick Your Own Oast Farm Time TBC Elizabeth 07548 703395 TN22 4AU

    4 5 6

    Cheeky Monkeys Tea Party Ridgewood Hall

    2pm - 4pm [email protected] TN22 5TG


    Baby Chat Carol’s house

    10am - 12pm Carol 07966 275618 TN21 0QJ Pre-walkers only



    Baby Chat Stephanie’s house

    10am - 12pm Stephanie 07906 382545 TN22 1LD Pre-walkers only

    12 13 14

    Baby Chat Jo’s house

    10am - 12pm Jo F 07748 907040 TN22 23DU Pre-walkers only


    Out & About

    Hughes Way Park

    10am Alex 07834 394564 TN22 1DX


    Out & About


    10am - 12pm Alex 07834 394564 TN22 1QL


    Out & About

    Hempstead Park

    10:30am Frances 07905 353185 TN22 1DZ

    20 21

    Baby Chat Holly’s house

    10am - 12pm Holly 07880 515651 TN22 2DR Pre-walkers only


    25 26 27 28 29

    Saturday September 13th 2014. 10:15am -12 (members 10am) Nearly New Sale, Uckfield Civic Centre. Natasha & Jo [email protected]

    TEAM MEETING - Mid August, Date TBC

    Please contact Frances if you would like to join us. [email protected]



    13th S

    ept 1



    y New



    s belo


  • [email protected] 25

    Weekly Baby Groups - Heathfield area Monday

    10:30 -11:00am - Rhymetime/Storytime,

    Heathfield Library, High Street. 07920 592943

    1:00 - 4:00pm - Broad Oak Parent & Toddlers,

    Parish Room, St Georges Church, Burwash. £1

    per family. 01435 862665

    2:00 -3:15pm - Horam Chapel Toddlers Music,

    Horam Chapel. TERM TIME ONLY. 01435



    9:30 -11:15am - Babies & Beyond, Heathfield

    Community Centre, Sheepsetting Lane.

    01323 464580

    9:30 -11:15am - Baby Clinic, Heathfield

    Community Centre 01435 865811

    10:00 - 11:30pm - Pop in & Play with Messy

    Play, All Saints & St Richards Church,

    Heathfield. TERM TIME ONLY 01323 464580

    10:00 -11:30am - Little Warblers, Warbleton

    Church. TERM TIME ONLY £1 per family.

    1:30 - 3pm - St Richard’s Church Toddler &

    Baby Group, Church Hall, Heathfield. Every

    other Tues (3rd, 17th Sept; 1st, 15th, 29th Oct;

    12th, 26th Nov). £1 per child.. 01435 867957


    9:30 -12pm - Welcome Toddler & Baby Group,

    Welcome Baptist Church, Heathfield.

    TERM TIME ONLY. £1. 01435 864646

    10:00 - 11:00am - Baby Clinic, Mayfield Scout

    Hut. 1st Wed each month. 01425 865811

    1:30 - 3:00pm - Union Church Toddler Group,

    Union Church Hall, Heathfield. £1 per adult &

    child, 50p per additional child. 01435 868160

    2:00 - 2:45pm - Music & Rhyme, Cross in Hand

    CEP School, Sheepsetting Lane. TERM TIME

    ONLY. 01323 464580


    10:00 - 11:30am - Jumping Beans,

    Christchurch, Heathfield. TERM TIME ONLY.

    50p donation.

    10:00 - 11:45am or 1:00 - 2:45pm - Tots & Toys,

    Kings Church, Heathfield. TERM TIME ONLY. £1

    per family. 01435 863786

    All information correct at time of going to press

    Information from: www.escis.org.uk, Netmums and The Family Grapevine

    NCT Helpline 0300 330 0700

    Charged at the same rate as normal landlines.

    For queries and support relating to breastfeeding, feeding, pregnancy, birth, life with your new baby, courses, information about your local branch ... you can

    find help with just ONE phone number!


  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 26

    Monday 19th May 2014, 8 – 10 pm at Buxted Park Hotel

    Chair’s Report

    Our branch currently has 59 members and 12 volunteers. We are not a large branch and therefore

    we rely heavily on our team of volunteers and feel very proud of the service we provide to families in

    our region.

    It has been a busy year for our branch, with many changes, and with the team wanting to make sure

    that we are doing the best for the parents in our area. With that in mind we have made some chang-

    es and assessed what we do in our area.

    Nearly New Sales This year we have held 4 Nearly New Sales in Uckfield and these continue to do well and are very

    well regarded by buyers and sellers. They have been successful and earned the branch and NCT a

    good amount of money. Our thanks go to Natasha Leppard, Jo Hobdell and their team for running

    them so well.

    Cheeky Monkeys We held a cheeky monkey tea party in August for approximately 35 children and their parents. The

    crafts were very popular, and we will be repeating some of the ideas this year. It was a great

    success with some fantastic donations for our raffle all of which came from our local community.

    Thanks to Laura who contributed greatly and the team who ran this.

    Christmas Party We held a very successful Christmas party in December. The crafts and activities were very well re-

    ceived. Father Christmas had a huge queue. The Fireworks pottery stand was very well

    received. The cafe had some great contributions and we were able to reach lots of new parents.

    Thanks to the team who ran this.

    Baby & Toddler Show We held a really successful baby show this October. Lots of local tradespeople were showing their

    wares and they found it a good event. We also had local baby classes demonstrating, which was

    very well received by parents. We hope to run a similar event in the near future.

    Membership Events During the early part of 2014 we held very successful recruitment sessions at the local soft play

    centre, Barney’s, and a local pub. We had lots of people interested in hosting events and helping

    keep the branch going. We filled most of the roles we were struggling with, including Treasurer and

    Membership secretary. Thanks to all who helped at the events and came along. Hopefully, we can

    keep the enthusiasm going.

    Newsletter Our branch newsletter “Bump, Birth and Beyond...” continues to be a value to our branch. Many

    thanks to Elizabeth, Tiffany and their team for their super work on the newsletter. We currently print

    320 copies and are looking to increase this as we have had many people asking for more copies.

    They have produced wonderful articles and the advertising is ensuring the newsletter is making a


    AMM Reports 2014

  • [email protected] 27

    Crowborough Birthing Centre We have maintained very strong links with the Crowborough birthing centre. Mel, Frances and

    Gemma have all attended their antenatal classes on a regular basis to inform the parents of the

    NCT and the work that we do. The midwives are always very appreciative of our support. There has

    been issues over the opening of the birthing centre with midwife shortages across the county. Mem-

    bers of the team have been involved in a campaign to help keep the birthing centre open, and 12

    months notice was served on East Sussex trust so hopefully Pembury will be able to take over soon.

    Maternity Services JoJo Miles is still investigating taking on this role, but with the PCT changes it is harder to get into

    the teams. We are looking for volunteers to continue with this valuable work going forward,

    especially with the East Sussex PCT, Pembury, and Mid Sussex.

    Facebook We currently have 276 “friends” and this grows weekly as more people hear about it. We have tried

    to keep it a relaxed and informal place for members to gather information about us and the

    various social events that we run. It has proven to be a great success in promoting events and

    volunteer vacancies. Thanks to Natasha for being so diligent with advertising events on our group

    and page. An amazing job.

    Team Changes During the year we have had several changes to the team. Alex has stepped up as Membership

    secretary, Vicky has taken over as treasurer. Due to work commitments Frances is going to step

    down as chair, but stay on the team to help with events and hand over.

    Team Vacancies Chair Parent Services Coordinator General Committee members Nearly New Helpers

    Maternity Services Liaison Committee Link

    Goodbyes We say goodbye and a huge thank you to Tania for her hard work and support over the last year.

    She did an amazing job turning round our accounts and getting us in a position to keep track of our

    invoices especially. Thanks for your hard work.

    New Members This year we are delighted to welcome to our team: Alex, Vicky, Megan and the others who have

    volunteered to help at and run events.

    We have some exciting events being run this year, as well as our fantastic (only table top sale in the

    region) Nearly New Sales, Cheeky Monkey Party, Christmas Party and Baby & Toddler Show.

    The NCT is made of many people who give their time, effort and commitment to ensure that new

    parents in our region have the best possible start to their new life as a family.

    Frances would like to thank you all for your support over the past year.


    Team Leader, Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 28

    AMM Reports 2014 Treasurer’s Report I have recently taken over as treasurer for our branch, and would like to thank my predecessor, Tania Balfour, for her hard work over the past year and her support in training me to take over the role. I wish Tania every success in her future endeavours.



    The accounts show that the newsletter is self-funding through the efforts of Elizabeth and Tiffany securing valuable advertising. Production of the newsletter last year cost £1368.60 (although the ac-counts include an additional £349.40 for the last publication of the previous financial year); while ad-vertising invoices total £1584, indicating a profit of £215.40. There are however a few outstanding invoices from our advertisers currently amounting to £274. Vicky, Tiff and Elizabeth are going to get together to check it is in profit, and to assess the advertising pricing.

    Nearly New Sales

    The nearly new sales continue to be our flagship revenue earner, having raised £1740.29 in the last year; taking cost of hall hire into account (£410.30) leaves a profit of £1329.99. This is vital income for the branch, and we thank Natasha for her continued efforts in managing these events.

    Baby & Toddler Show

    Last October saw this new event in the calendar to promote businesses and services to local families. The event was conceived and organized by a super team, and raised a profit of £161.56 for the branch. Thank you to the team.

    Other Income

    The Cheeky Monkey Party made a profit of £110, while the Christmas Party generated £75 profit. Thanks to the efforts of Frances for the hard work in organising these events.

    Last year we were awarded a grant of £150 by the Uckfield Town Council in order to set up a sling library. Unfortunately due to insurance issues, Head Office did not allow sling libraries. Now the insurance issue is solved we need to set up the library. Mel is happy to do the loans if someone else is happy to demonstrate etc. Frances happy to demonstrate at Baby Chat events. A team needs to look a sourcing the slings and starting this off.



    Our main expenses are for the hire of halls for events (Nearly New Sales, Christmas Party, Cheeky Monkeys Party etc), printing costs for the newsletter, and for the supply of consumables for the parties.

    Transfers to Head Office

    70% of our profits go to NCT UK Office. Over the past year, we have transferred £2,055.08.


    Branch Treasurer

  • [email protected] 29

    Membership Secretary Report At the moment we have 59 members from 33 households. This is a reduction on last year. The numbers joining over the last year are average for the branch. Our members come from all over the area including:- (Please see table to right) This covers most of the villages and towns in the TN20, 21 and 22 area, and a few others who have chosen to register out of area. Our conversion from enquiries to bookings is good as a branch, and hopefully with local classes restarting we will get more enquiries too.

    Alex Membership Secretary

    Parent Services Coordinator Report We have reviewed our groups this year. The Bumps and Babes group ran for some of the summer holiday this year but had low attendance due to some of the other groups still running. We are decided to continue with Baby Chat coffee mornings over the summer holidays when other groups are not running rather than run a group from a hired hall. We have started some new events, including Baby Chat, which is very successful. The other event which proved very popular was the Easter Egg hunt. As this role is currently vacant at the moment we would like everyone’s assistance to organise and help with events in the next few weeks. PS there is a diary on available for people to add events for the next quarter. Thanks to everyone who as hosted an event, especially Tiff and Laura.


    PSA link Report

    We have held very successful recruitment events where we were able to get volunteers to host

    events and take on more major roles. Thanks to all who attended and volunteered for these roles.

    Our branch has recently been told we will be holding antenatal classes in Uckfield again from

    November. The local NHS classes will no longer be taught by NCT teachers and we need to find out

    what provision has been made for NHS classes. Tiff to ask Megan and ladies at Baby Chat to find

    out from midwives and baby weigh clinic. We need to advertise these to keep them running.

    We continue to have a presence at antenatal classes at Crowborough birthing centre and we will be

    chasing these classes up. Certain members of the team have been involved in the campaign to

    save the birthing centre which looks to be successful.


    Area Families

    Buxted 2

    Cross in Hand 1

    Five Ash Down 1

    Heathfield 4

    Fletching 1

    Lewes 1

    Mayfield 3

    Nutley 2

    Ridgewood 2

    Uckfield 14

    Waldron 1

    Area Enquiries Bookings Members %

    4N Uckfield,

    Heathfield & District 37 24 16 67%

  • Uckfield, Heathfield & District NCT © 30

    AMM Reports 2014 Newsletter Editors’ Report

    We currently print between 300-320 copies of the newsletter. It is sent to 30-40 households as well

    as to advertisers and those who contribute articles. It is also distributed to places in and around the

    Uckfield and Heathfield area. It seems very well received by people who read it. The advertising

    revenue enables us to continue printing it in colour (in parts) and without cost to the branch. The

    social diary is back in and more events are being hosted. Regular features of the newsletter include,

    a birth story, a feeding story, crafts, a recipe/meal plan, book reviews, something from the dad’s and

    an illness article. Tiff and I are getting quite good at throwing everything together now and enjoy

    seeing the end result.

    Elizabeth and Tiffany

    Baby & Toddler Show Report

    In October 2013, we hosted our very own local Baby & Toddler Show, showcasing local classes,

    businesses and activities aimed at preschool children.

    We were inundated with interested businesses and ran taster sessions throughout the day which

    were incredibly well attended, making a healthy profit for NCT. We had lots of positive feedback

    from both stall holders and attendees and the majority were keen for us to run another Show in

    2014. We were very proud of our goody bags which included children’s tableware, vouchers for local

    activities and products donated to us from big companies.

    We would tweak the timings to make the Show shorter, as the last hour or so was much quieter, and

    we would look into running tasters in 2 rooms to fit more in to a shorter timeframe.

    We are looking forward to organising this year’s one for October 4th. Laura has booked the rooms

    and is organising a team including Tiff, Laura and Alex to set this up. Any help is gratefully received

    and any stall holder or taster session suggestions can be sent to [email protected]


    Valley Cushion Report

    Mel was able to confirm that the Valley Cushion was hired out 5 times recently and has just been

    refurbished after a small puncture.


    Everything we do is aimed making our local community accessible and friendly for local parents.

    Parenthood is an exciting journey when shared, but can be a lonely place if not. We hope that the

    voluntary work that we do will help to provide opportunities for new friendships to develop and allow

    you, as parents, to share your joys and concerns with others in similar situations.

    If you would be interested in joining our team, we would love your help!

    [email protected]

    mailto:[email protected]

  • [email protected] 31

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    Name Cookie Recipes Name Cookies

    You will need

    Alphabet cookie cutters 200g butter (block, not marge) 200g caster sugar 1 beaten egg 400g plain flour 1tsp vanilla extract (or add mixed spice, cinnamon etc instead) baking tray

    Cream the butter, sugar & vanilla until soft and well mixed Add the remaining ingredients and mix on a low speed until it forms a dough Gather into a ball and either place in a freezer bag or wrap in cling film. Chill for at least an hour before using. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4, Roll to about 5mm thickness, cut out your child's name using the cutters. You could also do other family/friend's names and give them as gifts. Pop onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Once cooked spell out your child's name and either eat or decorate with ROYAL icing (normal icing will not set properly & will make your biscuits soggy!) or rolled fondant stuck with a little diluted jam.

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    Name Collage

    You will need

    Cardboard Pencil PVA glue Things to decorate with

    Write your child's name as large as your piece of cardboard. You can just do it using lines, it does not have to be fancy bubble writing! Spread glue (as neatly as you can, using a piping icing bottle is a great way to do this) along each letter of the name and add whatever you fancy to make it pretty – scrunched tissue paper, buttons, glitter, split peas, cool shaped pasta pieces, chopped up straws... A mixture of things is fine, be as creative as you like :)

    Caterpillar Name

    You will need Coloured paper Black pen A glue stick (and possibly staples too!)

    Cut out circles (1” or bigger) of different coloured paper to make a caterpillar body; you can add ex-tra circles if your little one has a very short name. Cut one circle a little larger for the head. Either draw on a face or glue a little photo of your child onto the head. Arrange your body pieces and glue into place (add staples for extra stability!). Write your child's name onto the body circles, one letter per circle will look best. OR if you want them to learn how to order the letters in their name, write the letters on the circles first, then help your child to arrange the letters in the right order. A great intro to the rules of using a capital letter at the beginning of names … because they are VERY important words! You could also do this activity as a train with carriages, a rocket ship made of squares with a triangle at the top (think vertical) or a flower with petals

    Stickered Name

    You will need A piece of paper A pencil Stickers

    Write your child's name onto the piece of paper, encourage your child to fill the space of their name using stickers. You could do this for mummy, daddy or any siblings too if they enjoy this craft. It is quick and easy to plan so always a winner ;) … Although if your child has a long name they won’t find it that quick!

    Craft Corner

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    Name Bunting

    You will need

    A template (thick card) Various coloured papers/cards A glue stick String or ribbon

    Your template could be diamond shaped (for triangles), or any other shape you like - hearts, stars, squares BUT remember to make sure it is a mirror image of your final shape so that it folds in the middle over the string. Using your template, draw around it onto several different coloured bits of card/paper (this could be done to match a bedroom colour scheme or as a pattern of your child's favourite colours), cut them out carefully (you could use scissors that cut funky edges), fold in half then hang over the piece of string or ribbon you have – you could pre-cut and hang the string/ribbon beforehand. Either write your child's name (1 letter on each pendant) or cut the letters our of contrasting colour cardboard and glue onto the pendants. You could do this with fabric of you have scraps big enough. Use pinking shears to cut the dia-monds out and use Bondaweb to attach the letters to them. Remember to do the letters back to front (best to Google this to avoid any confusion)

    Name Jigsaw

    You will need

    A4 or A3 paper A pencil Felt tip pens Scissors

    Method: Divide your paper into the amount of letters in your child's name. Use wiggly or zigzag lines to make it fun. Write one letter of the child's name into each space using the pencil. Together colour in the letters of the name. Cut along the patterned lines you drew at the start. Muddle the pieces up then help your child put the name jigsaw back together again :) A fun idea for slightly older children – using Duplo, building bricks or Lego spell their name out!

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    Osteopathy in Pregnancy

    Whilst pregnancy for most of us is a time of joy, there can be times when we are not very comfortable and indeed can be in significant pain. The most common painful areas being the low back and pelvis. This can be generalised muscular pain, symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), sacro iliac joint pain and sciatica. You can also experience rib discomfort, neck pain and headaches of a mechanical origin.

    Osteopathy offers a safe and effective way of helping to relieve these mechanical problems throughout your pregnancy.

    Delivery of your baby can be a very long process sometimes ending up with a forceps or ventouse delivery and occasionally a caesarean section. Some babies can be very irritable after birth and cry a lot, have difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep or even seem to have difficulty in feeding. So a visit to your local osteopath may help. Osteopaths do not treat specific conditions but concentrate on trying to make the baby physically comfortable.

    Mandy Fischer. Osteopath

    Emotions and the Pregnancy Journey

    The journey of pregnancy, from conception to parenthood, is a time of preparation and change. Expectant mothers are having to adjust both physically and emotionally to becoming a parent and that can be a daunting prospect.

    Pregnancy opens the door to a completely altered life with consequences possibly for your relationship, finances, work and other children, if you have them. Feeling anxious, ambivalent, fearful and doubtful as well as excitement and joy are just some of the feelings that might be around when you contemplate the huge changes that have now been set in motion.

    Unfortunately cultural myths abound about how a woman will feel during pregnancy and as a mother often causing confusion and distress. Very often women whose experience doesn’t ‘fit’ the myth are left filled with shame, feeling that something is wrong with them. The problem with shame is that it’s isolating and prevents them from talking about their feelings and seeking help.

    Pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby can put strain on a relationship and any existing problems are likely to get worse unless they are honestly addressed by both partners. Oftentimes it can seem that pregnancy is all about the mother and fathers’ feelings about their impending parenthood become secondary to their supportive role. Fathers may feel there is no space for their equally understandable concerns and fears in what is after all a time of change for him also.

    It may be that you’ve had a previous negative experience of pregnancy and childbirth leaving you fearful and uncertain about your capacity to cope this time around. Or maybe you’ve had your baby and there are worries or even a confirmed diagnosis regarding the baby’s health.

    Talking through your concerns and difficult feelings with a therapist can help you to see things more clearly, understand yourself and your strengths better thereby helping you to cope and navigate more smoothly through the changes of the coming months.

    Julia Rivas. Psychotherapist

    Alternative Therapy in Pregnancy

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    The Role of Homeopathy in Pregnancy

    Homeopathic medicine treats the person as a whole rather than treating specific conditions in isolation. This holistic approach is one of the main differences between homeopathy and conventional medicine. For example if you were suffering with a number of different conditions its likely you may be offered a number of different treatments by your Dr involving each symptom. By contrast a homeopath will consider all symptoms together as a whole (be they be mental, emotional or physical) possibly addressing them all with a single prescription. Homeopathic treatment places equal importance on both physical and emotional wellbeing.

    Homeopathy may be safely used in pregnancy as the medicines (or remedies) are non-toxic and can be used safely on babies, children, pregnancy and whilst breast feeding. There are also homeopathic remedies which you may find effective during labour and after childbirth. Homeopathic treatment can also be really effective with helping with many minor symptoms that your baby may be experiencing such as teething pains, colic or nappy rash.

    During a homeopathic consultation you will be asked many questions, as a homeopath will be considering all aspects of your health, including your past medical history, diet, lifestyle and personality type as well as your current health issues.

    To find out more and find a local qualified Homeopath, visit The Society of Homeopaths www.homeopathy-soh.org

    Lisa Bullen. Homeopath

    Acupuncture for Fertility Issues

    Acupuncture is a system of healing which has been practised in China and other Eastern countries for thousands of years. It focuses on improving the overall well being of the patient, rather than the isolated treatment of specific symptoms.

    According to traditional Chinese Philosophy, our health is dependent on the smooth and balanced flow of energy through a series of channels beneath the skin. The energy is known as Qi and the channels are called meridians. By inserting fine needles into specific points along the meridians, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance

    When treating fertility issues with acupuncture, the aim of the treatment is to:

    -Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs.

    -Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles.

    -Reduce stress and anxiety.

    -Strengthen the immune system.

    -Enhance the vitality of sperm.

    -Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining.

    -Reduce the side effects of drugs used in IVF.

    Acupuncture in Pregnancy

    Acupuncture can be helpful at all stages of pregnancy. It can be beneficial to have acupuncture every four to six weeks as part of a maintenance programme for promoting well-being during pregnancy. Research suggests that it may help to improve the blood flow to the uterus and help to boost energy levels too. Acupuncture is also good for relieving stress (stress isn't good for mother or baby), and to relieve some of the more common ailments of pregnancy like nausea, fatigue, sleeping issues or backache.

    There's also plenty it can help with in the last few weeks of pregnancy in helping to prepare you for the birth. For example, it can help to induce labour, or to turn breech babies.

    Anthea Barbary. Acupuncturist


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