NCT Autumn Newsletter

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Autumn 2008 St Neots & District Please don’t throw me away, pass me on to a friend today Autumn leaves are falling down, yellow, red and brown Transforming times Looking for a job? Planning a baby?

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St Neots & District Transforming times Planning a baby? Looking for a job? Please don’t throw me away, pass me on to a friend today Autumn 2008 3

Transcript of NCT Autumn Newsletter

  • 3 Autumn 2008

    Editorial Autumn 2008

    St Neots & DistrictPlease dont throw me away, pass me on to a friend today

    Autumn leaves are falling down,

    yellow, red and brown


    Looking fora job?

    Planning ababy?

  • Contacts - St Neots & District NCT

    2St Neots & District NCT

    Contacts - St Neots & District NCT

    2St Neots & District NCT

    Local Committee

    ChairMaija Bissett 01480 473720SecretaryJulie Gunn 01480 391567


    Gabi James 01480 811548

    Asst. Treasurers

    Amanda Knight 01480 213978

    Vickie Criddle 01480 390109

    Membership Secretary

    Vickie Criddle 01480 390109

    Newsletter Team

    Maija Bissett

    Julie Gunn

    Newsletter Advertising

    Laura Jacometti 01480 210861

    Newsletter Distribution Coordinator

    Lisa Jones 01480 406848

    Fundraising Coordinator

    Amy Crane 01480 218768

    Nearly New Sale Coordinator

    Catharine Khoo 01480 394924

    Fundraising Team

    Maija Bissett

    Jo Jones

    Amanda Knight

    Julie Gunn

    MLSC Representative

    Jenny Barrett 01480 215658

    Postnatal Coordinator

    Ingrid Fawcett 07980 548851

    Bumps and Babies Coordinator

    Melanie Lawson 01480 352636

    Social Secretary

    Amanda Knight 01480 213978

    NCT Bra Agent

    Jess Mackenzie 01480 215749

    Valley Cushion and Breast Pump


    Maija Bissett 01480 473720

    Press and Publicity OfficerJenny and Phil Barrett

    01480 215658

    Reading Group Coordinator

    Helen Blackhurst 01480 390697

    NCT Websites

    NCT Numbers

    General [email protected]

    Antenatal [email protected]

    National EnquiriesEnquiry line 0870 4448707

    Membership hotline 0870 9908040

    Breastfeeding LineHelpline 0870 4448708

    Local Experiences Register

    We have an extensive Experiences Register with details of local members who have experienced many problems and circumstances relating to pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. If you would like to talk to someone who has a shared or similar experience, please contact Alison, who will try to put you in touch with someone who knows how you feel.

    Alison Wittingham 01480 391350

    National Experience RegisterLesley Rock 020 83060979or email [email protected]

    Other useful numbers

    SANDSStillbirth & Neonatal Deaths SocietyLocal befrienders. There is also a newsletter availableLocal befrienders 07817

    ARCAntenatal Results & ChoicesSupport and information for parentsduring antenatal testingNational helpline 020 76310285

    The Miscarriage AssociationHeadquarters 01924 200799

    Foundation for the Study of InfantDeathsFor parents and professionalsconcerned about cot deathHelpline 020 72332090

    Birth Defect FoundationFor families awaiting the outcome oftests or recently receiving a birth defects diagnosisNurse 08700 707020

    BLISSFor parents of babies with difficultiesafter birthFamily Support Helpline 0500 618140

    Copyright 2008 St Neots & District NCT. The information in this newsletter may not be reproduced without the editors consent in writing. The information is for the use of NCT members only in connection with NCT activities and may not be used for any commercial purpose. The views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the NCT.

  • 3 Autumn 2008


    3 Autumn 2008

    About the NCT

    Editorial Simon Leher Contents

    The NCT offers information and

    support in pregnancy, childbirth and

    early parenthood and aims to enable

    every parent to make informed

    choices. The NCT is working towards

    ensuring that its services, activities

    and membership are fully accessible

    to everyone. Donations to support

    our work are always welcome.

    Registered no 2370573 (England)

    Charity no 801395

    Registered office:

    Alexandra House, Oldham Terrace,

    Acton, London, W3 6NH

    Nat. enquiry line 0870 4448707

    Fax 0208 9925929

    When Danielle asked me to guest edit the NCT Newsletter, (or, my wife helpfully suggested I volunteer for the role) I wondered where I would find the time. However, I soon learned the lesson of the tortoise on top of the telephone pole - he didnt get there by himself!

    This newsletter has been put together by Danielle, Laura, Jenny, Phil, Maija and Ingrid. Im just the monkey behind the Mac.

    Having said that, Ive managed to sneak in a couple of articles for dads, although there are some excellent articles for mums in it too (nothing to do with me though!)

    This magazine is only as good as you make it, so send in your stories, articles, recipes and ideas for being a fantastic parent! Thats what the NCT is about.

    Please also give me your feedback on the magazine, where it can be improved and where its just brilliant!

    Were also looking for someone to take over as editor of the NCT newsletter - if thats you, please step forward.

    Thank you!

    The tortoise on topof the telephone

    pole - he didnt get there by himself!

    Useful contacts 2

    Editorial 3

    Letter from 5the Chair

    Announcements 7

    First day of School 8

    Ye-Gads 11A website for dads

    NCT Annual 12Conference

    Planning a baby 16

    St Neots & District 17NCT on Facebook

    Being a great dad 21

    Sponsored 23 pram push

    Situations vacant 24

    10 good reasons to 27be an NCT member

    St Neots and District NCTAnnual General Meeting

    Wednesday 12th November 20088pm at Jess Mackenzies house

    1 The Rookery, Little Paxton

    Committee members please bring puddings for everyone to share.

    AGM is followed by the open forum your chance to say what

    you would like us to do.

    All welcome! Come and have a look at what we do and get


  • St Neots & District NCT 4

    Volunteering for the branchIf the idea of taking on a committee post scares you, how about volunteering or joining our sub-committees?

    We will be forming sub-committees in September in several areas: nearly new sale, fundraising, newsletter, Pop In and Play, Bumps & BabesIf you are interested, let us know!

    We always welcome new volunteers so:

    Can you write articles for the Newsletter? Can you help set up or clear away at the Nearly New Sales? Can you do research at your own convenience? Some examples are looking into training grants, researching venues and services for fundraising activities, phoning printers for quotes, monitoring NCT e-groups for new ideas relevant to our branch. Could you distribute NCT leaflets to local surgeries and clinics etc?Could you deliver our newsletters? Would you like to join our sub-committees? Could you stuff envelopes? Could you make teas at Pop In and Play/Bumps & Babes? Could you put our posters up for us?

    Anything you feel comfortable doing, just grab one of us or email [email protected] and we will get back to you.

    Nearly New SaleSaturday 4th October

    11am to 1pmPriory Centre, Priory Lane, St Neots

    Entrance 1 (50p after 12 noon)in aid of NCT Charity

    Items for sale: Good quality baby clotheschildrens clothes, maternity wear,

    nursery equipment, toys, booksWe can sell your good quality items

    Ring 01480 354759 (odd nos) or 01480 394924 (even nos)from Monday 1st September, after 9.30am Mon-Fri

  • Autumn 20085

    Letter from the Chair Maija Bissett

    As I write this, a cooling breeze is making its way through the house. Every window is open and relief from the heat is most welcome. Summer is here and the last few days have been hot. Not really the weather to be indoors packing! I have been dragging the holiday packing over the weekend and my bed is still covered with bits and pieces. We are off to Finland in just over 12 hours time.

    My niece or nephew is due today but so far, the proud dad (my very anxious brother) hasnt called. He has been on tenterhooks for weeks now. It is his very first baby and after talking with him, one might assume he is having it. I have teased him about not asking for the drugs if they are offered they are for his fiance!

    I have been rather nostalgic with my impending auntie-hood and have been flicking through Graces baby books and missed the feeling of having a baby inside me. I know, you all think, she is going to announce she is pregnant. Well, you are going to be very disappointed. I am very happy with two. For the moment. And I am very selfish to admit, I am in love with running a bit too much at the moment!

    Having a my first baby was a life changing moment and when I try to think back to the time she wasnt here, I wonder what made me as happy as she did. I found the local NCT branch to be a lifesaver and I have made some lovely friends through it.

    Together we have set the world and our lives, children and other halves to straight at coffee mornings, ladies meals, nearly new sales

    I dont know what I would do or where would I be without my lifeline of NCT friends! We have shared each others successes, happiness, cooed over newborns, shared each others worries and sadness and most of all, laughed together.

    We at St Neots and District NCT are a friendly bunch and we would love to see more of you in our events, such as Pop In and Play, Bumps & Babes, nearly new sales, ladies outings

    We are always looking for volunteers and as the autumn draws nearer, our annual general meeting will be held and positions will need filling.

    We have decided to space the branch meeting to every other month, and have sub-committee meetings every other month as well. If you would like to get involved in helping with Pop In and play, Bumps & Babes, Nearly new sale, fundraising, newsletter, social events etc let me know and I will get in touch as soon as possible.

    Our AGM will also feature the open forum where we can brainstorm together about the coming year and things our members want us to do.

    You can get in touch with me via email: [email protected] Our branch also has a Yahoo e-group (to join email me again), and Facebook group that Ingrid, our brilliant postnatal coordinator, set up.

    I will end this letter with some well deserved thank yous. A huge thank you goes to Simon Leher, who has pulled this edition of our newsletter together. He stepped into the breech when Danielles house sale went through faster than anticipated.

    Another set of thank yous go to everyone who has been coming to our Pop in and play for the past year. A first birthday celebration was held in July and lovely photos of it have appeared in the local press.

    Another thank you goes to Jenny and Melanie for their invaluable work within the bumps and babies group that I hear is getting bigger by the week! Thank you everyone for your hard work! As an US presidential candidate and my sons biggest hero says, Yes, we can do it!

    Enjoy the sunshine.

    I dont know what I would do or where would I be without my lifeline of NCT


  • Contacts - St Neots & District NCT

    St Neots & District NCT 6

  • Autumn 20087



    Georgina Hadden is 2 on 3rd SeptemberRosa Lomas is 4 on 4th SeptemberLiberty Jones is 4 on 8th SeptemberThomas Scanlan is 1 on 8th SeptemberThomas Hadden is 8 on 21st SeptemberSamuel Grigg is 2 in SeptemberFraser Gunn is 3 on 3rd OctoberChristopher Khoo is 3 on 4th OctoberCharlie Hughes is 1 on 9th OctoberToby Hadden is 4 on 11th OctoberRohan Bramley is 2 on 15th OctoberBilly Fawcett is 2 on 19th OctoberAlexander Khoo is 5 on 21st OctoberEleanor Baker is 6 on 27th OctoberLewis King is 1 on 8th NovemberThomas Coe/Currington is 2 on 20th NovemberKeyah Longdon is 1 on 28th NovemberAmber Jones is 6 on 30th November

    Apologies to the following children we missed last newsletter:-

    Ayla Jacometti was 2 on 12th JuneAlice Lomas was 7 on 2nd AugustFinlay Gunn was 5 on 21st AugustEmma Selley was 3 on 22nd August

    New babies

    Kai born to Kelly Gittins and Pete Wild on 27th AprilGeorgia born to Jo and Oli Poulain on 9th MayNia born to Caroline and Andrew Kinglake on 6th JuneJake born to Lynn Cooper and James Dickson on 8th JuneMilo born to Laura Jacometti and Eric Wilkinson on 9th JuneBarbara born to Silvia Marson and Alex Grimaldi on 14th JuneEdward born to Becky and Marc Hampson on 15th JuneJude born to Michelle Barrett and Robin Brown on 16th June

    Katherine born to Liz Ellis and Steve Searle on 17th JuneMax born to Jo and Neil Carrington on 1st JulyKitty born to Claire and Richard Sykes on 1st JulyEmily born to Karen and Mark Dobson on 11th JulyNatalie born to Louise and Patrick Ormston on 15th July

    New members

    Tracy & Chris FaulknerAmanda Kerr-Munslow & Arjuna SittampalamAmy Glazebrook & Martin PeakSarah & Mark ShawJulia Sinclair & Derek BrownYvonne & Gary MossKaren & Ian JacksonKerry & Robert RasberryMelina Lafirenze & Alex StreetSilvia Marson & Alex Grimaldi

  • St Neots & District NCT 8

    First Day of School Julie Gunn

    As I write this Finlay has just finished in Reception at Priory Park Infants School. The year has flown by and has exceeded all our expectations. Something I didnt think I would ever be able to say. Finlay was born on 21st August 2003, which meant he was due to start school two weeks after his fourth birthday. All my instincts told me this was too young and that from our point of view Finlay would be better off spending another year at home. I must have seemed very nave when I rang the Local Education Authority to tell them of our plans. I was instead asked to write a report outlining our reasons, gathering evidence to back it up, this would then go to a panel where a decision would be made and we would be informed by letter of the

    outcome. At no point would we be able to put our case face to face.

    I then spent the next six months compiling a carefully worded report. I had no difficulty finding research to back up our case.

    There are many reports that have shown children, boys especially, that are born in the warmer months may take longer to adjust to formal school learning and that starting them early has absolutely no advantage from a social or intellectual viewpoint. In fact, apart from Ireland, England is the only country in Europe which sends our children to school as young as we do. We duly sent off our report and waited. The letter came four weeks later telling us we had not been successful in our request for deferring Finlay.

    We took a long time to choose a school for Finlay and finally settled on Priory Park Infants School. One major criteria was that it would be within walking distance from our house and was not too big. Although to be honest I tend to be an instinctive decision maker and knew as soon as I walked into the school that it was the right one for us. Even though we were out of the catchment area Finlay was given a place for September 2007. We were invited to attend a New Parents evening in June where we were given piles of information and were introduced to the class teacher. It was great to meet other new parents and have a look around. The first day of school came and Finlay was all kitted out in his brand new uniform.

  • 3 Autumn 2008

    First Day of School cont...

    For the first two weeks he only went part time which was a gentle introduction. Finlays full day was a bit more of a shock to the system. He had four days of feeling unsure, although his price was a 9.00 Bob the Builder toy and hes not shed a tear since, although it took me a bit longer! Once out of school, I was very keen to hear about every minute of his day as I felt I had missed out on so much and I found it hard to picture what he was doing at school. Perhaps it was tiredness but he was very reluctant to tell me anything. I decided to help out in the classroom once a fortnight which really helped me feel reassured that he was happy in school and gave me an insight into the daily routine. Fortunately Finlay wasnt distracted with me being there and I really enjoyed seeing him interact with his friends.

    I have found the transition to school a very emotional one but I am glad to say that Finlay has loved every minute of it, from the suspected fracture in term one to singing by himself in front of his whole year at the end of term.

    We have seen him grow in confidence and ability, he has been able to choose his friends independently and has experienced life beyond me. If I had the choice I would still have preferred him to have started his school career later but have found the experience so far a very positive and exciting one. Book bags at the ready for year one!

    9 Autumn 2008

  • St Neots & District NCT 10

    Independent Coach & Mentor for Pre-School and KS 1, 2, 3Social & Emotional Learning (SEAL & BESD)

    Coaching for 4-11 year olds (with their parents) to improve self-esteem & self-reliance, manage emotions, make friends & relate well to others, & adjust to new settings

    Individuals 35hr, 4 sessions 110 or Small groups in after-school settings

    Christine Stocker-Gibson MBA NLPP DipPC Pathways for [email protected]

    Tel: 01480 406998 Mobile: 07738 479153 Ref: 080808

    Love products from The Body Shop?The Body Shop At Home brings the store to your door! August sees the launch of our brand new baby range, exclusive to The Body Shop At Home.

    To book a party or to find out about the exciting and flexible working opportunity, an ideal business venture for Mums with young children.

    Contact: Nicole SoleTelephone: 01480 219353E mail: [email protected]

  • Autumn 200811

    Ye-Gads Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs

    Jason and I first met more than two years ago at a parents antenatal class run by the NCT.

    We were both first time dads and we met six other expectant dads in a local school near us which was the venue for our NCT class. All of us were typical blokes full of banter and some wise cracks. Without exception all of us had our own quiet concerns on a whole range of issues. We did not communicate this to each other at the time. Why would we (that just isnt manly!)

    Dont get us wrong. Without exception all the guys took a very active role in the classes. All of us were very supportive, and wanted to be, for our partners. The men were perfectly happy to ask about those issues that everyone hears about but you dont really know what issues are going to affect you until it is your turn. Indeed you simply dont know the magnitude of becoming a dad and the life changing effect that it has on you and those around you.

    Dads sometimes get bad press about supporting their partners. Every man in our class was worried about the pain for their partners in labour. I think some were more worried about the pain relief options and any side effects than the actual birth. Each man had his own individual thoughts and worries but did not necessarily feel comfortable in airing them with people he didnt really know.

    Its a strange feeling. On the one hand you dont know these people that you have just met in the class yet you are now all on the same journey.The destination is also the same but

    the routes to it can be many. After feeling slightly awkward at times, and subsequently shocked by discovering what fatherhood entailed we decided we should do something to help other dads and we set up our website Ye-Gads for dads.

    Ye-Gads for dads aims to ease the anxiety for new and prospective fathers. It is packed with paternal advice, information and anecdotes all of which are from a dads point of view. We try and demystify becoming a dad and aim to be informative on important issues that effect dads.

    Many mums also love the site as it gives them an insight into what their partner maybe thinking and going through.

    Where we can we try and have as much fun as possible and it would not be a site for blokes if it didnt have a cracking jokes page and some very funny stories all sent in by dads. From the guy that, to impress his mates, changed a nappy in record time only to find out, the messy way, ten minutes later he hadnt actually put a new nappy back on. Then theres the guy that was left with his child for the first time for only ten minutes only to be found ten minutes later in the hallway in only his boxers, holding the baby and a large pile of washing on

    the floor. Explain that one! Suffice to say there are some corkers here all by dads.

    Not everything can attract humour so for the dad whose partner miscarried,the dad with postnatal depression or the guy that just doesnt think he will be able to earn enough money when his partner gives up work to look after his new born its all here. All from a guys perspective from guys who have been there themselves and got the tee shirt albeit with a few kiddie stains on it!

    Ye-Gads now has its own forum so guys can log on and talk to other guys for tips or just chat. Here you can ask those questions without embarrassment and without having to feel you need to save face. Many of our readers report that it is just good to find out that the thing they have been stressing about is actually a common worry with fellow dads. Again because its for a bunch of blokes rest assured it isnt all baby chat we promise!

    We now review all sorts of products,not just family related, but all of which will be of interest to guys. The latest beer keg was a tough job but had to be done!! With regular competition give aways and places to visit with your new family its an invaluable guide.

    Ultimately we believe that dads will find plenty of useful information and amusement for them and their partner which will enable them to be better equipped to being a dad and for supporting their partner throughout. Log on to, hold on and enjoy the ride that is being a dad.

    Ye-Gads for dads aims to ease the

    anxiety for new and prospective fathers

  • Contacts - St Neots & District NCT

    2St Neots & District NCT 12

    NCT Annual Conference Maija Bissett

    This was my third conference in a row. This time around I wasnt as excited about it as on paper it didnt have the appeal as the previous ones had had, but I can say I was completely wrong and very pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it! Here is my report.

    The NCT has been going through major changes within itself since the last conference in Glasgow last year. The most notable thing is the logo change. As the charity looked back on its year, it also looked towards the future and how it can become more accessible to every parent in the UK.

    Amy and I set off again at the break of dawn and arrived early to the venue. We only did one sight seeing trip around the Coventry ring roads. The conference was in Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry.

    This year, the organisers offered breakfast workshop and we both attended one. I went to preventing and resolving conflict which was interesting enough.

    The conference kicked off with the AGM and it was followed by an emotional presentation about dads and where they factor in within the NCT.

    We then heard about breastfeeding in hospitals; mothers, midwives and the production line. Then it was on to positive birth experiences: empowering the transition to parenthood. On paper the speaker that followed this looked boring but turned out to be the most interesting speaker I have heard in a very long time.

    She was Dr Margot Sunderland and her talk was on building emotional well being for life. She spoke about how the brain of baby forms and makes connections and how our actions contribute it. Her research questioned the pro-longed crying techniques and various others so-called parenting experts within the media. Her talk was followed by a panel discussion on parenting programs. The Channel 4 program Bringing up the baby has been a hot topic on many parenting

    forums and in our coffee mornings, so it was interesting to see what the panel of experts thought of it and where tighter broadcasting standards are needed to protect the public, parents and young children from the potential dangers of such programs.

    Every year the organisers bring on a surprise session and this year we had a lady called Barbara Nice entertaining us. The day ended with the first ever volunteer awards.

    Sunday kicked off with a very interesting study of sleeping, feeding and night-time parenting. It was by Helen Ball, professor of anthropology from Durham University and her team had been filming how people sleep with their children and how we subconsciously make certain decisions when it comes to sleeping with a baby and how that relates to how you chose to feed your child. For example, how you position yourself when you breastfeed and when your child comes to bed with you.

    St Neots & District NCT

  • 3 Autumn 2008

    NCT Annual Conference cont...It was fascinating and my description gives no justice to it! She was followed by a talk on normal birth matters: development and field-testing of a training package for maternity staff to improve support for women to have a normal birth. This was very moving and we saw a video of twins being born without intervention. It showed a normal birth isnt abnormal.

    We had a talk on couples relationships and the transition to parenthood before our celebrity speaker came on. This year it was Janey Lee Grace, a co-host of BBC Radio 2s biggest show: Steve Wright in the afternoon. She spoke about being more natural with the products we use and how to be imperfectly natural. She was very engaging and I am sure, a huge number of the people listening her, went to her website to find the products she was talking about. If you are interested in more natural products, Google her! During lunch, two films were showed. Orgasmic Birth and The Business of Being Born. I chose to view the latter one and this is how the conference handbook describes it:

    the Business of being born is a documentary film directed by Abby Epstein and Executive Produced by Ricki Lake. The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical,

    political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system.

    It painted a very bleak picture of how women give birth in America. It was very poignant as the UK tends to follow the US and one wonders if this is the way of things to come here.

    Some branches are organising screenings of it. If interested, let me know and I will forward some details to you. After the film, we heard about branch successes and how three branches had made a huge success of themselves.

    The most poignant was the North Staffordshire Branchs Little Ducks project that provides tangible support for new families in genuine need. It was a true testimony to volunteering and how we can make a difference to someones life.

    Conference ended and next years conference is in Wales. Every branch has one place and if you are interested in going and seeing what the charity does nationally, talk to me!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed my three conferences and always come back with a bag full of ideas.

    The film interlaces intimate birth stories

    with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking

    statistics about the current maternity care


    Following the success of our first ever first aid course, more have been organised.

    A course will be held on Saturday, 27th of

    September from 10am until 2pm at the St Johns Ambulance headquarters

    in St Neots.

    If you would like to go, pleease contact

    Vickie Criddle on 01480 390109.

    Hurry and book fast as there are only 16 places available!

    13 Autumn 2008

  • PARKS PHYSIOTHERAPY CENTREEstablished over 20 years ago by Practice Principle Jennie Longbottom

    At Parks we provide the following services:

    PhysiotherapySports Injuries

    Occupational TherapyChiropody/Podiatry

    AcupunctureChinese Herbal Medicine

    Gait AnalysisErgonomicsHomeopathy

    Clinical PsychologyCounselling


    We are an accredited practice and accept direct settlement payments by

    all major insurance companies

    Tel: 01480 39471586 Cambridge Street,

    St Neots, Cambs, PE19 1PJ Neots & District NCT 14

  • 3Fun development classes for you and your baby!

    Music, dance, signing, language and listening activities, rhymes, gentle exercise and a whole lot more!

    These unique sessions teach you about your babys wonderful development and show you lots of wonderful

    ways of having fun together.

    Each activity is specially designed to help your child develop and learn skills which are needed for the rest of

    their lives.

    Classes are available for babies aged 0-9 months, 9-18 months

    and 18-36 months in Eaton Socon, Bedford, Clapham and Shortstown.

    Phone Jane on 01234 307178 or visit

    Autumn 200815

  • St Neots & District NCT 16

    Planning a baby Valerie Gommon

    When you are planning a pregnancy it is important that you are in optimum health, firstly to help your body to conceive, and secondly to maintain the pregnancy and grow a healthy baby.

    It is true that the baby will take what it needs from your body, but your body needs to be healthy and strong to nurture the growing baby, to give birth and to enable you to feed and care for the baby.

    When planning a pregnancy it is advisable to first see your midwife or GP to discuss your plans and arrange a rubella (German measles) blood test. It is worth doing this even if you have had German measles or had the immunisation in the past.

    The current Department of Health (DoH) recommendation is that it is advisable to take a folic acid supplement in the months prior to getting pregnant and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy if you dont want to take a supplement it would be worth ensuring that you get additional folic acid in your diet from green vegetables, brown rice and walnuts. Folic acid supplementation has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (spina bifida).

    A recent DoH recommendation is that pregnant women take Vitamin D supplements, this may be especially important if your religion requires you to cover a significant amount of your body (Vitamin D is absorbed into our skin by exposure to sunlight).

    Be aware of toxoplasmosis - a bacterial infection that can be picked up in cat and dog faeces. Either get someone else to clear up after animals, or just be extra careful of hygiene - this also applies to gardening as the bacteria lives in soil. So if you garden, consider wearing gloves and again wash hands and nails very carefully.

    Food advice in early pregnancy is to be extra careful with hygiene; food poisoning is bad news for your baby. Dont eat any unpasteurised foods - most food is pasteurised, but some speciality milks, cheeses and dairy are not. Avoid moulded or veined cheeses and pate and salami.

    Eggs should be well cooked, not runny. Fruit and vegetables should be washed prior to eating. It is suggested that you dont eat swordfish or marlin and limit the consumption of oily fish to twice weekly. Sea food should be cooked, not eaten raw. Liver is not recommended for pregnant women.

    Whilst pregnant the current recommendation is not to drink alcohol at all, and it is better to limit the amount of caffeine you take (tea, coffee, cola and fizzy drinks).

    We are still evaluating the evidence regarding eating peanuts in pregnancy the best current advice is that if you have nut allergies in the family it may well be best to avoid eating nuts in pregnancy; it there are no nut allergies then use your own instinct and judgement as to whether you feel safe to eat nuts (bearing in mind they are a good source of protein, particularly if you are vegetarian or vegan).

    Having made a huge list of foods to avoid, you are encouraged to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (aim for at least five a day), plenty of protein (at every meal if you possibly can) and plenty of iron rich foods (red meat, pulses, green vegetables).

    It can sometimes take many months

    to conceive and this can be a stressful


  • Autumn 200817

    Planning a baby cont...

    A few weeks ago we set up a Facebook page for the local branch. The aim of the group is to keep people informed about the activities within the branch including details on Pop in and play, Bumps and babies, social activities and the nearly new sale.

    It is also an opportunity for members of the group to discuss topics, ask questions and meet new people in the area.

    We have added details of recent events including the NCT conference through to details on the recent Bumps and babies pram push to raise money for the New Life Appeal.

    It is open to NCT members and non members and is to work alongside the yahoo group too.

    Please search for St Neots NCT on Facebook (If youre not a member, its easy to register).

    It would be great to see a few more faces, come on join in the fun!

    It can sometimes take many months to conceive and this can be a stressful time. I would encourage you to consider seeing complementary therapists as they may well be able to help you.

    It is worth considering acupuncturists, reflexologists, nutritionalists, homoeopaths or hypnotherapists talk to different therapists and go to the one that you feel most comfortable with.

    The following websites also have lots of useful information:

    Written by Valerie Gommon, BA (Hons), RM, Independent

    St Neots & District NCT on Facebook

  • Babybliss

    Infant massage Baby and toddler yogaBaby and parent swimming

    Birth - 4 years old

    07857 683297 [email protected]

    Sugar Daddys1 Fishers Yard, Market Square, St Neots, Cambs PE19 2AF

    Telephone/fax: 01480 471200 Website:

    EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR ANDCake mixes (no eggs needed, just add water)

    Natural & white marzipans: Odense 30/70 and 40/60; and Ingrams 30/70Professional Regal Ice in all colours and BelAir Top n Fill for coating

    Liquid, paste and powder colours, food pens and writing icing/gelsEdible and non-edible cake decorations

    Cake boards, in all shapes and sizes, and boxes up to 20 inchesCake tin, stand and knife hire

    A wide range of ribbons, beads and silk flowersAlmonds, nets, cups, decorations and ribbons for Wedding Favours

    Banners, table confetti, table covers and napkins.AND MUCH MUCH MORE SEEING IS BELIEVING

    Try the HAPPY SHOP, and ask about lessons tooOpen from 0930 to 1700 every day except Sundays and Bank Holidays

    St Neots & District NCT 18

  • Autumn 200819

  • St Neots & District NCT 20

  • Autumn 200821

    Being a great Dad! Care for the Family

    Care for the Family believes every father has the potential to be a brilliant dad.

    1. Stay calm!Try to take something positive out of every new experience your kids introduce you to, even if it is a frog in the laundry basket! At least it wasnt two frogs and for punishment you can make them write an essay on frogs and their proper habitats.

    2. Be silly once a dayIf its not in your job description to have fun with your children, then its time to rewrite it! Laugh at their jokes, even if youve heard them before. Be a kid again, sometimes. Dirt washes off, clothes dry out, hair dye fades, but memories stay for a long, long time.

    3. Dont take yourself too seriouslyCharacter matters more than reputation. You might lose face occasionally, but modelling character means being willing to apologise, being honest about mistakes, forgiving other people for their mistakes, and moving on.

    4. Honour their motherThis can be hard if youre no longer together as a couple, but even so, honouring their mother teaches your children an important lesson in life about respect. Presenting a united front on boundaries, discipline and

    priorities will make your children feel more secure and you will model a positive relationship for them to emulate.

    5. Celebrate their differencesEach of your children is different and will want to do their own thing. Try to spend time with them individually, whether thats racing them on the Playstation or taking them to Claires Accessories.

    And dont compare your children with each other they each have faults, and they each have their own good points, too. Each child is unique.

    6. Praise your childIf you catch them doing something right, praise them. But remember, after a certain age theres nothing more embarrassing for a child than to be praised in front of their friends. Its just not cool!

    7. Choose your battles and stick to themAlways ask yourself, Is it really worth arguing about this? If it is, then stick to your guns (unless they give you a very good reason to give in).

    8. Let them decide what to do with a dayIt might not be an expensive trip out. It might just be going to McDonalds instead of KFC, but give them the choice.

    9. Assume the bestDont over-react; listen to their version of events. Dont pry into their lives unless you really have to. Show them that you trust them and you have a much better chance of them trusting you in return.

    9. For those who can make it come to A Rough Guide for Dads!If you live near one of the towns were visiting, then come along to A Rough Guide for Dads.

    Its an opportunity to meet with other fathers, get some encouragement and support and hear a lot more about how you can become an even better dad.

    Wise words about fatherhood

    Take comfort from the fact that whatever you do in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right. Bill Cosby

    It doesnt matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.Anne Sexton

    It is a wise father that knows his own child. William Shakespeare

    A father carries pictures where his money used to be. Anon

  • St Neots & District NCT 22

  • Autumn 200823

    Sponsored Pram Push Jenny Barrett

    As many of you will have noticed in the Hunts Post over the last few weeks, the Bumps and Babes group did a sponsored Pram Push for the New Life Appeal on the 3rd July.

    The Hunts Post newspaper started this appeal earlier in the year with the intention of raising 70,000 - you can see the details at Money raised will be split between the maternity unit and the special care baby unit at Hinchingbrooke.

    Nearly all of the mums that come to Bumps and Babes gave birth at Hinchingbrooke and we thought that this would be a nice way to have some fun and give something back to the unit.

    The day of the walk dawned very dark and when we had a very heavy shower at 8.30am I really feared the weather

    was going to be against us. But by 10am it was bright and dry - 13 mums and babies set off with balloons tied to our prams and pushchairs.

    We had a lovely walk from the hall next to St Marys Eaton Socon to the Riverside park. We paused there to allow some of the babies to have a feed, the older ones to look at the ducks and for all of us to pose for some photos.

    We then walked back for a well earned drink and biscuit. As I write this not quite all the money has come in but we currently have 320 which is a fantastic effort - many thanks to all those who took part or sponsored us.

    The Bumps and Babes group goes from strength to strength. Just a reminder that we are now meeting in the hall next to St Marys Eaton Socon every Thursday from 10-12.

    Any expectant mums or those caring for pre-walking babies are really welcome. If you would like more details call Jenny on 01490 215658 or Melanie on 01480 352636..

  • St Neots & District NCT 24

    Situations Vacant Maija Bissett

    Here are descriptions for some of the committee roles. If you are interested and want to find out more, please talk to the current post-holder, commitment-free. None of the roles are very time consuming, and its all good fun! And you can always job share. Our committee will meet every other month, and our sub-committees during the other months.

    NCT Bra Fitter

    Our superb bra fitter is moving out of the area and we need another one! The bra fitter does what it says on the tin, fits bras!

    Full training will be provided by the head office and no previous exprecience is necessary.

    General Enquiries

    A new postion to handle general enquiries that the branch receives.

    Branch Secretary

    The branch secretary is the focal point of communication within the branch.

    She will be the person who receives information on behalf of the branch from all sorts of bodies, including UK Office, particularly via Update and New Digest. She must then ensure

    an efficient passing of information between branch members, the branch committee, neighbouring branches, regional and UK NCT


    Usually the public face of the NCT in the branchs area. Chairs really do need to know how committee work and procedures can make a branch work well.

    Gaining that knowledge will make the chair and the branch more confident.

    A major duty of the chair is to motivate others by being optimistic (although realistic) and enthusiastic.

    A successful chair will know the rules and make sure that everyone plays by those rules. She needs to have, or be willing to obtain, a good knowledge of the NCT, and its aims, vision and mission.

    Fundraising Co-ordinator

    Fundraising could not be more important to the NCT - and yet it is not the daunting task that some think. The fundraising co-ordinator is someone who organises the fundraising activities her branch undertakes - she must not feel that she is doing it alone.

    We rely heavily on branch fundraising to fund many of our very valuable services, and as such fundraising should be undertaken by the branch as a whole, under the guidance of the fundraising co-ordinator, or a fundraising team.

    Nearly New Sale Co-ordinator

    As the title says, this person organizes the nearly new sale twice a year. They are responsible for sending out letters to the sellers, making sure the phone lines open, allocate people jobs on the day, help people with enquiries with regards to sale, before and after etc.

    Membership Secretary

    Membership is vital to the NCT for three reasons. Firstly, the NCT is a charity run for parents by parents. Secondly, we aim to be the voice of parents and can only achieve this if we have a large membership. Finally, membership fees keep the NCT afloat.

  • Autumn 200825

    Without them the charity could not exist. Just as membership is vital to the NCT, so the membership secretary plays an important role locally.

    She is often the first NCT contact for parents who have not gone to antenatal classes and therefore the first face of the NCT to many parents. The membership secretary is responsible for the administration involved in the recruitment and retention of members. With the rest of the committee she will publicize the branch and promote membership of the NCT.


    One of the key qualities of a branch treasurer is to be good with money, reliable and well organized, and someone with the time and ability to keep the branch records up to date. This person does not need to be a qualified accountant, but must certainly be good with figures and not afraid to ask for help.

    Social Secretary

    Her job is to circulate diary dates so they get filled before the newsletter goes to the printers, organizes ladies meals evenings, the annual Christmas meal, and family photosanything fun we might like to do!

    Newsletter Team

    This team compiles the newsletter, thinks of topics and hopefully gets people to contribute towards it.

    Newsletter Advertising

    This role liaises with advertisers and newsletter editor about the adverts that go in to newsletter.

    Newsletter distribution co-ordinator

    This job is to make sure everyone who is a member gets their copy of the newsletter and diary dates and co-ordinates the distributors and sends out the newsletters that need to be posted. This job only happens once every three months!

    Postnatal Co-ordinators

    Ensure that branches are able to offer postnatal support to anyone who wants it: antenatal class attendees, existing branch members, parents moving into the area, new parents with young babies and parents referred by local health professionals.

    She holds the postnatal library which is free for all members.

    Press and Publicity Officer

    The job of the branch press officer is to get as much free publicity for the branch and the NCT as possible, in the local paper, or on local radio or television

    Breast Pump Agent

    Encouraging and supporting mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies is of prime importance to the NCT.

    There are a variety of occasions when mothers might find a breast pump useful and the NCT has joined forces with Ameda Egnell Ltd., a Somerset based company that specializes in providing breast pumps for hire, to cater for this.

    The role is to encourage and support mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies. Ameda Egnell provides a manual explaining the duties of the NCT pump agent. Agents are paid out of pocket expenses on each hiring, and need to attend a pump study day at least every other year.

    They are expected to make themselves known to Special Care Baby Units, maternity units, health visitors, health centers and community midwives, who in turn can refer mothers to them.

    A pump agent should be willing to be contacted by parents at all reasonable times, including weekends, evenings and holidays. There is also some paperwork involved. This includes filling in hiring forms and ultimately completing an annual return and stock form, to be sent each year to Ameda Egnell.

    Valley Cushion Agent

    Valley cushions are an absolute life saver after having a baby and as an agent you are responsible for hiring them out. You need to keep track of your hirers and establish contacts with local health workers and hospitals.

    Experiences Register Holder

    They hold a register of members experiences (people can contribute to the register if they would like to).

    If one member is going through something and would like to talk to someone else who has been through the same, they can contact the experiences resister and will be put in touch with someone who has experienced similar. NCT also has a national register, which works the same way.

    Bumps & Babes Co-ordinator

    Bumps & Babes are for women who are pregnant or have a small baby. The group meets every week, usually a Thursday, for coffee, biscuits and a chat!

    You dont have to be a member to join the group, so come and off-load your baby worries with other mums, chat about your favourite weaning foods and pick up some top tips and most importantly make some friends with like-minded people.

    The Co-ordinator will make sure this excellent group is running efficiently.

    Partner Representative

    Organises mens nights and outings.

    Situations Vacant cont...

  • CONSTABLE PHOTOGRAPHYThe Studio, Church Walk, St Neots, Cambs PE19 1JH

    Tel/Fax 01480 471414

    Celebrate your Birthday in styleJoin our Birthday Club

    New babies receive three sittings in the first year including their first birthday, plus one free photo from each sitting, collectable at the third

    sitting so you can watch your child grow.

    Your child will also receive a free sitting on each birthday until they are 13 years old. 20

    registration fee. (Worth 120 in the first year alone!)

    Older children joining as new members receive a free sitting and free photo on each birthday.

    15 registration fee.

    All free photos are 54 inches in size.

    Existing memberships are not affected by this promotion.

    Dont stay under wraps, call into our studio today and register your child.

    British Institute of Professional Photography & Master Photographers Association.

    We are happy to undertake commissions for:Photo Restoration


    Private FunctionsWeddings


    Passports (all nationalities)

    St Neots & District NCT 26

  • Autumn 200827

    Next IssueNext Issue

    Christmas Days out

    For our Christmas issue we thought wed look at fun days out to entertain the children during the festive season

    Humourous baby stories

    Do you have any funny stories of things your children have done? If so wed love to hear from you for a special Christmas issue full of funny and heartwarming stories.

    Copy date for the Christmas issue is Friday 7 November 2008.

    You can email articles or contributions at any time to [email protected] or drop them through an editorial letterbox.


    Alison Edwards & Associates 19Apricot Day Nursery 19Baby Bliss 18Baby College 15Baby Show 6Bedford Butterfly Park 17

    The Body Shop at Home 10Constable Photography 26First Aid Course 13Fitness Pilates 15Holiday Cottage 15Music for Little People 9Pathways for Life 10Parks Therapy Centre 14Raggamuffins Drama School 19Revital-eeze 22Sing and Sign 18Sugar Daddys 18Baby Sleep Consultant 15Tumble Tots 20

    Thank you to all our advertisers. Your continued support helps towards supporting the NCT which is a charity designed to give information and support to new parents.

    If you or a business you know might be interested in advertising in the St Neots & District Newsletter, please contact Laura Jacometti (tel: 01480 210861 or email [email protected]).

    The appearance of an advertisement in this newsletter does not imply endorsement of the company or its products by the NCT, nor does it constitute a recommendation.

    However, when contacting any of the advertisers shown in the St Neots & District Newsletter, please be sure tomention where you saw their advert.

    The NCT cannot be held liable for loss, damage or injury arising out of goods sold through these columns or any advertisements in this newsletter.

    Advertising rates

    Rates 1 issue 4 issues

    Full Page 25 90

    Half Page 15 54

    Quarter Page 11 40

    Personal Ads Free

    Inserts 25p each

    Additional setup charges may apply if copy requires typesetting or alteration. If you have any queries, please contact Laura. The NCT is VAT registered. All prices include VAT.

    Ten good reasons to be an NCT member

    Have a fun time whilst supporting a worthy cause The NCT is a unique service which gives you the opportunity to network with other parents Your membership will ensure the NCT is here to support your children when they become parents Your membership will help the NCT campaign, which will bring about changes for all parents NCT members help raise the profile of parenting Your membership allows the NCT to campaign on behalf of those who cannot do so for themselves Membership gives you the opportunity to give something back to the NCT Being a member enables the NCT to continue training new volunteers, teachers, breastfeeding counsellors, postnatal support workers and branch volunteers Your membership allows the NCT to act as a voice for all parents in the UK Be a member to say thank you to all the volunteers who have supported you through pregnancy and the experience of becoming a parent.


    Application Form - NCT Membership

    Gift Aid brings extra cash to the NCT at no cost to you. In particular if you are joining as a couple,

    please read I[Yj_ed* below before beginning at I[Yj_ed' .

    7ffb_YW j_ed\ehc[cX[hi^_f

    I[Yj_ed'You may join the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) as anindividual member or as a couple. ?m_i^jeX[Yec[Wc[cX[he\ j^[DWj_edWb9^_bZX_hj^JhkijWi_dZ_YWj[ZX[bem . The National Childbirth Trust is acompany limited by guarantee. I undertake that if, whileI am a member or for one year thereafter, the companyshall be wound up, I will contribute to the assets of thecompany (in accordance with Clause 8 of itsMemorandum) such sum as may be required notexceeding 1.00.

    (Please tick the type of r e b m e m ship you have c ) n e s o hIjWdZWhZc[cX[hi^_f i d n i ( vidual or couple)First year 36 second & subsequent years 26I/we wish to pay (please tick): Annually

    Quarterly (Direct Debit only)H[ZkY[ZIkXiYh_fj_ed for those in receipt ofmeans tested benefit, such as Income Suppor t(entitlement to Child Benefit does not qualify)