What is International Father’s Mental Health Day?

On 19th June 2017 The Natal Family will join in the celebrations and social media hype for the second International Father’s Mental Health Day. Watch out for #IFMHD on social media from the 19th June for a week – lots and lots of great content that focuses on key aspects of fathers’ mental health will be shared online.

Why do we need an awareness day for father’s mental health?

Because 10% of dads are reported to experience perinatal postpartum depression. And while there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental health for both men and women, it looks like, as a society, we have a long way to go when it comes to recognising the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression, especially in men. Continue reading

What will I learn at a BabyNatal First Aid class?

Every year the Child Accident Prevention Trust runs Child Safety Week (5th to 11th June 2017) to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented. But in case an unfortunate accident was to happen, would a parent know how to respond?

We often see worrying statistics in the media that show that an overwhelming majority of parents wouldn’t know what to do in case of an accident.

First Aid classes and practical workshops for parents might just be the perfect answer to this, and that’s why here at The Natal Family we offer AoFA accredited BabyNatal First Aid classes to parents and parents-to-be across the country. After all, providing crucial, life-saving skills to parents and parents-to-be fits perfectly well within our ethos of empowering parents with the knowledge and confidence they need. Continue reading

How to protect your baby’s skin from exposure to chemicals

From the moment you find out you are going to become a parent, you want the best for your baby. You’d do anything to protect them from harm – and that, of course, includes protecting their sensitive skin.

It’s no coincidence that a lot of parents-to-be start to become a lot more conscious and aware of the products they use on a daily basis even before their little ones are born. Any new parent will tell that then when your baby is finally here, a whole range of new products come into your life too. From washing powders and detergents, to nappies and baby oils – so many new items are suddenly added to your weekly shopping list. Continue reading

5 reasons why parents might choose cloth nappies

One of the topics we discuss in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes is nappy changing. As with everything else we do at The Natal Family, we like to give parents plenty of useful information to help them make informed choices. This means that in our classes we go through a lot of options. And when it comes to nappy changing, parents can not only choose between different brands of disposable or eco-friendly nappies, but they can also opt for cloth or reusable nappies.

Sometimes in our classes, when we mention cloth nappies, parents-to-be look at us in horror. “Is this about the muslin cloths and pins that my grandmother used to use??” Not quite! The good news is that the demand for cloth nappies has exploded in the last few years, and as a consequence, reusable nappies have come a very long way. Continue reading

Where can I bathe my newborn baby?

When it comes to caring for your newborn baby, bathing is probably the one thing that new parents feel more nervous about. New babies seem so tiny and fragile, and we, as parents, are aware of being so ‘new to the job’ that it’s completely normal to feel a little anxious and nervous. We’ve all been there!

Of course bathing is covered in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes and, for the teachers who offer it, in our Caring for your Newborn courses, which also include Paediatric First Aid, Colic and Calming and Sleep. One of the things we cover when talking about bathing is where you can bathe your little one. As with many other things baby-related, parents have different options. And as always, we like to encourage parents to consider and discuss the choices available to them, in order to make decisions that work for them as a family. Continue reading

9 things you need to know about vitamin K for babies

In our BabyNatal classes we go through the choices that new parents can make straight after the birth of their babies. One of the very early decisions that parents are asked to make is whether they would like their baby to have a supplement of vitamin K.

So we put together this blog post to answer some of the key questions you might have about this.

  1. Why is my baby offered vitamin K soon after birth?

When babies are born, they have low levels of vitamin K because only small amounts of vitamin K in mum’s body pass through the placenta. In the vast majority of healthy newborn babies, the amount of vitamin K they have in their body is enough to prevent any problems. However, some babies are born with an insufficient amount of vitamin K. Because it’s impossible to accurately predict which babies will be born with a vitamin K deficiency, a vitamin K supplement is currently offered to all babies born in the UK. Continue reading

What do I do if I suspect my child may have a cow’s milk allergy?

One question that often comes up in our BabyNatal Colic and Calming workshops is whether dairy allergy or lactose intolerance could cause colic. This is certainly a possibility (although there are others), and the advice that we give parents in our classes is to work with their health professionals to look at the baby’s feeds to try and accommodate these allergies or intolerance.

The good news is that a lot of babies do grow out of allergies or intolerance as their digestive system matures, but if this is an area of concern for you at the moment, here’s some information that you might find useful.

What is cow’s milk allergy?

Cow’s milk allergy is a reaction from the immune system to one or both the proteins contained in cow’s milk (casein and whey). It should not be confused with lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest the milk sugar found in milk (including breast milk).

Cow’s milk allergy is the most common food allergy in infants and young children in the UK, and it can occur in both breastfed and formula-fed babies. Continue reading

Five ways to keep your baby safe in their sleep

Sleep safety is obviously one of the topics close to the hearts of all new parents. We cover the basics of safe sleep for newborn and young babies in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes, and for parents who want to have a better understanding of how babies sleep and why, some of our amazing teachers also offer a one-off Baby Sleep workshop.

If you’ve ever been to one of our classes before, you’ll know that we’re never ‘prescriptive’ – we don’t tell you what to do or what’s right or wrong when caring for your baby. But for something as important as sleep safety, we do make sure that we give you all the facts, so you’re equipped and empowered with the right tools to keep your baby safe when they sleep. Continue reading

My baby’s first shoes – top tips and advice

Did you know that some of our fantastic Natal teachers also offer BabyNatal Developmental Baby Massage classes?IMG_2621sm

Please give a virtual hello to teachers:

Continue reading

My baby’s soft spots – why are they there?

One of the things that we talk about in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes and our BabyNatal Caring for Your Newborn courses is newborn appearance.

Why?baby soft spots fontanels

Because newborn babies don’t exactly look like the ones we’re used to seeing on TV programmes and Hollywood movies. Often, the so-called ‘newborn’ babies we see on TV are already a couple of months old.

This is why, to manage expectations for new parents who may have never seen a newborn baby before, we include a few bits of information in our classes that prepare new parents about what they might notice in their sweet bundles of joy.

So we talk about the umbilical cord and stump, and we advise parents on how to care for it. We mention the fact that a baby may or may not have birthmarks, of which the Mongolian Blue Spot is one example. Continue reading