MaMa 2018 Nomination!

Breastfeeding Champion of the Year

MaMa 2018 Nominations

 

Yesterday I recieved an amazing email, it said:

“Massive congratulations!  You have been nominated for the MaMa 2018 Awards in the ‘Breastfeeding Champions of the Year’ category.”

Imagine! Just for a moment imagine what it was like to suddenly see that drop into my Inbox after spending so many hours fighting against a heartless and short-sighted decision to end the fantastic breastfeeding peer support project in my home town of Blackpool; I might have cried!

We are finally (and hopefully not too optimistically!) beginning to feel positive about the most recent meetings with Blackpool Council and we are hoping for a positive outcome but it is not over yet!  There are 3 of us running this campaign in Blackpool, 3 women with a passion for ensuring women are heard, and that the decision they’ve made to breastfeed their babies is not scuppered by a lack of support. We are passionate about this local community and we can see that if local agencies work together and involve local mums, then investment in breastfeeding peer support and the wider image can reduce social isolation, improve women’s mental health, reduce a host of health-related issues and help new mums in Blackpool.

So, thank you for the nomination. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart because it gives me a great excuse to tell more people about how much of a difference this makes to mothers and babies everywhere, and gives me an opportunity to thank two fantastic women, Shel Banks and Ayala Ochert, without whom, this 3-legged stool would fall over – thank you both!

If you want to see more please check out this link blackpool.breastfeedingsupport.co.uk and this video of our Presentation to Blackpool Council


Antenatal sessions!

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I’m now providing antenatal sessions and I’m very excited!

Why am I doing this?

I have always provided individual antenatal preparation with birth clients, tailored to their needs and in a very informal fashion and I have realised over time that this stuff just needs sharing!  In my role as a birth doula I support a woman or couple in THEIR journey without any steer from me. I listen to their stories, their hopes and fears, and as we talk I see them find their own answers. As their doula at their birth I can gently help them, remind them and if necessary advocate. Not every person wants a doula to be present,however I can still share information and help women and their partners, find and practice with the tools they need in pregnancy, birth and the early days. If you are looking for some extra help in the run up to birth, something to help you prepare, then why not book on to a course?

What is involved?

Over the course of three sessions we’ll look at:

  • decision making and the choices open to you, exploring how to make decisions and look broadly at birth plans/wish lists.
  • labour, the different ways that women give birth and consider how the support you have can make a real difference
  • after the birth, what to expect straight after and in the early days with a new baby

How much?

£65 for all 3 sessions.

 

Contact me zoe@zoewalshdoula.co.uk or 07743 299810 to book or for more information on the next available course dates.

 

 


Closing the Bones

closing the bones prepIt’s been a while since I started as a doula and out of the skills I have been slowly gathering this is one I feel I must share more widely. Closing the Bones is an ancient wisdom that offers an opportunity for women to be nurtured and begin to heal after a birth.  In essence the process is a slow massage of the hips, belly and pelvis combined with the gentle moves of rebozo culminating in a wonderful wrapping of the bones, a closing together; healing and closing the bones which have been opened in the process of birth. It can be done whenever the woman is ready, soon after a birth or a long time later; in South American tradition, it is something which is performed repeatedly in the first 40 days after a birth. 

I am thrilled to be able to offer this soothing and healing ritual for other women to experience. If you are interested and in the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre area then please contact me to find out more – I’m offering a discount for all sessions booked before the end of February!


What’s a postnatal doula anyway?

It feels like I have spent a lot of time talking to people about doulas, what it means, what doulas are able to offer and the like.  I realise (maybe belatedly!) that most of the time I focus on the birth bit. I guess that’s the bit most people ask questions about and so I have learned to respond in kind. The birth of a baby is a big deal – it’s a big day in anyone’s calendar but I haven’t shared so much about the other side of doula support, after the baby is born.

So, what’s a postnatal doula do?  Well, pretty much whatever that mum and baby need!

My role is to ‘mother the mother’ to look after the new mum so that she can best care for her baby. In some families, this is making sure that mum has eaten, has a drink and can just snuggle up and feed her baby. Sometimes it might be giving her the chance to sleep, shower and rest while I hold the baby. Often it involves sitting and listening to a new mum, while she tells her story, sounds out her feelings as a parent, slowly re-engages with the outside world after retreating for the birth. Invariably there is discussion around feeding and sleeping and nappies and the birth and all of it specific to that woman, to that family – the themes may be similar and the signposts may be too but every mum deserves to be listened to and attended to while she tends to her new baby, while she gets to know the new life that grew inside her. That new life that is now outside and looking for milk and mum’s smell and comfort and is so small and needy.   As a postnatal doula I am there for mums, in the way that helps them the best. Birth is a big deal, but then so is parenting. Being there for a family as they take their first steps together and work out how it’s all going to start to fit together is a wonderful thing.

Looking for more info? Get in touch with me zoe@zoewalshdoula.co.uk or check out www.doula.org.uk