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Archive for January, 2009

Classes in February.

Monday, January 26th, 2009

There are no classes Monday Feb 2nd and Monday Feb 9th. Classes will resume on the 16th February. All inquiries during February should be sent to my temporary email address

The class is currently full but there will be a limited number of spaces throughout March and April. Please email your interest or to be put on the wait-list.

A Place to give birth

Monday, January 26th, 2009

For some women, where they  give birth needs little thought. As hospitals dominate as the birth setting of choice in this country, the decision  is often simply between one hospital and another- and a quick tour of the respective wards tends to help the otherwise fairly simple decision.

For other women, the decision is far more agonising. This difficulty can sometimes arise because a women is spoilt for choice- where I live for example women can choose between three hospitals of differing sizes, one of which is entirely midwife run, a new birth centre attached to the biggest hospital of the three and a well-supported home birth. Sadly many women are not so lucky. Their choices are limited and anything other than a large hospital, often with wholly inadequate prenatal and postnatal care, requires either a fight or large sums of money. This postcode lottery disadvantages all women, but in particular those who can ill-afford to do anything other than what is offered to them.

In my classes I always initiate discussions about place of birth with a warning that one shouldn’t become a prisoner of one’s own birth plan. Whilst the environment we birth in has a material affect on our mental state and in turn our birth experience, the truth is that the even the best laid plans can go wrong. Whilst pondering your ideal birth place, it is essential that you remain flexible in your ideas and willing to change them if necessary.  A friend of mine spent months agonising over whether to have her baby at the local midwife run unit or the larger hospital, but ended up giving birth in under an hour at the bottom of her stairs. More recently was the much publicised delivery of a woman on the A34, and another lady who successfully gave birth in a plane. Whilst these sorts of stories are highly publicised, they are obviously rare. But they serve as an important lesson; that whilst we can and should think through our birth experience and make informed and personal choices, nature’s ability to throw us a curve ball should always be respected. The truth is, we dont know where we might end up.And it is also true that many women could give birth just about anywhere.

Women are their own worst enemy

Monday, January 12th, 2009

In response to the following article ‘Women, resist the siren call of the cupcake‘ by Janice Turner, I have written the following letter to The Times.

More discussion on this very subject to follow shortly!

Women are their own worst enemy. Instead of simply cheering Rachida Dati for her bold and controversial return to work five days after the birth of her baby, Janice Turner ( Women, resist the siren call of the cupcake! Jan 10) feels the need to condemn every woman who might choose otherwise. Instead of simply defending the corporate woman, she chooses instead to denegrate a whole generation – many of whom have fought off condemnation themselves- for choosing to stay at home. Motherhood is painted as the unstimulating, unsatisfying and- my particular favorite- idle option. Concessions to the few that might genuinely enjoy their ‘uninspiring’ existence are both insincere and condescending. These sorts of angry and misguided contributions to the existing minefield that is the ’stay-at-home’ v ‘working mother’ debate are , at best.useless and at worst an afront to our freedom.
It is absolutely true that work can be good. And it can be more than just good. I have a friend who proclaims that work makes her a better mother, and I believe her. Work for some mothers is a necessary evil, but for others it is the making of them and there is much in the old adage that a happy mother makes a happy baby. But every intelligent woman knows that there are pros and cons to either path, and that each comes with a measure of sacrifice. I hear endlessly from women who feel guilty that they leave their children to work, and from others who want to tear their hair out at the end of a long and demanding day with their three children. I feel the need to applaud a friend’s promotion just as much as I do anothers recounting of a day of den building in the wood, or her calm handling of her teenager’s latest crisis. For the truth is, there is enormous scope for a woman to be extraordinary in whichever world she inhabits.
These ‘black vs white’ and ‘good vs evil’ views that seems so prevalent in any debate about motherhood risk simplifying things so much as to render the discussion meaningless. All they do is alienate the judged and pit female against female – it is noteworthy that the motherhood mud-slinging never comes from the hand of a man. Women fought hard for the freedom to be treated equal to men, but until there is freedom from the judgement of other women, we are as enslaved as we ever were.
Nicole Croft

Happy New Year

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Wishing everyone a happy new year. Classes resume Monday January 5th between 7 and 9. Places are limited and the class is almost full. Please email to book a place or for any further inquiries. Classes will run every Monday, apart from half term (16th Feb), until Monday April 6th.