Introducing our Mums and Bumps Club. We had our first meet up last weekend and a jolly time we had too! Sabrina, who is in her later stages of pregnancy shared that she really enjoyed herself and ‘it was great to hear the birth stories, tips on colic and feeling that there is a support network, knowing that everyone is going through the same thing.’
The Club builds on relationships forged in our Pregnancy and Postnatal Yoga classes and has been created to bring women together, enabling experiences to be shared, learning, nurturing friendships and creating local support networks. It offers an opportunity for mums and pregnant women to meet one another, building community – one of love and kindness!
An old African proverb provides ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ In today’s society, with people travelling further away from home for work, long working hours, especially in cities where productivity seems to be the priority, it can leave people feeling isolated and unhappy. With traditional support networks of partners, families and friends far away.
Naomi Stadlen, author of ‘What Mothers Do, especially when it looks like nothing’ shared:
“The word that mothers keep repeating is ‘shock’. Yet ‘shock’ is an extraordinary word to use about becoming a mother. Motherhood is hardly a new phenomenon. Don’t mothers know what to expect? Haven’t they managed to pass any wisdom on to each other, through so many centuries? However, as mothers continue to speak, it becomes clear that ‘shock’ is the right word. In traditional cultures girls are given a share of motherly responsibilities when they are young. In Western cultures most women walk into this world of motherhood as adults, with little experience and little to support them.
In the past most women would expect to become mothers. Motherhood gave a woman entry into the ‘mainstream’ of women’s culture.
But today the story is different. Many women are in full-time employment. A whole culture has grown up that supports this change. When a woman has a baby, it means taking a break from her work, and this means taking a break from a wide supportive network of colleagues as well. Even though she may only be taking a break for a few months, she can feel entirely on her own. Far from joining the mainstream, she can feel as if she has left the mainstream behind her and is venturing forth on a solitary journey. She can feel lonely. Her new loneliness comes from having lost her old supportive circle without gaining a new one. She may discover networks of mothers that welcome her. But the point is that she has to seek them out. The supportive maternal culture is no longer ready and waiting for her.”
Svenja, a new mum who attended with her 3 month old baby shared:
‘I started Baby Sensory class this week. In the class, you sing to your baby and encourage him/her to play with noisy objects, lights etc. It’s good fun also for the moms and helps you discover what your baby enjoys doing and playing with. The best age to start is from 3 months onwards (but you can join from 0 months onwards). Any earlier and the babies will either sleep through the class or will be too young to play. I did a taster class of Sing and Sign and really enjoyed it. I’ll probably do a course depending on whether my baby enjoys me singing to her.’
I previously wrote about the ‘Exchange Project for Parents’ a helpful initiative which enables you to exchange unwanted items for things you need and shared information on support networks for new parents on the Isle of Dogs.
Many thanks to all for their contributions.