NatChat September 2016


First Newsletter for NCT chester in two years covering the changes to NCT Chester, plans for the future and our bumps and babies success.

Your quarterly newsletter for


* In This Edition *

Page 4—Welcome to the new team

Page 6—The Regional Team

Page 8—Featured Story

Page 10—Bumps and Babies Success

Page 12—Nearly New Sales

Page 14—Baby First Aid


* Editor’s Letter *

Welcome, and welcome back, to NatChat!

I know, it’s been a while – and we’ve been

busy. We have a fresh new team and over the

coming months we will be scrubbing up the

face of Chester NCT. Some facemasks, a bit of

lippy. This baby might not be sleeping through

but, damn it, we won’t let that stop us.

We have Nearly New sales, we have

parties, we have baby first aid and we have a

shiny new blog-baby that will hopefully go

live in the new year. We are excited to make

Chester NCT amazing again, and a service

you can be proud to support.

So, in the spirit of new beginnings, we

can be like babies. Explore the space and

world we are given. Taste new opportunities.

Listen to new ideas. Reach out to new people.

Be open.



* Welcome to the New Team *

Jen Whittle – Mum to a toddler and very

excited to be joint branch co-ordinator with

Ffion Dempster-Jones.

Ffion Dempster-Jones – Mum of 18 month

old girl and looking forward to being joint

branch co-ordinator with Jen Whittle

Liza Ebeck – Works part time as a veterinary

nurse, adjudicates between her two daughters

age 6 and 15 months, and enjoys reading the 2

pages of her book before falling asleep. She is

also our First Aid Coordinator.

Kaisu Fagan – Ex-pat Southerner, former

charity manager now stay-at-home parent to

one small and one medium-sized girl. Excited

to be taking on the role of Press Officer and

shouting out about how great Chester Branch

is to anyone and everyone!

Lisa Palfreman – A face most of you will

know already! Kiwi mum to two cheeky

tearaways and professional chatterbox is now

taking up PSC Link role and concentrating on

her new Uni course done with the NCT.


Vicky Brand – Mum to a lovely two year old

and recently started my own business for

toddlers. NCT were a great support to me in

the early days and I look forward to helping

keep the branch active.

Charlotte Curtis – Lucky Mum of three

energetic rascals taking on the joint

membership coordinator role.

Daniela Ida ZANDONÀ – Mom, of Italian

and Spanish origin, to little Clara. Recently

moved to the UK and fallen in love with

Chester. I enjoy reading and watching a good

series but I've discovered sleeping is more

valuable! I look forward to volunteering.

Heather Colville – Runs her own small

business and mum to a toddler. Excited to be

volunteering with NCT.

Lynne O'Neill – Ex-London accountant, now a

New to Chester mum taking on the Treasurer


Lucy McClean – Slightly rough cut hippy

mum to a one year old preemie boy,

tentatively taking on the Newsletter Editor



* The Regional Team *

Hi, I'm Helen.

I'm the newsletter reader for the North West NCT Regional

Team. I have 3 kids aged 13, 11 and 6. I've volunteered locally

for NCT since moving to Cheshire in 2004. I was

Branch Coordinator of Mid-Cheshire branch for 7 years before

moving to the regional team.

The regional team consists of Regional Coordinator Cath

Auty, Regional Fundraising Support Kate Brabner, Area

Links Kate Brabner, Nikki Leech, Helen Barrance and Sarah

Calvert. The regional team work with branches to support

them and celebrate their successes. The team are the people

who liaise between branches and UK Office. We try to help

branches resolve any issues they have, and the newsletter

reader proofreads all the newsletters from all over the North

West. All of us have volunteered at Branch level, so we understand

the issues branches can face. We also have UKO

staff support from our Regional Teams Facilitator, Catherine




The best laid


Nat and Dan had

just got married.

They had a three

year old boy,

Davey. They were

looking forward to

an idyllic family


In June 2014 Dan

was run over by a

truck while cycling

home and left in a

critical condition.

Doctors tried everything

they could

to save his crushed

leg. By February

the following year

the progress had

been slow and Nat

fell pregnant. A

total shock. Dan

opted to have his

leg amputated.

A different kind of


While Nat had

breezed through her

first pregnancy, this

* Featured Story *

one was not going

to be as straight

forward. She went

for scans at 7, 12,

16 and 20 weeks

which all reported

the baby was

healthy and growing

well. But at 24

weeks the scan

showed that her

baby’s growth had

dropped to below

the 2 nd percentile.

Weekly scans

watched him struggle

to hit growth

markers so Nat was

referred to the foetal

medicine department

where they

diagnosed the condition

Skeletal Dysplasia.

A type of

dwarfism, skeletal

dysplasia varies in

severity the worst

of which is noncompatible


life. Thankfully it

was clearly in the

mild range and they

were advised that

their baby would

have shorter arms

and legs than normal.

The doctors gave

Nat steroids at 30

weeks and told the

couple to prepare

for a premature

birth. Somehow,

through stress,

worry, a change of

hospital and a new

mechanical leg for

Dan, they managed

to get to 36 weeks

before Nat was hospitalised.

The unexpected...

Over a busy

weekend last September,

at the start

of her 37 th week,


Nat was induced

and slowly plodded

her way through

three days and 4cm

of dilation. They

were prepping her

for a c-section

when she felt the

urge to push and

her consultant, who

had just taken

blood, turned and

caught her baby.

He was placed on

her chest but within

a minute, his body

went floppy and he

stopped breathing.

They resuscitated

him with three sets

of rescue breaths

and took him to

neonatal intensive

care where he was

hooked up to a ventilator

for three

days before they relined

his lungs and

got him breathing

on his own. For the

last month, Nat and

Dan had been told

they would be

lucky if their son

tipped 3lb but Benji

was born at 5lb

14.5oz. He came on

leaps and bounds

from then and they

took him home to

his doting big

brother at just 12

days old.

The second time


Nat fell pregnant

again, by choice

this time, in March

2016. She is expecting

a girl,

Lizzie. Her growth

has also slowed.

They have reviewed

their original

diagnosis of

skeletal dysplasia

and now suspect

that it is something

else in the family’s

DNA. they are

awaiting genetic

testing results.

But this time Nat

and Dan are not

worried. They have

the proof that it

will all be okay

crawling around

their house. And

Dan has gone on to

win a gold and two

bronze medals for

the UK in the last

“Warrior Games”

and gold in the pt2

“British Paratriathlon


Their life is not

quite what they

imagined it would

be two years ago,

but they love it all

the more!


* Bumps and Babies Success *

NCT Chester has had a slow

few years but our incredibly

successful bumps and babies

group has been churning out

friends, support and unity.

I went to my first

Bumps and Babies

group when my son

was just 7 weeks

old and before his

due date had even


I was shy. I sat in

the corner, at a single

table with him

asleep in a sling

and didn’t make

eye contact.

‘Come sit with

us.’ I can’t remember

who said it but

it was welcoming.

They asked questions,


themselves, had a

laugh. I was instantly

at home.

We still regularly

meet up with four

of the mums and

babies I met there

and we bump into

ten or so others at

groups and meets

and play dates.

It has really given

us the confidence

to go to new things

knowing someone

else will be there.

And knowing

Edgar will grow up

with such a lovely

group of friends is

a real weight off.

And it’s not just my experience that has been amazing.

Groups of mums and dads meet regularly with their two and

three year olds, all now too old for bumps and babies but still

getting together and supporting each other.

We are proud to be the start of some amazing friendships

and happy, confident parents.


NCT is here to support parents. We give them accurate,

impartial information so that they can decide what’s best

for their family, and we introduce them to a network of local

parents to gain practical and emotional support. We are

the UK’s largest parenting charity, and campaign as the

voice for parents on the issues they care about.

What Does NCT Mean

To Me?

NCT has been enormously

important to

me since becoming

a mum, especially

as I had few friends

in my local area, let

alone ones with

small kids!

-Jo, Facebook



is golden

NCT was/is a valuable

resource for

my husband and I

to meet new parents

that were

about to begin the

journey of childbirth


-Morgan, Facebook

For just £48 a year you

can become part of the

NCT members club

where you can save and

get discounts on eating

out, going to the cinema

and cashback on groceries,

gardening supplies

and fashion spends as

well as a tonne of other

benefits within NCT.

In turn, your money allows

us to invest in

events, services and support

for not only you but

others, too.

Keep Calm and Join NCT!


* Nearly New Sales *

The best

nearly new

sales in

Chester are


October 15th

Catholic High School,




If you’ve not been

before or you

weren’t sure if it

was worth it

because there was

one down the road

– let me tell you

what it’s all about:

In most nearly

new sales, you

browse through

tables and tables of

mixed items,






trying to

figure out

what’s the better

deal and

worrying someone

else might snap it


In our nearly new

sales, organisation

is the magic word.

You browse

through rails of

clothes sorted into

size order. Prams

are together,

Jumperoos are together,

cots are together.

It’s the gold


And if you’re a

member or you

volunteer a couple

of hours of your

time you also get

early entry half an

hour earlier at

12pm. It’s a winwin.


see you



Don't feel like you

have to hide,

see the sticker and

feed inside!

Here for you.


In Partnership

* Baby First Aid *

These classes are brilliant

because, if you’ve ever looked

into first aid courses you’ll still

be sweating from it. First aid

training is expensive. And nobody

should have to shell out

£100 plus to gain lifesaving


Our deal with the Red Cross

means you pay £25 a head, £45

for a couple, or £10 a head for

low income families. It’s a

priceless investment because

we’ve all had those panic

moments where you’re thinking

those first aid skills you got back

in school are pretty useless on a

baby right now.

So if you’ve been frantically

nodding while reading this, or

even if you’re just mildly

interested, it’s worth giving some


For more information, or to

sign up for a class, e-mail Liza


and breathe easy.

Baby first aid is run by the Red Cross

and coordinated by the lovely Liza

Ebeck. This will be approximately

quarterly to begin with and respond to

demand – more interest, more classes -

less interest, less classes.

What You Will


How to respond

to bangs and


CPR to save a

choking baby

or child

The child and

baby recovery


Advice on

dealing with



Please send us your...




and stories!

We would love to hear from you!


* Contacts *

General Enquiries:

Newsletter Editor:

First Aid:

Nearly New Sale:


Twitter Tag: @ChesterNCT

NCT Helpline: 0300 330 0700

Our branch is run by volunteers. We are mostly parents with

young children working from home which means we are not

always available. Please allow a few days for us to respond to


* Disclaimer *

The information in this newsletter is for the benefit of NCT (National

Childbirth Trust) members and beneficiaries. It may be used only in connection

with NCT activities and may not be used for any commercial purposes.

The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily

those of NCT. The information contained in this newsletter should

not be reproduced without the editor's consent in writing. The appearance

of an advertisement in this newsletter does not imply endorsement of the

company or its products by NCT, nor does it constitute a recommendation.

However, it is always worth mentioning when replying to an advertisement

that you saw it in an NCT newsletter. NCT cannot be held liable for

loss, damage or injury arising out of goods sold through any advertisements

in this newsletter. Any discount offered to NCT members by any

advertisement is done so entirely at the discretion of the advertiser.

Registered Charity number (England and Wales) 801395; SC041592 (Scotland).


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