NatChat January 2017

chesternatchat

Our 2nd online magazine for the Chester Branch of the NCT

Your quarterly newsletter for

Chester


* In This Edition *

Page 4—Welcome to the Team

Page 8—Let’s Introduce...

Page 12—Baby First Aid

Page 14—Nearly New Sales

Page 18—Featured Story

Page 28—Breastfeeding Friendly Chester

Page 30—Babies and Baubles

Page 31—Babies and Bunnies

Page 32—Bumps and Babies

Page 34—Birth Announcements

2


* Editor’s Letter *

Happy New Year, everyone! Let me just pull

the streamers out of my hair…

Chester NCT have a great year planned

for you. We’ve mostly settled into our new

roles, we’ve kicked off the Nearly New Sales

with a fantastic turnout in October and our

Babies and Baubles party was on fleek! Yeah,

I don’t know what that means either.

Who am I kidding? We’re not the young

ones anymore. New year consists of Netflix,

shots of coffee and maybe a cheeky glass of

wine. And now it’s 2017. This year is going to

be a good one. We might not get our youth

back but we can make sure we enjoy our

children’s.

Go, enjoy your babies!

Lucy.

3


* Welcome to the 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.

4


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

role.

Lucy McClean – Slightly rough cut hippy

mum to a one year old preemie boy,

tentatively taking on the Newsletter Editor

role.

5


* 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

Bartlett.

6


7


* Let’s Introduce... *

Lisa Palfreman!

Give us a bit of background

on yourself.

I originally grew up in New

Zealand and came to the UK

after spending 13 months in

the USA as an Au-pair. I met

my Husband just before my

working holiday visa ended

and we had a whirl wind

romance ending in marriage

just 3&1/2 months later. We

have now been married over

17 years! We lived in London

and Manchester before

moving to Chester nearly 16

years ago. We also spent 6

months doing a ski season in

New Zealand back in 2005

which was a backpackers

dream trip. We now have a

son who has just turned six, a

daughter who’s 3, as well as a

rescue cat who’s been a part

of the family for 15 years.

How did you get started in

the NCT?

I attended a NCT antenatal

course at the end of 2010

when I was pregnant with my

son, I wanted to get some

knowledge about birth here in

the UK. My husband was

convinced to do it by some

ladies who were having lunch

together, at a restaurant he

was working in, who had all

met at a NCT antenatal course

and were still meeting up

eight years later. I still meet

up with most of the mums

who were on my course now,

6 years later; though in the

beginning it was coffee and

toddlers, now its nights out

for pizza and wine or long

walks in Delamere to wear the

kids out.

8


What made you start up the

Bumps and Babies group?

When my daughter was born I

realised that the bumps and

babies group that had been

running when my son was

born had stopped. There

wasn’t really anywhere I

could go and met other mums

with babies over a quiet

cuppa.

As my son was in

nursery two days a week I

wanted somewhere else other

than a playgroup as I went to

them on the other weekdays. I

saw this as something that

was needed by new mums;

whether it was your 1 st born

or third, meeting other mums

who have a baby around the

same age as you and being

able to talk in a relaxed

setting is great way to make

‘mummy friends’ and a fab

reason to get out of the house

in those first few weeks and

months.

My daughter has just

turned 3 and I am still running

the group! I have kept it up as

I see it as still a vital thing

new mums need. I get great

enjoyment seeing the mums

from the first meetings I ran

meeting up for 2 nd birthday

parties, going to parks

together and the friendships

that come about because they

met at Bumps and Babies.

9


What made you decide to

become a volunteer?

It was something to keep my

mind busy while on mat leave.

It started out very slowly as a

volunteer at the nearly new

sales – if you haven’t been to

one, volunteering is the

best way to get the best bargains!

I always had a desire

to be a volunteer and give

something back but I had

started studying at Keele Uni

just before my son turned one,

which is quite a drive from

Chester, though I managed to

keep volunteering at the sales.

Upon falling pregnant with

my daughter I left university

and became a full time mum.

But there are only so many

conversations you can have

with a baby and 3year old. I

wanted to find something that

I could do around the children

and NCT fitted that bill perfectly.

I took up the role of

Membership Co-coordinator

at that point and it sort of

snowed balled from there.

From running events like

Christmas parties and our

most recent Baubles event to

setting up Bumps and Babies

again. I have also made some

great friends with others who

have volunteer for the Chester

Branch. If I hadn’t of volunteered

who knows if we

would have met?

I hope to become an

antenatal and postnatal

teacher and am currently

doing a degree with the NCT

and University of Worcester

in the hope to achieve that

goal.

I have always wanted

to work with women and be

part of the journey of becoming

a mother; I find the body

amazing at what it can do. I

did look to become a Midwife

but now I have found what I

really want to be and even

better I can work it around my

family life!

What would you say to

someone thinking of volunteering?

Just do it! Come along to a

branch meeting, or simply

volunteer for either the Nearly

New Sales or to help out on

the welcome rota for bumps

and babies as a gentle stick

your toe in and see what great

10


friends you can meet.

It’s such a great

feeling giving back as you

keep receiving from it over

and over again. It can also be

used on your CV if you have

decided to take time out from

the workplace and become a

stay at home mum for a bit.

What is the one thing you

want people to know about

the NCT

I think Prunella Briance,

Founder of NCT, said it best

“It was all really rather simple.

I thought there were things

people should know and connections

they could make…”

The two main things

we do. One, give parents to be

and new parents good, sound,

unbiased, evidence-based

information and the

knowledge to make decisions

themselves. And two, help

them make connections i.e.

making friends at our courses

or events like Bumps and

Babies.

11


In Partnership

* Baby First Aid *

Baby first aid is run by the Red

Cross and coordinated by the lovely

Liza Ebeck. Classes are on a first

come first served basis and respond

to demand so you should never have

to wait long for a class.

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

information.

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 thought.

For more information, or to

sign up for a class, e-mail Liza

on:

firstaid.chester@nct.org.uk

and breathe easy.

What You Will

Learn:

· How to respond

to bangs and

falls

· CPR to save a

choking baby

or child

· The child and

baby recovery

positions

· Advice on

dealing with

burns

12


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

Your

membership

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

together.

-Morgan, Facebook

For just £48 a year you

can become part of 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!

13


* Last Nearly New Sale *

We are very proud to say our

nearly new sale last October

was a success! We managed a

raise some money for NCT

Chester and of course this

funds Breastfeeding Friendly

Chester, Bumps and Babies,

baby and toddler events and

hopefully a future baby box

scheme, too. Watch this

space!

Our feedback from the

day was mostly very positive,

buyers said it was well

organised and a good location

easily accessible by car and

bus alike, although the

parking could be improved,

which we will look at for the

next sale. Sellers were very

happy to be paid quickly and

also praised the online

registration system.

We are so glad to be

back running nearly new sales

in Chester.

Thank you, everyone

who volunteered with us,

for your time, support

and commitment. You

have helped make this

sale the success that it

was!

14


* Next Nearly New Sale *

March 25th

Catholic High

School,

Handbridge,

CH4 7HS

12.30-2pm

Another nearly new sale, you

say? Why yes, yes it is. And

perfectly timed to coincide

with your spring clean and toy

cull.

Now you can stock up

for the next growth spurt, sign

up to sell your extensive collection

of new-born dresses you

never got round to using or

treat yourself to a nearly new

trike ready for a calm stroll

through the park.

The whole thing is

quick and easy, well organised

and well worth a visit!

If you are able to offer

an hour or two of your time to

set up, you also get first dibs on

fast moving items!

If you've never been to

our nearly new sales before,

here's how they are different.

· Everything is grouped by

type not seller so you can

find what you're long for

quickly.

· You collect what you want

and pay at a single till

rather than per item.

· You go in one door and out

of another so that there is a

flow through the hall.

For details

on how to

register as a

seller or a

volunteer

please email:

We’ll

see you

there!

nns.chester@nct.org.uk

15


Baby and pre-school

children’s swimming

classes are one of the

most amazing

experiences you can

share with your child,

and it is one of the few

things that you can both

do together.

With lots of eye and skin to skin contact, it’s a wonderful way

to bond with your baby, have fun with your toddler and watch

in amazement as your child learns to swim.

There are so many physical and mental advantages of

teaching your child to swim:

· It provides a complete physical workout, strengthening

your child’s heart, lungs and respiratory system.

· Learning to respond to key words can make your child

sharper mentally, increase levels of awareness and understanding

an improve communication between you.

· Swimming facilitates development of crucial brain functions,

core muscles and co-ordination.

www.puddleducks.com

Or find us on Facebook!

16


Although Puddle

Ducks have spent

many years carefully

developing our

progressive lesson

plans to develop

swimming, our

teachers are highly

trained to adapt every

activity to suit your

child. Our child-led

swimming approach ensures that your child’s needs are

expertly fulfilled - never forcing development, but nurturing

confidence and unlocking their potential to swim.

At Puddle Ducks, your little one is at the centre of everything

we do. We want every child to love swimming, respect

the water and swim beautifully. Our highly trained and

qualified teachers are

experts in what they do,

and are passionate about

your child developing a

love of swimming for life.

Puddle Ducks teach

classes across Chester 7

days a week, in warm

pools with limited class

sizes.

Get in touch at:

chester@puddleducks.com

or call:

01829 740825

17


* My Son With Down’s Syndrome *

Written by Celeste Canty

The Pregnancy

I was incredibly excited when

I became pregnant with my

second child. I had all the usual

fears, which for me were

very big as I have OCD. I did

not expect that there would be

such huge problems, though,

right from the first scan.

At the 12 week scan it

was noticed that the nuchal

fold at the back of the foetus’

neck was very large – 4.7cm.

At the time nuchal scans were

not done as routine, but

because the radiographer saw

it was so big she measured it.

She went to find another

radiographer for a second

opinion.

We were

shown where to

wait to speak to a

doctor outside the

‘Foetal Services’

room. The name

filled me with

dread. The lady

we met there was

lovely. She said

there had been a

baby born recently

with a very

large nuchal, who had actually

had no problem at all, but that

the baby could have Down’s

Syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome,

Patau’s Syndrome, one

other Syndrome, a heart condition,

or be totally healthy.

She advised us that we could

have CVS (chorionic villus

sampling), which could be

done at 11-12 weeks, or an

amniocentesis, which would

mean waiting until 15-16

weeks, to see what the large

nuchal might be indicating.

She also said there was a

small but present risk of

18


miscarriage. Then we could

choose to have a termination

if we felt the circumstances

warranted it.

Our Choices

Having someone talk to us

about termination, when we

had just gone in for a scan to

see our baby and were wary

but excited, was devastating. I

think there can never be a

time when it isn’t devastating

for parents, whatever the

circumstances. We knew we

wanted to give the baby a

fighting chance, but we

considered the amniocentesis,

and it’s 0.5-1% risk of

miscarriage in order that if the

baby had a disorder that was

non –compatible with life, we

could in some way be prepared

and prepare our other

son for what would unfold.

Given time to think

about it we realised that

knowing for definite would

not really change how we felt

during the pregnancy, so we

decided not to have either. I

wouldn’t be able to not get

attached, even if the baby was

unlikely to survive for more

than a few hours.

Bump, A Poem by Celeste

Until you’re born you’ll be ok

I’ll keep you safe in me night

and day.

How lucky we are that your

heart beats so clearly,

you’re growing, you’re

jumping and we love you

dearly.

I feel you playing, I know

you’re strong.

We’ll give you a hug and

we’ll sing you a song.

A song of love, not one of

fears,

whether you’re here just

hours or 200 years.

Once you are born you’ll get

all the best care.

We’ll be there for always and

never despair.

Every moment is precious and

we shall not waste

with worry and hurry in this

world of haste.

You’ve taught me already to

open my eyes,

things taken for granted, but

now I am wise.

I’m waiting to hold you and to

play my part

in your cherished life, my

brave little heart.

19


Complex Issues

The 20 week scan revealed a

complex heart problem and a

duplex right kidney. We were

sent to Liverpool Women’s

Hospital to find out further.

The first appointment

at Liverpool Women’s Hospital

was probably the hardest

appointment of our lives. The

doctor told us that our unborn

baby had Double Outlet Right

Ventricle, which is a structural

problem where the blood

can’t pump properly through

the heart. It included a large

VSD (ventral septal defect, or

hole in the heart).

They told us his

condition was known as a

univentricular heart condition

and was incompatible with

life. It was hard to tell at the

time whether it could be

corrected successfully or not.

The doctor also said

his problem was not normally

seen with Down’s Syndrome.

They thought it might be

another syndrome called

‘DiGeorge Syndrome’, where

the thymus gland could be

very small or absent.

This blew my mind! I

had prepared myself for

Down’s Syndrome, and now

the outlook was very bleak.

The doctor told us we

should strongly consider an

amniocentesis, since the added

complication of a genetic

disorder could reduce the

quality of life even further.

The options seemed

mainly to be to continue with

the pregnancy and do palliative

care when the baby was

born, or have a termination.

There was some possibility

the baby might survive, but

what quality of life would he

have?

We were also told we

could have a termination right

through until the birth as the

heart condition was incompatible

with life. I had never

realised that was possible and

even the knowledge of it

made me feel sick. We were

left in a room to decide what

we wanted to do.

We decided to go and

talk further at home, because

this information takes a while

to sink in.

More Hard Choices

The night we got home from

finding out about his heart

condition I was performing

20


with some friends.

One of them was a

trustee for ‘Little Heart’s

Matter’ which is a charity set

up for children with

univentricular heart conditions,

which includes Double

Outlet Right Ventricle.

This was a real help,

as she gave me lots of

reassuring information. Even

if the heart could not be

repaired to give 4 working

chambers, the blood vessels

could be routed differently to

compensate, using a 3-

stage procedure called the

Fontan procedure.

Her son was one of the

first people to have the Fontan

procedure and has done really

well with it. Even though it

has an impact on energy

levels, he was hoping to study

nursing at University.

We felt that the only

option for us personally was

to continue and give this baby

a chance. We thought that if

he was born extremely poorly

and with no chance of

survival, it would be cruel to

do lots of medical procedures,

so if that point came we

would opt for comfort care

(Palliative Care with no

invasive treatment). We knew

there was a slim chance his

heart problem might be

operable to give him a better

quality of life, but they did

say his quality of life could be

very poor.

Preparing for Birth

I don’t know whether the

doctors felt they had to be

very un-emotional about

telling us, because they didn’t

want to influence our decision,

but they seemed far

more positive about him once

we told them we were continuing

and giving him the

chance.

It may have been that,

as he grew, his heart problem

did look like it would be

operable.

We planned to have

the baby at Liverpool

Women’s Hospital and have

him transferred to Alder Hey

within 12 hours of birth. My

waters broke at about 7am on

Grand National Day (11

April), at 37+2 weeks. We

phoned up, and although I

was scared of getting stuck

in the tunnel, they said that so

long as I wasn’t contracting

then it was fine to drive to

21


Liverpool Women’s Hospital,

which we did.

After being assessed I

actually had no bed and it was

not until 2pm that I got put on

the maternity ward. I had

already started contracting

and not very long after getting

onto the ward the pain was

becoming intolerable.

A midwife came in to

check on me and I was 4 cm

dilated. She wanted me to

walk to the labour suite, to

encourage him to come, but I

couldn’t do it.

I got there and got on

the bed. I was asking for pain

relief and the nurse went to

ask. She said the anaesthetist

was busy in theatre so I

begged for diamorphine,

which was totally against my

principles!

The nurse went out

and suddenly I started having

the most horrendous pain and

I screamed for 5 minutes

solidly, seemingly without

taking a breath. A different

nurse rushed in, said I was 10

cm and the baby was coming.

I had the diamorphine

too late to have any effect

and Rowan shot out.

My second stage of

labour was just 6 minutes

long!

Rowan wasn’t breathing

and they bagged him

manually and got him breathing.

I was only allowed to

touch his hand and then he

was whisked away to SCBU. I

drank tea and ate toast, feeling

great – the diamorphine was

working a treat now!

22


Neonatal and the Diagnosis

I went to sleep and 3 and a

half hours later was up,

having a shower and walking

normally! I couldn’t believe

it! It took me a month to get

to that point after my first

child!

I went to see Rowan,

who was hooked up to every

imaginable monitor and

within a short space of time

he was rushed to Alder Hey in

a space age rocket incubator.

We watched anxiously

– he was pink rather than

blue, which was good, but it

meant he would need an operation

fairly quickly to stem

the rising blood pressure in

his lungs.

The test for Down’s

Syndrome at Liverpool Women’s

Hospital had accidentally

been put in the wrong bottle,

so Alder Hey did one. Rowan

didn’t open his eyes for 3

days and in that time I didn’t

believe that he had Down’s

Syndrome. He was solid and

feisty, not floppy like I

expected the low muscle tone

of Downs Syndrome to be.

We were told there

were only 3 soft features and I

thought that was only because

they had been looking for

them. He was on a feeding

tube and I was expressing to

give him my milk.

After 3 days he

opened his eyes and I saw his

little almond shaped eyes. I

cried my heart out, so much

that when I looked in the

mirror my eyes also looked

almond shaped and then I

wasn’t sure again.

We found out for

definite on the way to a

kidney scan.

Protocol is with a

genetic disorder, a consultant

would be the person to inform

the parents. When the results

came on the morning of the

scan they were written in his

notes and they waited for a

consultant to tell us, but then

we were sent for the scan.

Whilst waiting for the

kidney scan I looked through

his notes, and there it was in

black and white. I cried all

over him during the scan. I

thought had I caused it?

Would I know him? Would he

know me? The latter 2 I think

we're mainly panic, but also

until you really get to know

people with learning disabilities

it is easy to overlook their

immense abilities.

23


Breastfeeding

He was struggling with

feeding. I was trying to breastfeed

but he couldn’t latch on

properly. I felt that the feeding

tube was getting in the way

because he was getting fed

from it, so why would he

bother with the hard work of

latching on?!

Babies with Down

Syndrome find it harder to

suck, mostly due to small

mouth, mouth shape and lack

of muscle tone, but I asked for

the feeding tube to come out

and to have 24 hours to give it

my best shot.

He struggled and I was

close to agreeing that it wasn’t

possible for him, but then he

turned the corner and started

to feed.

Going Home

On Wednesday they took all

the monitors off and said I

could take him to the cafe –

this I wasn’t prepared for!

We’d spent the last 4

days watching every change in

heart rate and saturation

levels. I had to gradually get

to that point.

We took him home the

next day and then had a band

fitted around his pulmonary

artery at 5 weeks, which could

be adjusted from outside to

keep the pressure right.

He did ok, even

though his oxygen saturations

were low. He was monitored

regularly and he was developing

at a reasonable rate on the

Down’s Syndrome charts.

When he was 2 and a

half they managed a full repair

24


of his heart, with 8 hours of

open heart surgery.

I can't find words to

describe allowing Rowan be

put to sleep and knowing he

would have his heart stopped.

I was so scared it might not

start again. In his first operation

it had taken a few attempts

to get him off the ventilator

when he came round

too - he wasn't ready to start

breathing on his own for two

or three days.

The amazing news

came after 8 hours that they

had managed a complete repair

and he was in intensive

care.

We had a difficult few

months with recurring infections

and oxygen saturations

in the blood going very low.

He developed a pleural infusion

and went back to Alder

Hey.

They decided to do a

catheter procedure to determine

the amount of pulmonary

stenosis (narrowing of

the pulmonary artery) he had

and to balloon it out to help

him.

During the procedure

they discovered that he did

not actually have pulmonary

stenosis, but the pressure

problems were due to pulmonary

hypertension. This is

where the pressures are high

in the lungs and the vessels

are stiff, so on exertion the

vessels don't expand and the

patient becomes very breathless,

tired and even blue.

In some cases it can

get better, but in some cases it

progresses and he wouldn't be

suitable for a lung transplant

(I never found out exactly

why).

He was put on sildenafil

(Viagra!) and this

has helped him go from

strength to strength.

He has had quite a few

admissions since but he

has not stayed in hospital

now since April

2016 and we were

recently told the pressures

in his lungs were

reducing slightly. His

25


consultant was just as excited

as we were!

Looking Back

I have no regrets about having

him, and although I could

never go through the stress of

pregnancy again, many do.

It was a spontaneous

cause for his DS – neither my

husband or I have translocated

genes.

I’m not saying it’s

easy, but when is bringing up

any child easy?! What I can

say is that for me there is

laughter and fun in abundance.

I wouldn’t change him

for the world!

There are very

supportive groups where you

can learn Makaton to aid with

learning speech and go on

many courses to help in a

huge number of ways. There

is always someone who has

been there and is prepared

to help you get

there too.

Rowan is a

thriving member of

his local Primary

School and is loved

by children and adults

alike. You can’t help

but be charmed by his funny

and quirky ways!

He is in Year 1 now.

He has a fabulous personality!

He runs, talks, signs, and has

a wicked sense of humour.

His health seems to be very

good now touch wood, fingers

crossed etc etc!

In addition to his heart

problems he has a duplex

kidney with some swelling,

hypothyroidism and glue ear,

but nothing will stop him

living life to the full. He has

some behavioural problems

(like many 5 year olds) but we

are working on sorting them

out. He loves to dance and

sing (on one note mainly!) He

is incredibly bright, an inspiration

and universally loved.

Looking Forward

At the initial possibility of

downs syndrome, I went on

26


the DSA website, to understand

the condition further.

I had once taught the

most gorgeous and funny little

girl with Down’s Syndrome,

but I needed to find out more.

The website was a

relief, because on the home

pages were the most wonderful

photos of lots of lovely

smiling children with

Down’s Syndrome. They

didn’t look sad, or jaded, they

just looked like normal,

beautiful children!

There is an analogy on

there about packing a suitcase

to go to Italy and when you

get to your destination, you

find you have actually gone to

Holland. You haven’t got all

the right things packed,

you’ve got the wrong guide

book and it isn’t where you

really wanted to be, but it is

also beautiful, in a slightly

different way.

The information on

there really helped me. I

realised I could still be excited

for my pregnancy and that

was a wonderful feeling.

Since having him I

have also met children with

conditions which “aren’t

compatible with life”, that are

amazing their doctors with

how well they are doing, and

exceeding all expectations.

Medicine moves

forward all the time and the

human spirit is amazing! This

includes genetic syndromes

and also heart problems,

where there are children have

had the Fontan procedure and

their blood system works

completely differently to what

is normal.

And Now?

I don’t feel we are in Holland

on our journey. I feel we are

still in Italy – we’re just

taking the scenic route and

have more time to enjoy the

journey!

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* Breastfeeding Friendly *

* Chester *

What is Breastfeeding

Friendly Chester?

The Breastfeeding Friendly

Chester Scheme was launched

in 2011 by a group of friends

who wanted to promote

Chester as a breastfeeding

friendly city - by pinpointing

cafes, restaurants and shops

where breastfeeding mums

would be welcomed by highlighting

what facilities are

available. The scheme is endorsed

by NCT who provide

support to the volunteers and

fund the stickers for businesses

to display. If you see a

sticker then you know that the

business has signed up to the

scheme and have educated

their staff about how to make

a breastfeeding mum feel

welcome.

We are part of a

network of breastfeeding

support available for mums in

the area, including the Bosom

Buddy Breastfeeding Support

Chester and Ellesmere Port

Facebook page (run by peer

supporters) and breastfeeding

groups facilitated by the

midwifery and health visiting

service. You will also see

Bosom Buddy peer supporters

on both the hospital wards

and at breastfeeding support

groups in the community.

Why Do We Need It?

It can be quite daunting

breastfeeding in public,

especially for the first

time. We wanted to provide a

resource for mums so they

could feel more confident,

knowing that there was somewhere

breastfeeding friendly

that they could take a 'pit

stop' (without necessarily

having to buy anything!). I

have known several mums

who have resorted to breastfeeding

in a toilet which isn't

pleasant for mum or baby.

After all, would you eat your

lunch in the toilet?!

Our guide also

includes a list of facilities

available for bottle feeding

mums and baby changing

facilities.

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What is the Law on Public

Breastfeeding?

The Equality Act 2010 says

that it is discrimination to

treat a women unfavourably

because she is breastfeeding.

There is no age

restriction, the law

protects you for as long

as you wish to feed

your baby. You are

protected in shops,

public places such as

parks, sports facilities,

public buildings and

when using public

transport. You are also

protected in

restaurants, cafes,

hotels, hospitals,

theatres, cinemas and

petrol stations.

What Are Breastfeeding

Friendly Chester Doing

Now?

After a bit of a hiatus over the

last year, a new group of

mums (there's 8 of us, all on

maternity leave) have volunteered

to help reinvigorate the

scheme. Laura Evans

(Community Infant Feeding

Coordinator for Cheshire and

Wirral Partnership NHS

Foundation Trust) is also

working on the scheme.

Over the last couple of

months we have been

refreshing our information -

visiting current members and

approaching potential new

ones. We hope to have our

new updated list ready for

January 2017. We welcome

businesses to contact us if

they would like to sign up the

the Breastfeeding Friendly

Chester scheme. We are

planning some exciting

competitions and giveaways

on our Facebook page and

will highlight businesses who

'go the extra mile.'

29


* Babies and Baubles *

Our Babies and Baubles party on the 26th November last year

had a friendly, warm atmosphere. Everyone enjoyed painting

their baubles and the kids enjoyed spreading glitter, paint and

stickers into every corner of the room!

It was heartening to see so many families, dads and grandparents,

too. The room was buzzing.

All the volunteers agree that it was a fun day, enjoyed by all.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to make the day run

smoothly, thanks to everyone who decorated a bauble and

thanks to The Peacock for letting us use their function room

for free!

30


* Babies and Bunnies *

The spring is wet and full of bunnies...

On the back of our babies and baubles success we invite you

to Babies and Bunnies! A choice of egg trinket box and/or

Easter basket, shown above to decorate.

We will have a toy area for the little ones, a colouring in area

for the bigger ones and a tea and coffee area for the tired

ones!

Look out for updates on our Facebook page Chester NCT.

Easter is Coming!

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* 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

arrived!

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,

introduced

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.

32


33


Dominic

Elizabeth Ann

* Birth Announcements *

Logan Antoine George

Born 1st October 9:35am. Since

having a nightmare birth with her

brother, it was a relief Lizzie came

quickly after being induced at 37

weeks and weighed 6lb 1oz.

Born 26 November 12:31am after a

relatively short labour of 5.5 hours

Logan weighed a very healthy 6llb 14!

He was almost 5 weeks early and had an

8 day stay in Neonatal. Mum and baby

are home and well.

Born 30th October, 1:10am. On the night the clocks went

back, Lynne, Michael and Bertie welcomed a baby boy into

their family. He was safely home the same day!

She is enjoying life at high speed with her two brothers,

Davey and Benji!

Josephine Maeve

Born 28th September 2:56pm. Having a known heart defect

we were surprised and thrilled that she came out screaming!

She awaits a major heart operation with similar strength.

34


* Get In Touch! *

· Are you interested in writing for NCT Chester

Newsletter?

· Do you want to share your birth announcement,

personal journey or breastfeeding journey?

· Do you want to make people aware of a particular

issue or health concern in pregnancy or children

up to two years old?

· Do you have thoughts or comments on todays

parenting issues and would like to share it?

· Are you are a specialist and have insight into an

aspect of pregnancy, birth or early parenting?

· Do you want to advertise your amazing new baby

or toddler classes?

· Do you want to offer a discount on new parent

essentials to readers of Chester NCT Newsletter?

We would love to hear from you!

Newsletter.Chester@nct.org.uk

35


* Contacts *

General Enquiries: Chester@nct.org.uk

Newsletter Editor: Newsletter.Chester@nct.org.uk

First Aid:

Firstaid.Chester@nct.org.uk

Nearly New Sale: NNS.Chester@nct.org.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NCTChester/

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

emails.

* 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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