Bumps & Babies Festival – National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Event
Saturday 6th June 2015, 12:30-4:30pm
St Paul’s Church, Blandford Road, St Albans, AL1 4JP
The first of Nature To Nurture‘s summer festival events took place at St. Paul’s Church just yesterday afternoon. I can honestly say that I had the most fun I have ever experienced in a room full of babies and young children – it was an absolutely brilliant event to participate in, with much laughter and with no tears in sight! St. Albans NCT group were incredibly helpful and organised everything wonderfully (most especially free tea, coffee and cake from Inn On The Park, genius!).
I spent the morning fully-booked and busily massaging at Neal’s Yard Remedies Therapy Rooms before picking up the NYR raffle prize and free sample goodie bags. With hindsight, lumping 3 bags full of leaflets, tablecloths, banner, bottles and a Geranium plant through St. Albans high street on market day may not have been the wisest plan, particularly after 3 hours of massage on nothing more than a bowl of cereal and a home-made Super Green Juice. However, I managed to make my way there to find that the ante-natal workshop was still on-going so….I was pretty much forced into sitting down with a free cup of tea and Chocolate Honeycomb crunch (Sara, the ante-natal teacher later told me that it was mostly composed of a super-healthy large bar of chocolate, 3 Crunchie bars & some Gluten-free Rich Tea biscuits, clearly Universal balance for a Super Green smoothie).
Workshops & Stalls
There was a huge range of different baby-related workshops and stalls, links all provided here in case you are interested. Many related to health and fitness, both traditional maternity pursuits like Pregnancy Yoga With Josie, Pilates from Your Pilates, Bea Masters providing Acupuncture and Carly Kite Reflexology sessions, and also more unusual forms: running and pram-fitness by Buggyfit, whilst Adka Fitness were gyrating their Powerhoops for what seemed like ages compared to my memories from childhood (for toning up post-birth as opposed to hula-hooping bumps!).
Baby Singing and Signing demos were given by The Best Start, and all manner of other such services: ecologically-friendly nappy solutions from The Clean Green Nappy Machine, photography from Sarah Lambert Portraits, Swimming lessons with Puddle Ducks, Hypnobirthing with the Wise Hippo and Dad’s Club for all the fathers there, with everything accompanied by soothing classical music from Classical Babies. I shared a chocolate brownie (she offered me it!) with my colleague Lisa Adams, there to advise on Baby Massage, and looking on with great interest at what can be achieved with a seemingly simple length of cloth by the Harpenden Sling Library – fascinating stuff! I was happily sandwiched between Catherine with her hand-made pottery at Made By Me and pampering nail gels and threading from Azalea Beauty. Charities were also much in evidence: NCT gave ante-natal and birth stories workshops, The British Red Cross first aid demonstrations and Herts Post Natal Illness Support shed much needed light and support on post-natal depression.
My personal favourite, however, had to be Cherry Cheeks Face and Body Art – who provided the most innovative idea – bump painting! These beautiful and original designs had to be seen to be believed so I made sure I took photos!
Nature To Nurture Pregnancy Aromatherapy & Massage
As well as giving massage taster sessions of Indian Head Massage and Arm & Hand massage, I spent virtually every minute not cake-eating in advising on all manner of maternity massage and, in particular, the use of Aromatherapy in pregnancy.
Many participants were surprised to discover that Aromatherapy is both possible and safe to use during all stages of pregnancy as long as you get proper professional advice from a qualified aromatherapist such as yours truly. If you do it can offer help and support for all kinds of issues: from blends for stretch marks to morning sickness, swollen ankles to muscular aches. It is becoming more widely used by midwives during labour itself, with uterine tonics like Clary Sage, Jasmine and Myrrh being used to strengthen contractions and prepare the body for birth, whilst others like Lavender and Rose can be used to relax and calm. Post-birth it can be supportive for both the mother for conditions like post natal depression and insufficiency of milk, and also for baby, for example, baby eczema and sleeping issues. As such I was kept very busy with providing information and advice, as well as widely distributing sample packs and my exciting new marketing leaflets and business cards.