From pregnancy to childhood

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This week “CityNews” speaks to the businesses who can help support mums and dads with pregnancy, birth, babies, kids and beyond. This is a sponsored post.

WHETHER it’s birth preparation, prenatal yoga, physiotherapy, capturing precious moments as a family or taking bub to their first swimming class, “CityNews” speaks to the businesses who can help support mums and dads with pregnancy, birth, babies, kids and beyond.

Sharn strengthens mums pre-birth

Yoga Mums owner Sharn Watts.

INSPIRED by how prenatal yoga classes helped Sharn Watts prepare for birth, Sharn, the owner of Yoga Mums, now wants to support other mums in the perinatal period.

Mum to two young boys, aged three and five, Sharn started Yoga Mums in 2017 and says she enjoys helping expectant mums feel as comfortable as possible during pregnancy and beyond.

“Lots of women feel worried and unsure of what’s safe in terms of exercise when they’re pregnant,” Sharn says.

“It’s important to feel strong, and in turn it can help with the stamina required in birth.

“I also think it’s so important to make time for yourself. We all lead busy lives and as a pregnant mum sometimes we need to stop, pause, and connect to the baby. It helps to get in the right frame of mind for birth, to acknowledge what’s happening and really tune in to that.”

Sharn says it can also be lovely to connect with other mums and share how things are going.

Yoga Mums offers mini retreats for couples to prepare for birth, as well as baby yoga, mums and bubs yoga, toddler classes and “Mum Restore” sessions, providing a space for mums to gently stretch and safely rebuild their core strength.

Yoga Mums, 5 & 6/26 O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls. Visit yogamumsfitness.com.au, email yogamumsfitness.com.au or call 0468 489642.

Photographer Stephanie captures the love of a family

IT’S all about capturing family love and connection for photographer Stephanie Hogg of Little Grasshopper Photography.

“I take photos of families in an authentic, organic way that’s very unposed,” says Stephanie.

“It could be older kids, pets, little ones, newborn or maternity shoots, but for me it’s about capturing the natural love between family members.”

Stephanie says her photo shoots are relaxed and fun, and with younger children she prefers to create play-based sessions, giving them a playful prompt or direction and letting them run with it.

While Stephanie, a local mum of two, has a dedicated newborn studio in MacGregor, she generally shoots outdoors.

She says she doesn’t charge an upfront session fee, so everyone feels as relaxed as possible.

“Having photos taken can be stressful so I like to make sure there’s no pressure on anyone for the shoot to be perfect – the goal is to have fun,” she says.

“I enjoy getting to know a family and being able to take photos that they fall in love with and want to display in their homes.

“I think it’s great for kids to be able to see their faces on the wall alongside pieces of art. It’s wonderful for their self-esteem and development, for them to see that their parents want the photos on display, with their faces looking at them full of love.”

For information or to book, visit littlegrasshopperphotography.com.au

Keeping babies confident in water

TEACHING babies to swim while they’re still comfortable in the water is a great way to ensure they enjoy swimming as they grow, says Holly Singh, owner and manager of JUMP! Swim Schools Fyshwick.

With a heated, purpose-built, small, indoor pool, JUMP! Fyshwick offers distraction-free, intimate classes with expert, qualified swimming teachers.

Every child feels safe and at home on their swimming journey, according to Holly, who says JUMP! caters for babies from three months old all the way to pre-squad ages.

“We start babies while they still have that natural affinity in the water and it helps them remain confident as they progress,” she says.

“Our small classes, with a maximum of six for babies and up to four for older kids, creates the optimum conditions so they can go further with their swimming.”

JUMP! also offers a swimming introduction and development program for independent swimmers, which focuses on developing specific skills and techniques that enable children to propel through the water independently, says Holly.

And, there are lots of activities and games to make learning to swim fun, too.

“There is also an advanced teacher and child level that looks at stroke correction and development, learning and perfecting the four strokes,” she says.

Located opposite the Canberra Outlet Centre, the classes at JUMP! run all year round.

“We find that baby classes are requested year-round so we don’t have set terms and each class is based on the skill level of the child,” says Holly.

JUMP! Swim Schools Fyshwick, 5/23-25 Iron Knob Street, Fyshwick. Call 0432 178133 or visit jumpswimschools.com.au

Kidstart Teachers.

Welcoming centre makes learning fun

CANBERRA’S south holds a unique place where children from all backgrounds are growing and learning in a fun environment, says Kristen O’Connor, owner of Kidstart Southside Education and Activity Centre.

“At Kidstart we understand that the first five years of a child’s life are crucial for development,” she says.

“That is why we offer programs for children from five months to five years of age and their parents and carers.

“We are not a childcare centre but provide classes with opportunities for each child to develop socially, physically, emotionally and intellectually through sequential programs full of fun, structured and stimulating activities.

“The unique part of it is the love of learning that these kids develop while they’re having so much fun.”

Beginning as a small operation in Rivett in 1996, Kidstart Southside has since moved to bigger premises in Wanniassa to cater for a lot more families.

Kristen says they run three different styles of age-based programs. The first one is for children under three, where families can come and join the fun. The second is for children older than three, which is an independent group where children come to learn, listen and explore away from parents. The third is the preschool-aged program, with a structured focus on school readiness and literacy.

All programs encompass activities such as music, arts and crafts, parachute play and activities which incorporate gross motor skills as well as a strong literacy focus.

The programs, according to Kristen, not only aid children but benefit parents, too, because she says they know their children are growing in an educational, fun, play-based atmosphere.

Kidstart Southside Education and Activity Centre, 65 Sternberg Crescent, Wanniassa. Call 0422 406622 or visit kidstart.com.au

Jane gets dads talking babies

Jane Fitzgerald, Presenter.

NEW dads are expected to attend the birth of their children, but many men can feel a bit flummoxed about what exactly to do in the birthing room, says midwife and Beer + Bubs educator Jane Fitzgerald.

“It’s a generalisation but there’s a sense that men want to fix things and with birth they can’t,” says Jane.  “It’s hard to see the person you love in what looks like pain.”

Jane, who has four sons and says she’s attuned to the male perspective, gives an hour-long talk to expectant dads, with dinner and a drink in Balthazaar pub.

“I talk a bit about the stages of labour but mostly I focus on how they can be an effective support person to their partner,” she says.

“I also encourage embarrassing questions. I usually bring in a dad whose partner recently had a baby so they can ask them anything, and that gets them feeling more relaxed.”

Beer + Bubs is held at Balthazaar, 17 London Circuit, Civic. Book online at beerandbubs.com.au

Sculptures capture magical memories

IMPRESSIONABLE Kids creates framed baby hand and feet sculptures which are a truly magical way of capturing how cute and tiny a child’s hands and feet once were, says owner of the Canberra franchise, Ricki-lee Summerell.

“We capture the detail of each and every wrinkle on their hands and feet, the shape of their little fingernails, a three-dimensional replica,” says Ricki-lee.

“Our casting material is of the highest quality which ensures the best outcome, as well as a lifetime warranty on all framed products.”

Impressionable Kids prides itself on offering the best quality products and great service, with all frames custom made here in Australia, says Ricki-lee.

“We’re a member of the Professional Framers’ Association and can be trusted to keep precious keepsakes safe for years to come,” she says.

All frames and layouts can be completely designed by the client, including colour combinations.

Impressionable Kids also offers pet keepsakes, framed birth collages, and handprint, footprint and fingerprint jewellery.

For more information visit impressionablekids.com.au or email impressionablekidsact@outlook.com

The importance of a postnatal assessment

ALL women who have had a baby should have a postnatal assessment with a pelvic floor physiotherapist, according to Marita O’Shea of Her Physio. 

“This is different from your six-week check with your obstetrician, GP or midwife,” she says.

“Every woman that has had a baby needs time to recover and every woman is different in terms of their recovery.”

Marita, a women’s health physiotherapist with postgraduate qualifications in pelvic floor rehabilitation says common postnatal issues are pelvic-floor weakness, urinary incontinence, abdominal separation, symptoms of heaviness or prolapse and lower back pain.

A postnatal assessment with a women’s health physiotherapist involves an internal pelvic-floor muscle assessment, a functional assessment of the deep abdominal muscles and abdominal separation, and a musculoskeletal assessment, says Marita.

“We consider your birth history, your exercise history and your exercise goals,” says Marita.

“Our aim is to support women to return to exercise safely after birth and prevent any long-term issues.

“For many women, exercise is important for their mental health. We encourage and assist women to continue to exercise safely in the postnatal period.”

Marita is available for consultations at Specialist Services in Deakin, where she works with specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists Dr Elizabeth Gallagher, Dr Omar Adham and Dr Tween Low. She also consults at Ochre Health in Bruce.

Her Physio, call 6180 8500 for the Bruce location, 6282 2033 for the Deakin location or visit herphysio.com.au

Sharon’s hampers celebrate babies

Marita O’Shea of Her Physio.

A LOCALLY sourced and beautifully presented hamper full of goodies makes a perfect celebration gift to send to a new family, says the owner of Sharwood Hampers, Sharon Isherwood.

Sharon, who started the business after discovering a talent and passion for making up thoughtful gift hampers for her children’s teachers, says she loves creating beautiful hampers to suit the needs of each recipient.

“All the products are from around the Canberra region and are personally curated carefully by me to the client’s requirements,” says Sharon, who prides herself on customer service, personal touch and fast delivery.

When celebrating the arrival of a new baby, Sharon says the most popular hampers include a collection of items for mum, baby and dad, too.

“It’s really a celebration of the new family,” she says.

“We have lovely non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and pamper items for mum, beer and snacks for dad, and bibs, washcloths, rattles and soaps for the baby.”

When people call Sharon to book a hamper, she says she discusses what the needs are and can substitute items to make up the perfect hamper.

“Ordering off the website is also easy. We have hampers for any occasion and celebration,” says Sharon.

A portion of the sale of every hamper goes to Karinya House, a charity that provides housing for pregnant and parenting mums and babies in crisis.

Sharwood Hampers. Call 0403 093715 or visit sharwoodhampers.com.au

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