Supporting mums through pregnancy and beyond

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

FROM birth preparation, breastfeeding support, finding the perfect gift or taking bub to their first swimming class, “CityNews” speaks to the businesses who can help support families with pregnancy, birth, babies, kids and beyond.

Trained volunteer breastfeeding counsellors Megan Fox, left, Carla van Hagen and Arianwen Harris (carrying baby Niya).

Keeping mums confidently breastfeeding

FOLLOWING World Breastfeeding Week, the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s regional representative of the ACT and Southern NSW (ACTSNSW), Megan Fox, says the group is starting to “test the waters” in getting back to face-to-face gatherings.

“We’ve kept our services running throughout the pandemic, providing online breastfeeding education sessions in addition to our long-running 24/7 phone line service,” says Megan.

“We know that some families with young babies or expectant mums might have more anxiety around public gatherings, and that’s understandable too, which is why we’ll be continuing to run our Zoom sessions. It’s also easier for us to manage than venues and numbers.

“It can be more convenient, too, as mums who aren’t ready to leave the house for whatever reason can interact from the sofa in pyjamas!”

However, for mums that are ready to get out of the house, the group will be organising playdates outdoors at playgrounds for mums to bring along their older children.

Megan says the group has also added new elements to its “Mum2Mum” app, which was originally an information portal, but is now more interactive, with the capacity for mums to create a profile and search for breastfeeding information based on their child’s age.

Mums can also keep a journal to record their baby’s feeds, sleep and nappy changes, and press a button to directly access the ABA’s helpline, “live chat” or website for resources to help with breastfeeding.

The goal of the ABA is to encourage breastfeeding, says Megan, and she believes that the more confidence and information that mums have throughout their journey, the better.

Australian Breastfeeding Association, 3/70 MacLaurin Crescent, Chifley. Call 6162 2716 or visit breastfeeding.asn.au

New Beginnings Birth and HypnoBirth® Educator and owner Lindsay Hollingsworth

Helping women have better birth outcomes

WITH a focus on helping women prepare for giving birth, New Beginnings Birth owner and hypnobirthing educator Lindsay Hollingsworth says she has a genuine passion for empowering and educating women during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.

With qualifications from The HypnoBirthing Institute, Lindsay runs a five-week hypnobirthing course, which she is currently limiting, in line with COVID-19 restrictions, to six women and their birthing partner, whether it’s their husband, sister, mum, friend or doula.

The course teaches mums and their partners about the birth process using evidence-based techniques for a calm, stress-free experience.

“This program is changing the way women are birthing and how they feel about their births in the long term, through learning how to work with their body, not against it,” she says.

Lindsay also offers free, two-hour information sessions, so women and their partners can decide if the course is right for them.

“COVID-19 restrictions could easily swing back to only allowing one support person in the delivery room, so this course helps mums-to-be feel as prepared as possible in themselves, understanding how birth works, physiologically, hormonally and emotionally,” she says.

“It also includes practical tips on how to advocate for themselves, ask the right questions, and helpful ways that partners can offer support during labour.

“We shouldn’t be having fear around birth. It’s a natural process and my aim is for women to have better birth outcomes and positive memories of the experience for the rest of their lives.”

New Beginnings Birth. Call 0411 133400, email hello@newbeginningsbirth.com.au or visit newbeginningsbirth.com.au

Friendly swim school offers free trials

IT may be cold outside but it’s warm at JUMP! Swim Schools Fyshwick, with the small, indoor, purpose-built pool always heated to 33C, says owner and manager Holly Singh

“The whole facility is kept warm, too, so people love coming in throughout the winter months, particularly with young children,” she says.

Holly says the swim school has a friendly, family environment, with all staff knowing the students by name and a focus on intimate classes with expert, qualified swimming teachers.

Class size has always been kept small, with a maximum of two classes in the purpose-built pool at any one time, which means the swim school naturally fits within the current COVID-19 restrictions, she says.

“We are finding that people are keen to get back to swimming lessons, and our small classes, with a maximum of seven for babies and up to four for independent swimmers, create the right environment to encourage learning and progress,” says Holly.

JUMP! Swim Schools offers a babies’ program from three months old to 24 months, classes for toddlers and lessons for older children that go all the way to pre-squad.

They’re also offering free trials at the moment, Holly says, so people are welcome to book in and come along to try a class according to the child’s age and skill level.

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

Meg’s bears make the perfect gifts

FROM soft and cuddly bears to highly collectable items, co-owner of the Teddy Bear Shop Meg Cutler says they even stock a COVID-friendly activity scarf.

“The scarf is designed so that the baby has toys to play with while being carried, but if the toy is dropped, it can only go to the end of the scarf, not on the ground,” she says.

Meg says the shop features all sorts of bears, from flat bears, cute and cuddly bears, as well as christening gifts and children’s dinnerware, classics from Peter Rabbit, Paddington and Winnie the Pooh, and popular collectable brands such as Charlie Bears, Hermann and Steiff.

“We have just become a Charlie Bears Paw Store, of which we’re only one of 10 in Australia, and this means we’re able to buy from their secret collection,” she says.

Meg says quality toys make the perfect gift for any occasion, because they’re designed to last, and “we know how important ‘furever’ friends are”.

Business has been quietly steady, which is good, she says, because it means “not having too many people around at the same time so that we can keep up our COVID cleaning regime”.

The Teddy Bear Shop, Shop 9, Majura Park Shopping Centre. Call 0418 303448, email hugs@theteddybearshop.com.au or visit theteddybearshop.com.au

The team of educators at Kidstart.

Centre gives kids a ‘unique’ start to education

KIDSTART Southside Education and Activity Centre offers a unique early childhood education program, says director Kristen O’Connor.

Operating since 1996, Kristen says their age-appropriate programs for children from five months to five years prepares children for school socially, physically, emotionally and intellectually.

With three distinct programs, Kristen says families with little ones will love to experience the unique play-based fun, creative and co-operative atmosphere at Kidstart.

“We give the kids the best head start by igniting in them a love of learning,” says Kristen, who has been the director since 2005.

“We receive wonderful feedback from schools and we create strong relationships with our families.”

Each of the Kidstart teaching staff hold a four-year (at least) university qualification, and Kristen says her team provides children with exceptional academic and practical knowledge.

“Combined with a love of children, we bring the Kidstart Southside classrooms to life as a wonderful, stimulating environment where a true love of learning is developed at an early age,” she says.

Kristen says they’ve also implemented strict hygiene practices to provide a safe and clean environment.

Kidstart Education, 65 Sternberg Crescent, Wanniassa. For enrollment enquiries visit kidstart.com.au

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