Something Quite Special

Having taken time to reflect on what I saw on Saturday, I am still filled with an amazing warm feeling about what happened.

Saturday, saw me running a New Dads class. New Dads classes are for any dads with babies up to crawling stage. They are based around Developmental Baby Massage, whilst at the same time giving dads time to share and discuss their experiences with other dads. They also have the opportunity to ask me for specific advice on any subject relating to them and their baby.

I was fortunate to have trained in Developmental Baby Massage with an amazing man called Peter Walker. He is a total inspiration, he has been teaching since the 1980’s and was certainly well ahead of his time, he system has been developed over the years and has been influenced by and influenced the likes of R D Laing, Janet Balaskas, Shelia Kitzinger to name but a few.

I try and run the classes in places where mum can still be close by for obvious reasons. This particular class was run at Mocha Mama in Kettering. We completely take over the baby area, re arranging it for our class, whilst the café still operates as normal for the most part. Six dads attended with their babies, ranging from 5 weeks of age to 7 months of age. Five mums also came along with dad, initially sitting separately in the cafe.

The class was great, showing the dads massage techniques to open their baby’s shoulders and chest and how to relax the stomach. Dads were given the confidence to use the Tiger in the Tree position to hold and sooth their baby whilst also massaging their stomach. We talked about the benefits of what they were learning and how to continue this at home. During the open discussion segement, we covered colic, and ways to help alleviate this, coming back to importance of a relaxed stomach for baby. I was also asked about congestion, so we tried techniques for opening nasal passages to aid breathing and massage techniques for clearing chest congestion.

The feedback was amazing and the dads couldn’t get enough, we all sat and enjoyed our bacon sandwiches and coffees and chatted… and the class lasted nearly two hours. During this time babies went out to mum to feed, to then be returned to dad, mums were relaxed and by now were all sitting together chatting. The atmosphere was relaxed, relaxed dads bonding with relaxed babies, relaxed mums enjoying some time to themselves & enjoying some time meeting and chatting to other mums.

Steph arrived shortly after 11am (just over an hour into the class) with our two children; she sat chatting with the mums, whilst our two children played.

So what was so special?

Steph and I reflected on the morning, and we both really felt elated by what had happened.

Of the 6 dads and 5 mums there (the other mum had opted for some time to herself and that in itself was very special for her) Steph had worked with 3 of the mums through Daisy Birthing, as a couple we had worked with three of the couples in our couples class, I had worked with two of the dads with DaddyNatal, Steph had three of the mums signed up for her Daisy Tinies class and of course I had the 6 dads doing New Dads class. That in itself felt very humbling, the trust these parents put in us with their pregnancies and babies.

BUT that wasn’t what felt so special, what felt so special this Saturday morning, was the peer support that these parents got by talking to each other, the fact the mums all exchanged numbers to meet up again with their babies, the fact the dads were all chatting and bonding with each other and realising they are not alone.

The fact we were sharing and supporting their journey’s from pregnancy, through becoming parents and as their babies develop was an amazing sense of honour for us.

The realisation that dawned was simply what we were achieving is something quite amazing, the continuity we are able to supply to the families, the fact we can work with mum, or dad, or both and offer support specifically to their needs, is simply crucial.

As if we were not driven enough, Saturday has just made us even more determined to continue to do what we do and to encourage and train others to do the same. Linked up support for the whole family has amazing benefits and seeing these families enjoy such a relaxed and enjoyable time together was so inspiring.

We need to support families as a whole not just individuals; we need to address all their needs as a family. If anyone would like to find out more about the work Steph and I do please just drop us an email.


12 thoughts on “Something Quite Special

  1. Just wanted to leave a note to congratulate you both on making this happen. You’ve been wanting to do this for so long and now it’s happening it sounds amazing. I want to use the word beautiful, but don’t want to sound mushy about it, but this kind of thing for us when we’d just had E would have been brilliant. Lovely Bloke had to wait until we got to swimming lessons to really feel that he had found something hands on to do with E and then later on W, so I just wanted to say how pleased I am that you’re both growing and developing something so special for these families and for the people who will be doing the class with you next time. Here’s hoping that we see this kind of thing being introduced for everyone through the NHS soon – if they are offering antenatal exercise classes for free, maybe this will be next? Fingers crossed in the meantime….

    • Thank you Liz, you can use word beautiful, in fact you can use any word you like. Your support and belief in what we have been aiming to do from the start has always been so welcome and appreciated. When others mocked our aims or simply didn’t understand what we were about, you always understood and supported so THANK YOU.

      There is still more to come, yes we have some great plans involving some great people.

  2. Hope our lovely ambience and freshly cooked doorstep bacon sandwiches helped a bit! We love it when parents meet others, share experiences and swop numbers. Wouldn’t get that at Costa!

    • Clare, Mocha Mama is big part of what made it happen, such an amazing place for expectant and new parents. We just need to follow you round as you open new ones and spread the whole experience nationwide 😉

    • Please can you open a Mocha Mama near me! I’d love to recreate just a small version of what Dean and Steph have achieved (have told you both before you’re my inspiration for the future!) but lacking in suitable yummy, open, welcoming and friendly venues in which to hold the classes!

      I just need to work on getting a DaddyNatal trained down this way too! 😉

  3. A huge congratulations to you both. I think the work you are doing is amazing. I am blessed to have a very hands on supportive husband but know many friends who have struggled through the early stages and with the limited support available to men, would previously be left with no where to turn. Parenting is now very a much a two man job and I can not support you enough in your venture. I have only recently started blogging but if you would ever like to do a guest post on my blog I would be delighted…. All the very very best to you both……x

    • Thank you for your lovely comments. Will certainly keep your blog in mind, if you ever have something coming up that you feel you may like male perspective on please just shout. Always happy to do them when I can.

    • Thank you Jane and all at Forever Friends Naturals. Another bath time last night with your wonderful products, kids love them 🙂 Looking forward to you expanding the range further

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