Baby Monitors, whats available? (Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature reviewed)

OK dads, this is our department, a gadget for the baby! Time for some research. There are a wide range of baby monitors on the market, varying in both price and functionality. Prices range from as little as £25 to over £200.

So what are the choices?

First, is your basic sound only monitor, this type of monitor has a base station that is in the bedroom with baby, you then have a portable receiver to enable you to listen to the sounds of baby. Most of these tend to be analogue transmitters so signal quality can sometimes leave a bit to be desired.

The second type is the sound and movement monitor, this will have a base station, a sensor mat to go under babies mattress and the parent receiver unit. In addition some transmit an analogue signal whilst the better ones transmit a digital signal.

Finally, are the sound and video monitors. These have a base unit which incorporates a small camera and the portable unit which will normally contain a lcd screen. They start with your basic black and white screen but can have a colour image. Some even have infra red capabilities, whilst some will also transmit your images online allowing you to view them wherever you are.

So what one should I have?

Ok dads, now is the time to control the urge to buy the one with all bells and whistles! It is a gadget but a gadget with a serious purpose. The real answer is the one you want is the one that is right for you as a family, balancing budget with needs.

If you are on restricted budget but want some comfort then the sound monitor is way to go. Personally, I favour the sound and movement monitors, these always gave me reassurance of hearing my babies with added comfort of alarm sounding if no movement or breath registered after 20 – 30 seconds. I was one of those dads who if they hadn’t heard baby for a while would have to go and check they were OK. Didn’t take me long to throw sound monitor away and get sound and movement one! (also dads these are great fun, you try seeing how gentle a touch you can achieve on top of mattress without monitor sensing it! Almost impossible to make any contact without registering which is very re assuring) If budget isn’t an issue you may want to consider the video monitors for some parents seeing their child is very re assuring.

Tommee Tippee kindly sent me their Closer to Nature Digital Monitor and Sensor Pad to review. As our youngest is 20 months we thought this would really put monitor to the test!!  Many people will tell you that a sound and movement monitor is redundant when baby can start to move freely or crawl. In fact this is exactly the case with ours, which now sit in a box in the loft gathering dust. Even before that happened with our Angel Care monitor, and we had to disconnect the sensor pad and it became basic sound only monitor. The pad wasn’t sensitive enough to pick up movement if baby had moved to end of the cot. In the case of the Tommee Tippee one, it passed with flying colours no false alarms at all in over a week!

Ok, so what else?  Important dad bits first, it looks cool, stylish, with black and white contrast colours, the handset is sleek and small enough to fit in pocket, with belt carry clip already fitted! It has a slimline docking unit for recharging the batteries supplied with it. No need for a constant supply of AA batteries and trips to garage to get ripped off. You just know the batteries will run out just as you are settling down to a well deserved break as baby goes off to sleep. Four AA batteries can be placed in base unit in case of powercut.

This is a digital transmission monitor, giving crystal clear reception and excellent range up to 300m. Yes I did see how far I could walk down the street before it stopped working and no, it wasn’t quite far enough to get to the pub! It has in built nightlight and room temperature display. There are a number of user changeable settings but I will let you look at manual, to then discard it and just play until you have found them all, why should I spoil your fun?

Overall this would have got a Four Star rating if it wasn’t for the talk back function! This easily pushes it to a Five Star rating and if I could six. Talkback is the ability to talk to the baby through the handset without having to go up to their room. This I think is an excellent addition and one that will seriously extend the life of the monitor in usefulness terms. Having the ability to talk to your child as they get older will allow problems to be dealt with without having to return to the room. If they are trying to pull a fast one just to get you back into the room this will allow you to ask what’s wrong before returning. Of course I am not advocating remote parenting but there are distinct benefits to having this facility.

Pop over to Tommee Tippee to see more reviews on their site. I have now found this monitor as low as £75 from Tescos and Toys R Us! I cannot recommend it enough.

An Open Letter to Kirstie Allsopp

Kirstie, I cannot quietly sit and continue to read the completely unbalanced view which has been put forward via Twitter last week, and the Telegraph article today.

Kirstie, I understand your experience of birth has been of C Section birth. I understand that you did not feel prepared or supported before or after this. I think this is appalling, and that you were terribly and unforgivably let down. You are correct, NO woman should suffer a stigma for having had a C-Section. C Section is definitely NOT an easy way out. Women who are facing having a C Section should have access to appropriate support, both to prepare and recover, both physically and emotionally.

HOWEVER, Kirstie just because this was YOUR experience, does not mean that the answer to women having better birth experiences, is implementing across the board, surgical birth education. I guarantee, if antenatal education took that direction, that our C Section rate would climb even higher.

Your standpoint is that because approximately 25% of births are now C -Sections, we should accept this statistic and start preparing and teaching parents antenatally about surgical birth, as there is a 1 in 4 chance they will have one.

Sorry Kirstie, on this you are just wrong, and doing expectant parents a huge disservice.

WHY do you not want to challenge this 1 in 4 C-Section rate? WHY are we not looking for a way to lower this, rather than accepting it & educating our expectant parents to just accept it too?! This isn’t about stigma Kirstie, this is where your arguments have gotten confused, its about safety, its about education and its about informed choice.

C-Sections SHOULD absolutely 100% be used when needed – they are an amazing medical advance which undoubtedly saves lives. That is what they are there for, and there should be absolutely no guilt, stigma or failure ever attached to this.

A C-Section should be (which even you, yourself referred to it as on Twitter) – a “life saving operation”. So, if we agree that this is the role of a C-Section, do we therefore really think that 1 in 4 of all births are so dangerous that they require a life-saving procedure?

Your comment that “Not talking C-sections during a childbirth course is like not talking Shakespeare during an English literature course” is so unbelievably misinformed. Unlike you, I believe in the ability of most women to safely birth their own baby. I believe that the majority of traditional NHS and some other antenatal classes do not teach women how to do this, therefore leading to this high rate in interventions and C-Sections. That’s right, I don’t simply blame the NHS for poor care, but I blame the quality of our antenatal education, which has a crucial role to play in the UK’s high ratio of C-Sections.

I was reading with interest some of the tweets which you received during your debate. Proud parents tweeting to say that they agreed with you that it was important they had done the full C-Section role play in class, because in their class “5 out of 9 couples ended up with C-Sections”.

So, this class which had educated and prepared its parents for C-Section, had a C Section rate of around 65%! More than twice the national average… alarm bells ringing for anyone else here??

Compare this to the classes I teach, where my average C-Section rate is around 12% – HALF the national average, and four times lower than this class. Why is this?? Maybe because I am empowering women, educating them to understand their body, understand how it works, and preparing that body to get ready for birth. These are things which are not currently adequately covered in all NHS classes or traditional classes. Perhaps Kirstie, you should attend a private natural birth class, see some of the really great practice out there and the difference it makes, and promote the good… Rather than putting us all in the same boat, and slagging us off across the board with little understanding of what we do.

I am PRO women having the most positive, easy and enjoyable birth experience they can. I am anti unnecessary medical procedures which are risky and can be highly traumatic to the whole family unit. Yes, I support woman to have natural births. By your definition Kirstie, this makes me anti C-Sections. Not the case. I teach all my ladies, that in an emergency, you trust your care provider and their medical expertise, as that is what it is there for, to back you up.

However, I work with women to make INFORMED choices. Kirstie, if I had worked with you for the birth of your second baby; I would have supported you to consider all your options, and then 100% supported whichever decision you felt was RIGHT for you. Considering all the options is not about stigma attached to any particular choice – but about the fact that decisions should be about INFORMED choice. This approach is relevant whether we are talking about C Sections, or which house we decide to buy.

I am working with two perfectly healthy pregnant women at the moment, with perfectly healthy babies, who in the last week who have been told by their medical provider, that no-one should have a water birth because “it will kill their baby”. Not all advice, just because it is offered by someone in a medical role, is unbiased, accurate or informed.

There is a reason some of us are trying to support more women to have natural births, and bring down that overall C-Section percentage, and it is nothing to do with thinking women who have C-Sections are ‘lesser than’. For a start, a vaginal birth is much safer. C Sections carry much higher risk than natural birth, to both the mum and baby. The risk of a woman dying following a C-Section is 4 times higher than following a natural birth. We are talking about major abdominal surgery here. Other reasons include the impact on the mother following the birth, which is also something clearly close to your heart too. The increase in rates of postnatal depression in C-Section mothers is not just about stigma, but also is rooted in physiological factors that are absent when baby is not born vaginally.

The women I work with who have been faced with an emergency C Section during their labour, have been able to utilise the coping and breathing techniques I teach to stay calm and involved in the decision making process. I don’t ostracise, make an example of or highlight as ‘different’ any woman who while attending my classes decides to opt for an elective section. All women learn the same coping techniques which are applicable in a variety of situations.

For those women I have worked with who have had been faced with emergency sections, do I honestly think that having ‘role played’ a C Section in advance with some playmobile will make that moment when their baby’s heart stopped beating, and they got whipped into theatre, with dad chewing his nails in the corridor, any less frightening ? No, this is probably one of the most traumatic, terrifying moments of your life. It is scary, and sometimes there are things in life which we can never be truly prepared for.

Kirstie, you absolutely deserved more support, both antenatally and postnatally, than you received.
C-Section birth should not have any stigma attached to it.
But that’s as far as I can agree with you.

The answer to addressing stigma and support is NOT adding specific surgical birth education to childbirth courses. Women do deserve better education, support and birthing experiences. I already have too many women who come to my classes who have been terrified by descriptions of epidurals or demonstrations of forceps, but no real idea of how to empower themselves to have a better birth. Let’s start to support this generation of ladies who are not “too posh to push” but rather ‘too scared to push’.

Birth & Postnatal Doula & Antenatal Educator
Bump, Birth and Beyond

Men at birth, good idea or not?

I was asked to write a piece on this subject by a fellow birth professional and midwife. Why I haven’t written it before I dont know, it is something I feel very passionately about.

Michel Odent was famously reported as saying men shouldn’t be at the birth, he even went as far as to blame them for the increase in Cesarean rates. At the time I was incensed by his comments. It was at the time when I was coming to the end of my training and was really passionate about supporting families, but especially in supporting men to prepare for their journey to fatherhood. I used the reflective practice I had learnt through my studies to really look at his comments and my reaction to them.

In truth, I actually found that in a lot of respects I agreed with him! The difference is that I don’t want to take dads out of the birth and I think there is another, more empowering way of looking at the issue. I want to see dads (and mums) being made more aware of the importance of the birth partner at birth, giving dads proper support and information to fulfil this role (if they wish to take it on) – after all the benefits will be far ranging and crucial for the whole family.

Dads-to-be themselves need to understand that in general their partner does wants them there, there is nobody they would rather have with them. But with this comes responsibility, responsibility to understand what is happening and to prepare to be the best support they can be. Preparation for the birth is not just the domain of the woman, and a dads role at birth is not just about being a spectator.

So why should men be there if they can?

The biggest enemy at any birth is fear; fear causes the production of adrenalin. This can slow the production of oxytocin and in turn this can slow or even stop contractions, which is often referred to as failure to progress. So logically, having someone in the birth room who makes the mum feel secure and safe is really important, and with the right preparation, arguably there could be no better support than having the person she loves and chooses to go through the ups and downs of life with, to support her. There is nobody she would rather have there, nobody that knows her better or she feels safer with.

Another reason for the man’s presence is in his role as an advocate for his family. A key part of his role can be to make sure his partner’s wishes and desires are listened to. Sometimes in the intensity of moment, mum can lose sight of these or be in a vulnerable position unable to advocate for what she really wishes, so the man’s role is to do this, so she can focus on the work of birthing and stay in the zone.

By being present at the birth, a man will almost always feel an immediate bond with his baby. Bonding with the unborn child is quite difficult for men, often it doesn’t occur until after the birth, and this bond can sometimes be harder to achieve if they are not there to witness and participate in the birth. This bond is crucial to the family in the first weeks and months following the birth, so certainly where men want to be present, telling them they shouldn’t be is not going to be helpful to what follows.

Are there any risks to the man being at the birth?

Unfortunately yes, the support that can be so important and desired can be undermined by dad’s own anxieties during the birth. This is partially what Odent was referring to when he made his claims. An anxious father who is fretting and worrying will cause mum to be fearful that something may be wrong (this is often subconscious but has a very real impact). This fear which mum picks up on can cause her body to increase her adrenalin production, inhibit oxytocin, and as described earlier, therefore start the chain of events that potentially will lead to a stalled labour. Unfortunately stalled labour is the most common reason for the cascade of interventions to begin, as soon as interventions start the likelihood of them escalating increases.

There is also the risk from the man’s “fix it” instinct. If the man is not understanding of the birth process he is in danger of overriding his partner’s wishes or doing something detrimental to the natural processes of birth. For example, if a man believes his partner is in pain, he will want to stop her being in pain; at this point he may suggest and even promote interventions. However, the reality may be that his partner is coping well and just making the normal sounds of birthing… but if he suggests she needs pain relief, it can bring in a seed of doubt and lead again to that negative cycle of fear. Dad’s in the birth space need to control this natural ‘fix it’ instinct, but this can only be done through first being aware of it, and then having the ability and tools to control it… This is crucial to making sure he is not one of the reasons that interventions are being suggested!

So dads listen up, if you want to be there and your partner wants you to be there, you need to put in some effort and be the best birth partner you can be. You have the potential to truly affect the whole experience and outcome, and with understanding and support you can reduce the need for interventions. Your presence WILL impact on the birth experience one way or another!

Finally, it is a helpful idea to discuss as a couple the role of the birth partner. You and your partner may decide you are not best person to act as a solo birth supporter. This is absolutely fine, it is not a requirement that you HAVE to be the only birth partner (or that you even need to be there at all, if it doesn’t feel right for you and your family).  You could both consider another family member also being there, or using the services of a doula. Doulas are professionally trained as support for expectant parents, and they can act as a birth supporter alongside dad, or instead of dad – whatever suits you as a family. I would always suggest interviewing a couple of doulas to help you find the person who is right for your family. ANYONE in the birth space can have positive or negative impact depending on how they make you feel, so it is imperative that you are comfortable with them and they are also comfortable with you.

But please, can we empower families to decide what THEY want for their birth, and to allow mums AND dads to prepare, rather than be telling them who should and shouldnt be at their birth. Anyone can bring good and bad into the birth space, men/fathers are not by default ‘poor’ birth partners, and a bit more support and encouragement would go a long way.


Dean Beaumont is a leading expert in working with fathers and founder of antenatal programme DaddyNatal which supports fathers-to-be to prepare for birth and parenthood.

He is also author of The Expectant Dad’s Handbook published by Random House.

Labour Dos and Donts

(Trust me guys you need this)

Having listened to so many stories about men getting into trouble whilst their partner is in labour and having guys that I have worked with come back and tell me “You were right, I did x and it didn’t go down well!!” No S***!! That will be why I told you not to do it!

So what will make everyone’s life easier during labour, and get you out of this alive?! These tips apply to all types of birth, just use your common sense and modify them slightly depending on circumstances. I could write you complete instruction manual, but let’s be honest, you would just glance at it and put it to one side and then guess how it’s all going to go anyway… So what’s the point?

So let’s keep this simple

Do as you are told!! Really. It may not be the way you were taught at your antenatal class, or what the book said, but she really does know how she wants to be massaged or rubbed. And yes if she tells you to shut up it because you are annoying her then SHUT UP. No, she doesn’t need you to keep talking to her to “take her mind off it.” Trust me, you won’t achieve that, and you’re probably just preventing her from staying focused!

And if she does want something, she wants it NOW!! Not when suits you, so react to all requests speedily and without question.

This rule overrides all my others, because if she is telling you to do something, and I have suggested differently, listen to her. I do not want to be cited in any divorce cases as the third party.

Be a Boy Scout. Be Prepared. Yes, I know she insisted on packing the bags for the hospital but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to know what’s in there and where it is! Make sure you know where everything is… and NO ‘man looking’, telling her during the middle of a contraction that you can’t find something, when it’s right there in front of you, won’t go down well either.

Gadgets. I know us blokes like gadgets, but don’t get too focused on that contraction monitor. IT’S not having your baby!! And trust me; she does not need you telling her “here comes a BIG one!” She will already know that!

Be Coach Sven. You are Sven and not Sir Alex; you are not to shout encouragement from the sidelines at the top of your voice. Yes she can do it, but she doesn’t need you shouting at her. Be like Sven – focused, calm, and offering support as required.

Extend your vocabulary.  “You’re doing really well, Sweetheart” uttered the 10th time in as many minutes, will start to really irritate. You of course will be proud of her, she will be doing brilliantly, be amazing, awe inspiring. Have some ideas of different things you can say to show your support. Oh and anything you say, say it softly!!

Ok, if your eyes are starting to glaze and you are already looking at this like a manual, take a deep breath and keep going. This is for your own good!! You have only been reading for 3 minutes! Consider it preparatory training and focus!!! Ok, focused? Good, because the learning starts here…  during labour your total focus is her and her needs. Your text messages, emails or even the football result can wait. Do not be constantly checking your phone.

Your partner needs to have your support; she will probably be scared at points, so hold her hand. Tell her it’s ok, even if you are scared too. During transition (end of the first stage of labour) the bout of adrenalin which is released into her body which triggers baby’s birth, can also make her feel quite low/as if she can’t do this anymore, so this is where you need to be at your supportive best. She can do, she is doing it, and baby is nearly here.

If it isn’t Broke…. Do not give in to the male natural instinct of ‘fixing’ things. You will undoubtedly at times believe your partner is in need of help, this does not mean you override any discussion before hand and start deciding things based on you feelings. You need to understand sometimes she will scream at you, she will swear at you, this does not mean she needs you to take control. You have a job here as her advocate should the need occur, you are there to make sure her wishes and requests are listened to. Write a birth plan together, discuss preferences in advance and make sure you understand what she feels strongly about.

Ok, so things are progressing and you are feeling tired? Back hurts? So what we going to do? Absolutely NOTHING you are not going to say anything at all! However you are feeling, it doesn’t compare to how she is feeling right now!!

Plan in advance if you think you would like to maybe take some pictures or video of moment baby is born get clearance. Some women will not want pictures under any circumstances. And even if you have agreed in advance she still has women’s prerogative to “change her mind”.  This also includes disappearing down the business end to “just have a look”!

Do not rush off straight after the birth to announce it to the world, it can wait. Stay with her, get her glass of water, give her a cuddle, tell her how proud of her you are and make sure she is ok ………………. Ok, sod off, now you can go tell the world.

If at any time you are in doubt of what to do always refer back to DO AS YOU ARE TOLD!!

DaddyNatal supports men to become better birth partners and fathers. If you have any questions please email me

When does a man become a dad?

Antenatal bonding: What is it and what’s the point?

When does a man become a dad?

Those who read my last blog carefully will see that I referred to becoming a father on the day that my son was born. My own discussions and surveys with men show that I am not alone in feeling this – on an emotional level, men tend to be anything up to a full 9 months behind, not really fully bonding with their baby and seeing themselves as a father, until the birth.

Antenatal Bonding is simply about making a connection and bonding with your baby before they are born. So don’t panic if you are not feeling connected to your unborn baby, but do make the conscious decision to bond with your baby before they are born. Dad’s antenatal bonding for most of us is not a natural process, it takes a conscious decision to do so.

Why Does This Matter?

We affect our baby’s development from the moment they are conceived. That’s right Dads, your attitude and support throughout pregnancy, can directly affect your baby. Through music and talking you will already be developing your babies learning skills. Through creating a positive calm environment, you will be supporting your baby’s emotional development. Dr David Chamberlain a renowned psychologist who has researched prenatal development, psychology and bonding refers to the time baby spends in the womb as, “an intense learning period in ones life and time to establish patterns for a lifetime.”

Dad’s, helping create a calm & positive environment is integral to the physiological development of your unborn baby. Any stress which mum might feel during pregnancy increases the production of neurohormones.  According to Doctor Verney author of ‘The Secret Life of the Unborn Child’ these neurohormones easily cross the placenta to the unborn baby. In moderation, these are beneficial to baby’s development, but in excess can have an adverse effect. So a calm, stable, home environment is important, not only from birth, but throughout pregnancy.

Your unborn baby has an ear by just three weeks (so probably before you even know you are expecting!). Their ear is functional by 16 weeks, and at 24 weeks they can hear sounds from outside. This means for most of the pregnancy, your baby can hear your voice! They will know who you are, and already be bonding with you. Once baby is born, when you talk to them, they will recognise you and respond to your voice. This will pay dividends for you when baby arrives, as their bond with you, and your voice, will be calming for them.

Antenatal bonding is also important for your own confidence. You will find that you will be more at ease with your newborn, and you will be more comfortable with them. Baby will also sense this inner-confidence, and feel more secure and safe with you too as a result, which again will help keep them feeling calm and bonded with you.

A dad that is successfully bonded with their baby, will be better able to support their partner. For those that have chosen to breastfeed, it will also help tremendously in establishing feeding.

Finally now that it is generally accepted that fathers too can suffer from Post Natal Depression (PND), antenatal bonding can also help reduce the chances of PND. A common cause for PND in men is that they feel guilt when they don’t instantly feel bonded with their baby. To compound this further, men can end up feeling excluded and isolated in their own family. These are common feelings, but ones that can be avoided. Some men are fortunate to feel an instant bond at birth, but for most that bond establishes over time. It is harder for that bond to establish in amongst all the additional pressures of becoming a family, so why leave it until the birth to start bonding with your child?

For you all as a family, you will feel less stressed and more harmonious.

Ok, its important… so how do I do it?

There are some very simple things you can do… you don’t need to them all, just choose to do those you feel comfortable with, but make the decision to do something.

1)      If you have scan pictures keep them on show, look at them often and start to visualise your baby. As men we find it hard to attach to things we can’t see, hear or touch. This will help you start to think of your baby as a little person and start the bonding process.

2)      Each time you greet or part from mum, talk to your baby as well. Say Hello to your baby, maybe even give the bump a gentle run or pat at the same time.

3)      Give baby a name – this will make them more of a real person. It doesn’t have to be the name they will have when born, it can just be a pet name.

4)      Spend time together as a family. Talk to baby, if you comfortable sing to your baby or maybe recite a rhyme or read a short story. Ideally pick one thing, and read or sing it each time. Your unborn baby will start to recognise and attach to that song or story. It will connect it to a time of feeling loved and content, and once born, singing this song or reading the same story is a great calming method, especially at bedtime.

5)      At around 20 – 24 weeks you will be able to feel your baby move or kick. This is a great opportunity to become physically connected and bonded to baby. Take time to feel their movements, as the pregnancy progresses, you will be able to visualise their growth as you feel the movements become stronger.

6)      Start a blog or write letters to baby. Talk about the preparations you are making for their arrival, about the scans or appointments which you go to. How you are both feeling. This will all help reinforce the fact your baby is another person in the family already.

7)      Play music to baby, pick songs that mean something to you or pick relaxing pieces. Again, your unborn baby will start to recognise the music if you play it regularly during pregnancy.  Once baby is born, when it hears the music it will connect it to a time of feeling loved and content – another great calming method!

Doing all or some of these things will have a huge benefit – for all of you as a family now, in those all important first days and crucially for the rest of your baby’s life.

It is worth the effort, so ask yourself, what are you going to do today to bond with your baby?

Most important day of your life

Recent discussion and comments have got me thinking about this one.

What will be the most important or special day of our life? What defines it as that?

I think my definition would be “The most important day of your life is the one that most affected who you are, what you believe, your core motivations and inspirations”.

I have heard people say that the day they got married was their most important day, others have stated that it was day they were born as this was the day  they came into being and without that day, nothing else would ever have happened. For some it was their 18th or 21st Birthday, or a graduation day.

For me, I think I can honestly say, it was the day I became a father. Until that day, for all the high and lows in my life, I dont think I was really complete, but meeting my baby, put everything else into perspective. I certainly changed as a person, and the things I did assumed a new importance and benchmark.

This initial thought process all started around a comment about what we are willing to do/spend to make sure our special days are as perfect as they can be? Generally, the answer always is ‘whatever I can’. The average wedding costs over £10,000, parties for 18th and 21st and even 1st birthdays run into the hundreds of pounds, the same for graduation celebrations.

But what do people spend on that most magical day, the birth of their child?

The day a baby is born, is a truely special day,  and the impact of that day will live with us, and our children for the rest of our lives. Why do we not do everything in our power to make it as special as we can?

Is it because we don’t see why we should? The NHS or government are meant to provide these things so why should we have to pay? Is it because we think it is the medical profession’s responsibility and they will look after us? Is it because we think birth is out of our hands and we are powerless in impacting on the experience we are destined to have?

Private classes start for as little as £50 and there is such a wide range available, but less than 10% of expectant parents take a private class. WHY? Why is it we will spend £1000’s for our wedding day, but not for birth of our child?

The range of courses available now is amazing and caters to people from all walks of life. There are specific labour and birth preparation classes in the form of active birthing classes such as MummyNatal, created by The Natal Family, which will teach you how to prepare physically and mentally for birth.  There are special information groups for water births and home births.  There are classes for couples that explain how couples can work together in labour, and perhaps most importantly, how to have informed choices in labour and birth.

And now, even classes run by dads just for dads, like DaddyNatal.

What do they cost? Well, a MummyNatal 6 week course for an expectant mum, combined with a 2 evening Daddynatal course for the expectant dad,  AND a couples class – (that’s at least 17 hours of preparation and education ready for labour and birth) costs less than £170 . Yes, you read that right. £170. An NCT traditional class will cost about £200 depending on area you live in, or if you wanted to hang the expense you could have a couples weekend away learning and relaxing, whilst staying in a nice hotel, and still not spend more than £600.

Couples will happily spend £50 every 6 weeks for baby swimming or massage classes,  but don’t consider spending the money on making sure the day their baby was born is as special as possible. Why?

So again I ask the question, why do we not invest some time and money (and not alot of money considering what we spend on other things and how much we are going to end up spending on our children) to give us the best possible chance of the birth day,  we and our children deserve?

A lot of these points I will cover in future entries as I feel some of them deserve an entry to themselves.