Have you heard about the discussions going on at the moment about the ‘developments’ at West Cumberland Hospital? The plans for the new building look great, and the people of West Cumbria definitely deserve to benefit from a greatly improved health service in a newly built hospital.
What you may not have heard about, however, are the plans to reduce services. There is a plan to take away a number of services, one of these (among others) being MATERNITY.
What would this mean for families, labouring mothers and babies in West Cumbria?
The proposal is for labour ward to be closed and labouring mothers to have to travel to Carlisle.
Will there be extra provision at Carlisle for this extra volume of mothers?
Will there be extra midwives and consultants to ensure women have the specialist expert care they need during labour and the precious days thereafter?
What are the proposals for mothers who require consultant care during their pregnancy?
What are the implications for babies in Special Care? How will the extra distance impact on mother – baby bonding, how will families cope with traveling the extra distance, especially when there are other young children in the family…
What are the implications for home birth?
Will closing Labour Ward in Whitehaven put mothers and babies lives at risk?
There are many questions which need answering, and unfortunately, many people are unaware that this is even a proposal.
There is a meeting TONIGHT Monday 29th Sept from 7pm – 10pm at Whitehaven Rugby Ground for people to voice their concerns and ask questions about the proposals. Please try to come along if you can, even if its only for half an hour.
Please also talk to your midwife, MP and Councillors to find out more on this issue. There is also a facebook group dedicated to keeping labour ward at West Cumberland.
Before we begin the weekly playgroup sessions at The Settlement, we have planned an early autumn trip to The Gincase farm park on
Tuesday 23rd September at 11:00am.
There is lots for little people to enjoy including big soft play barn with slides and ride on tractors, an animal barn to meet some friendly farm animals where you have the chance to feed and stroke the friendly goats, guinea pigs, micro pigs and a pony.
There will be a baby goat feeding session at 11:30 in the animal barn.
Time to explore the outdoor paddocks and play park.
Bring along a pack lunch, and hot drinks are also available from the cafe.
Hopefully this will be a chance for the children to play and have fun whilst the parents get some time to share plans and ideas for the new term at playgroup.
If 10 or more adults and children over 2 are coming we will get the group price which is £4.50 per person.
Do let me know if you can make it. We will meet in the car park at 11:00. Look forward to seeing you there.
for more details: www.thegincase.co.uk
As the season turns to autumn, we are making the most of the warmer autumn days by having a meet up early September, and then beginning playgroup sessions again at the end of the month, with an autumn theme.
Moresby Park, 2.00pm Meeting on outdoor play park on field behind Moresby Parks Road, on street parking.
A fabulous new park with fun play stuff for all ages, plus walk to horses.
If raining meeting at Fun House Soft Play by golf course.
Let’s hope for good weather and enjoy some of the beautiful areas of nature, coast and forest…
Wednesday 6th Aug ~ St Bees 1.oo pm Picnic & Park, 2.oo pm Beach
Meet at 1pm for picnic and play on the new adventure park. 2.oo pm for beach fun. Coming from Whitehaven along B5345 towards St Bees, entering the village take road to right at sharp left hand bend, continue down this speed bump restricted road to access the beach car park. Park and meet near toilet block. Car parking charges apply.
Thursday 14th Aug ~ Longlands Lake, Cleator, 11:00 am
Walk and picnic around this beautiful lake, bring some bread along to feed ducks and swans. For full details and directions please see http://www.visitcumbria.com/wc/longlands-lake/
Parking etc tbc
Wednesday 20th Aug ~ Parton Beach 2:00 pm
Pebble, sand and rock pools. Drive into Parton village, in centre of village opposite school and play park, take access road towards train station parking, keep left and drive through tunnel under railway line to access beach car park.
Thursday 28th Aug ~ Silloth Green, Park & Beach 11:00am
Meet on Silloth Green beside story telling chair for picnic, play and games on the green. Option for beach and park too. On street free parking alongside the green. There is a lovely water park so bring swimming costumes and towels for kids too if they’d like to splash.
Hope to see you there…family and friends welcome too.
Summer is here at last!
BB Playgroup sessions have now finished for the summer and the exciting Beach Club meet ups begin! Come along to beach and forest adventures and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the western lake district. All the family welcome. Home schoolers welcome too!
- Wednesday 9th July ~ Maryport Beach, Low tide 4pm, meet at 2:15pm. Sandy beach with rocks and great for exploring rock pools. Coming into Maryport from Flimby, turn left towards industrial estate as if heading for aquarium, turn right over bridge, then left off Shipping Brow, follow signs for Promenade. You can either park on the road and walk along promenade, or drive and park by slipway down to beach. Beach shoes advisable. Also option to play at Shiver me timbers park and aquarium before beach.
- Thursday 17th July ~ Whinlatter Forest, meet at 11:00am. Meeting outside visitors centre for a walk around the park followed by lunch, either bring a picnic or enjoy Siskins Cafe, vege & vegan options available
- Wednesday 23rd July~ Lowca Beach, low tide 4:15pm, meet at 2pm. Pebble and gravel beach with shallow rock pools. Turn right off A595, signposted Lowca, pass Moresby church on left, take next road on left signposted Parton, go down hill, look for lane on right before crossing Lowca beck, park at end of lane, watch our for potholes. Walk through railway bridge to access beach on the right.
- Thursday 31st July ~ Millfield River and woodland walk, Workington, meet 11am. A walk along the river in Workington, through Hall Park Grounds, woodland and picnic. Opportunity for paddling in shallow stream too, paddling shoes good idea. From central Workington drive down past Marks and Spencer and Police Station down the hill. Turn right into lane just before Calva Bridge (towards Seaton). Park down this lane, meet in field to right of the lane.
Every now and then you come across a group or session which is just so lovely that you want to share it and tell everyone!
This happened to us when we recently went along to a family music session at the Helena Thompson Museum in Workington. The session is led by musician Elizabeth Walker, who is gentle and welcoming and a fabulously fun musician.
This session is much more than just singing along to nursery rhymes. Elizabeth sings and plays an electric piano which my kids just loved, she shares many new and interesting songs as well as old favorites so all ages are really engaged. The highlight for us was the opportunity to try out many different percussion instruments from around the world. Plus the opportunity to have a run around in the beautiful garden at the museum.
A lovely way to spend a family Sunday afternoon. The Helena Thomson museum is across the road from Curwen Hall so handy for a walk through the woods and by the river too.
Sing it, Shake it
Musical fun for children up to the age of 8.
Sing, play and learn about musical instruments
Starting Sunday 8th June
The Helena Thompson Museum, Workington
Children must be accompanied. £3.50 per child
To book please contact Elizabeth Walker on 07881 048725
The Beautiful Beginnings weekly playgroup sessions at The Settlement have finished for the summer.
And the exciting summer activities are soon to begin…
Let me introduce BEACH CLUB!
Each week over July and August Beautiful Beginnings will be meeting out and about on some of the fantastic beaches, forests and parks around West Cumbria.
Beach meetings will be held on alternate Wednesdays, beginning on Wed 9th July, and the nature and forest meets will be the alternating Thursday.
Check out the blog soon for full details.
We will also be having a summer garden party at The Settlement.
Looking forward to meeting up out and about over the summer.
Great News! There will be a new breastfeeding group in Maryport, held on Wednesday mornings at Maryport Children’s Centre, Ennerdale Road, CA15 8HN.
The idea of the group is to provide a welcoming space for breastfeeding mums to come along with their babies, to meet other mums and access info and support about breastfeeding if needed. A midwife will be at the group most weeks, and there will be yummy cakes too!
To celebrate the beginning of the group there is going to be a pram push / sling walk from Ennerdale Road Children’s Centre through Maryport, finishing with complimentary cuppas at HerCiti cafe on Wednesday 11th June, meeting at 10:30. So do come along and meet other mums. Toddlers, older children and dads welcome too of course.
Spring is here! There are lambs in the fields, daffodils and talk of the Easter Bunny. I love the feeling of newness and potential that comes with the milder and brighter spring days. It feels like a time to put energy into new ideas, let go of the past and move forwards.
There will be no playgroup session at The Settlement Thursday 17th, instead we will be enjoying a trip to The Gincase Farm Park.
The Gincase, just off the Allonby Road, past Bank Mill Garden Centre, has an animal barn with pigs, donkeys and more, a huge soft play barn with ride on trucks and tractors, and an outdoor park. There is a good cafe and you are also welcome to bring a packed lunch, or mix and match the two.
We plan to meet there at 11:00, and there will be a chance to join in with animal feeding from 11:30 and stay and play and enjoy the rest of the day.
The entrance fee is £5.95 per adult and child over 2.We are able to get a group rate of £4.50 each with ten or over people, so if you would like to come, please let me know by Tuesday 15th so I can book.
The Gincase Farm Park, Mawbray, Hayrigg, Silloth Cumbria CA7 4LL
The waiting is over, the baby is here, and now begin the adventures of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding-friendly support from partners, family and friends is one of the most important factors in helping mums to get breastfeeding going well, to stick with it, to develop confidence in herself and enjoy feeding her baby.
1. Let her know you support her decision to breastfeed
Even before the baby is born, let her know you think her decision to breastfeed is great. Take a bit of time to look into the benefits of breastfeeding for yourself if you are not aware of the many short term and life-long benefits that each and every feed gives to mum and baby. Remind her she is doing the most important job in the world, and the benefits of each and every feed will be with her baby for life.
2. Help her to be able to spend time with her baby
Young babies like to feed a lot, and to feed often, day and night. Having the time to be with her baby and feed him as he needs can be challenging, especially if a mum has other demands on her time. Instead of offering to take her baby for a while – which is not really supportive of breastfeeding, offer to help her with the other things that she needs to do. Playing with her toddler or older kids, bringing around some dinners for her freezer, picking up some shopping, helping out with washing or cleaning will take the pressure off her and help her to relax and concentrate of feeding her nursling.
3. Learn how breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis
Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis. When the baby feeds, this stimulates the breasts to produce milk. In the early days babies feed often to build up a plentiful milk supply. So when a baby feeds often, this does not mean the mum does not have enough milk, but just the opposite, that the baby is programming the breasts to make the perfect amount of milk to meet her growing needs. If a mum is tired and feels her baby is feeding all the time remind her of supply and demand, help her out with practical stuff and let her know she is doing just great making perfect milk for her little one.
4. Give breastfeeding friendly support
Often the things people say to a newly breastfeeding mum are said with the kindest and most loving intentions, but may undermine successful breastfeeding for her.Any suggestions to give the baby a bottle or a dummy to give her a break, or to let her milk fill up really work against breastfeeding. As you now know, # 3. supply & Demand – the baby needs to be at the breast to produce milk, anything which gets in the way of this, or separates mum and baby can disrupt breastfeeding. Learn how to listen and support her and give breastfeeding friendly suggestions.
If she is tells you she is having a hard day, or has been feeding all night, instead of suggesting she gives the baby a bottle, remind her of the benefits, and tell her what a great job she is doing. Remind her that babies build up their milk supply by feeding more. Your friendly support and understanding is so valuable. You could offer to cook tea for her family or collect her kids from school whilst she goes to bed with the baby.
5. Give her some TLC
Any mum of a new baby, whether she is breastfeeding or not, is giving 1000% to her baby. Babies are totally dependent, relying on their mums and dads to meet all of their needs, but this also means figuring out what their needs actually are, day and night, no matter how tired you are. Show her you recognise how much she is giving to her baby, and take some time to nurture her. This doesn’t need to be big, complicated or expensive, just let her know you recognise what a great job she is doing, and put a little thought into looking after her. Bring her food and her fave flowers, healthy and tasty snacks and drinks to enjoy as she feeds her little one, treat her to a home massage, or buy her a book or film you know she’ll enjoy when snuggled down with her baby.
6. Help her find breastfeeding networks
Knowing you are not going it alone is really comforting at every stage of a woman’s breastfeeding journey. Encourage her to check out her local breastfeeding group or cafe, offer to go along with her is you know this would make her feel more comfortable. Meeting other breastfeeding mums can provide a great source of support, encouragement and friendship, so encourage her to join local or online groups and create new networks.
At Beautiful Beginnings Play Group, we welcome any parents who would like to come and have a chat about breastfeeding and meet some local breastfeeding mums during pregnancy, and any stage of their breastfeeding and parenting journey. *
Local breastfeeding groups throughout North and West Cumbria can be found at:
You may or may not have been a breastfeeding mother yourself, but never underestimate the difference you can make with your kindness, understanding and support to a newly breastfeeding mum you know.
* The Beautiful Beginnings Playgroup welcomes ALL parents, no matter how they choose to feed their baby.