by Alex Kohansky
I have never appreciated my local community more than during the few months following the birth of my first baby. At a time when it’s a struggle to leave the house, and often the biggest adventure of the day is a walk down the road, it really matters where you live, and who lives near you.
My husband and I had met eight other couples at antenatal classes – we all lived locally, our babies arrived within a few weeks of each other and, as our worlds were completely changing, we connected.
While this support network was invaluable (as well as a lot of fun), we were pretty much all in agreement about the shortcomings of the antenatal course we had taken. We felt we weren’t well prepared for all the different possibilities of labour and birth or how to look after a newborn, and some of us thought we hadn’t learnt anything that we didn’t already know. And it wasn’t just us; we all knew people who’d had similar experiences with other antenatal courses.
So last year I decided to go on a mission to create a course with content as valuable as the friendships made. I hunted down the most popular antenatal experts in North London and we put together classes that gave people the information they really needed in a non-judgemental, unbiased and engaging way, without forgetting one of the main reasons they choose to attend – to meet other people.
We started running our course in Highgate and Muswell Hill and are now very excited to be expanding to my home-turf, West Hampstead, as we’ve been chosen by JW3 to provide their signature antenatal course.
Unlike most other antenatal courses, ours includes baby first aid training. We also include an indulgent afternoon tea for the girls (on a date after the course has finished), a beer for the boys (while the girls are learning about breastfeeding), and a reunion once all the babies have joined the party!
In addition, women signed up to our antenatal course receive free monthly pregnancy yoga classes with West Hampstead’s number one pregnancy yoga instructor, Bec Minor.
This Sunday we’ll be at JW3’s Baby Fair (24th November, 10am-4pm). So if you’re interested in what we do, have a look out for Bump and Baby Club and come and say hi! Otherwise, you can find us at bumpandbabyclub.com.