A stressful experience during pregnancy and childbirth led to Samantha Rae ditching her London publishing job of 20 years to retrain in antenatal services.
Samantha, whose daughter Rosa-Jean is now nearly three, says the evident need for more support and information for expectant and new parents, and even for those welcoming the arrival of second or third children, was the driving force behind her complete change of career.
The 41-year-old is now getting ready to provide that help to families in Thanet with the launch of Our Baby Club ante and postnatal classes in Margate.
The sessions will be held from September 19 at Smiths Court Hotel in Cliftonville and Millmead Children’s Centre.
A whole range of sessions will be on offer, from what to expect during pregnancy, body changes, bringing baby home and how to make up formula to a dads’ hour and sessions for grandparents who may want to update their knowledge.
Samantha (pictured) said: “I had a challenging, stressful experience of being pregnant and giving birth. It was my first child so my first experience of maternity services. Cuts to funding means that many women are not being offered antenatal education and post natal support so I want to work closely with the NHS to help support their services in Thanet”
“Postnatal and perinatal depression is rising and I feel we are in a crisis, something I experienced first hand.
“That’s when I felt that is I could do something so another woman did not have the type of experience I had, then I would be happy and so I left my publishing job in London of 20 years and I retrained in antenatal education.”
Samantha did her training through Our Baby Club which was launched in 2017 by Victoria Warnes after she suffered a heart attack caused by SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection following the birth of her second child.
The aim was to provide modern, life based guidance for both before and after a baby’s birth focusing on the parents.
In 2020, Victoria started training other women to be antenatal educators so Our Baby Clubs could open up around the country.
The training takes around four months, beginning with a FEDANT (Federation of Antenatal Educators) accredited diploma..
Unlike a lot of antenatal classes, Our Baby Club sessions don’t stop after the baby is born. The care and support continues via weekly Early Days Sanctuary classes.
Our Baby Club has also recently won a national award for being the UK’s most trusted antenatal class provider.
Samantha said: “We cover everything in our antenatal classes from what happens to you and your body throughout pregnancy and what happens when you take baby home.
“A big thing is the support and wellbeing of parents, what it means to transition to parenthood and what if both parents are working. There is so much information online and social media that it can be overwhelming and it can make mums feel they are not doing things right. We offer support through all that.
“Our largest session is birth and early days for first time parents and these are really relaxed. They look at parents staying healthy and talk about labour and birth then the first 24 hours and first weeks of having baby at home.
“We discuss both breastfeeding and formula feeding, with information and support across both. It means parents won’t be left feeling judged about their feeding choices and they can be confident and in control.”
Other sessions will include one for dads, parents who already have a child but are learning how to juggle their family needs, the grandparent rewind classes and an early days sanctuary where mums can relax, chat, get baby massages and talk to perinatal workers.”
Free sessions to celebrate launch
To celebrate the launch Samantha is offering a free place for a couple on the Early Days preparation session and also a place on the Grandparent Rewind sessions
To be in with a chance of winning the spaces tell us the name of the Our Baby Club founder.
Put which session (Early Days or Grandparent) you would like in the subject line and send your answer by 5pm on September 7. Winners will be notified on September 10,
Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more at https://www.ourbabyclub.com/margate-thanet