Giving mums the best start Andrea helps mums

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IF there is one topic that is guaranteed to be a huge talking point over the next few months, it’s that of pregnancy and birth.

The news that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her first baby in the spring has put parenthood on the front page.

It’s good news for Andrea Wallman whose Best Start magazine for new and expectant parents in Calderdale and Huddersfield is now available. The magazine has been approved by the NHS Trust and is distributed through GP surgeries, ante-natal clinics, children’s centres and libraries.

“There may even be a piece about morning sickness in the next edition in March as there has been such a lot of interest in the subject,” said Andrea, of Shelf.

Mum-of-two Andrea decided to start the magazine after being made redundant from her job working with people with learning disabilities in Lindley in August 2011.

“I quickly realised that it was going to be difficult to find another job. While I was still working, I had trained as a National Childbirth Trust ante-natal teacher. I really enjoyed helping the expectant mums but realised that I missed keeping in touch with them after the babies were born.”

Using her interest in babies and young children, 38-year-old Andrea then trained as a BabyCalm and Toddler Calm teacher and runs classes in Halifax and Huddersfield.

“Really I think they should called MotherCalm classes but I feel I helping the mums to have confidence in themselves and to cope in those early weeks.

“A lot of mums live away from their families these days and it can be hard to trust your instincts and work out what’s best for your baby.

“You get bombarded with advice in leaflets and baby books but it can be hard to work out what’s best for your own child.

“I want to include the sort of advice I found useful when I had my own children. I’ve had great feedback from midwives and clinics.”

Andrea and her husband Steve, a joiner, have two boys - Jake, aged six, and three-year-old Isaac.

The magazine is a fund of useful information on a variety of topics including registering a birth, getting into shape after pregnancy, crying babies, returning to work - or not, and local groups and services.

Andrea has been given support by the Ladies 4 Networking group in Brighouse. It was at one of the group’s meetings that she launched the BabyCalm book.

“I’ve had to learn about printing, deadlines, colours and so on - and I had to get in the car and deliver the magazines myself!” said Andrea.

Andrea’s top tips for coping with a newborn baby at Christmas:

l Do everything online - from Christmas presents to food shopping.

l Ignore outdated parenting advice that says you will spoil a baby by giving lots of cuddles.

l Don’t buy your baby lots of presents - they won’t know and it will be better to save your money for useful things when they are older.

l Limit visitors and try not to let your baby get overstimulated. Politely ask people who have germs or are ill to stay away.