Review 2019: Thula Mama, Relax and sing whilst enjoying the soothing therapy of salt!

Review 2019: Thula Mama

Thula Mama is a unique and relaxing activity where mums with babies can enjoy singing together in a group whilst cuddling their babies and generally having a lovely time.  There are groups all over the country, but Basingstoke’s offering stands out from the rest in its venue – The Salt Lounge is Basingstoke’s first salt therapy space and is conveniently located close to Festival Place just off Wote street.  It offers treatments that can help alleviate breathing difficulties such as asthma as well as soothing skin conditions such as eczema.

At my first session it was a small enough group to not feel overwhelmed.  Rebecca, who organises it, was super friendly and we were offered tea and biscuits in lovely reusable mugs with lids (to prevent accidents from little grabbing hands!).  We relaxed in the waiting area and chatted for a while, before heading into the therapy room for our singing session.

The therapy room is a soothing white cave of tranquility.  There are comfortable reclining chairs with low arms and footstools, perfect for feeding baby.  You can choose to go barefoot, or with protection over your shoes, and the salt on the floor feels lovely between your toes.  There are mats and toys laid out on the floor for the babies to play, and the lighting is slightly dimmed for relaxation.

The songs at Thula Mama are simple, easy to learn traditional songs from around the world.  The words are written on a flip chart and the tunes can be picked up after hearing the song once.  We sang each through several times, adding in harmonies as we went, and I felt a real sense of achievement from learning some lovely-sounding music and enjoying singing it in less than 5 minutes!  There are no auditions, and no worrying about having any previous experience of singing – it’s all about joining in and having fun with other mums!

Facilities-wise the venue has everything you need – there are lockers for you to leave valuables if you wish, prams can be left in the waiting area where there is always a member of staff present, and the disabled toilet has a changing table too.  There are a couple of steps into the building, but there is always someone to help get prams in if needed.

I left my first session feeling both physically and emotionally refreshed.  My little one and I both had colds at the time, and I’m sure the salt therapy helped us feel better, and it was such a nice change to do something calming and relaxing with babies (although we are all for the sensory play and bright colours and loud noises of other baby groups too!).  I have since been back every week for the past couple of months and treat it as my weekly retreat!

I give Thula Mama 5 out of 5!  At £10 per week it’s really reasonable, especially considering you get a salt therapy session for free!  The first session is free for you to come along and try, so what are you waiting for?  Get in touch on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/ThulaMamaBasingstoke

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NHM Readers Recommend: Family Yoga Classes

An NHM Reader recently asked “I need some help if possible, I have an 8 year old who wants to do a yoga class with me. Do you know any that take children of this age in a joint class. I’ve found some that are for kids but no parents allowed or some for adults but no children under 16.”

Thank you for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Family Yoga Classes

Sue said “I do yoga with my 10yr old, but it’s at home using the 30 day Yoga on Prime. It’s only 20 minutes and it’s great”

Vickie said “We do yoga at home but it’s on YouTube there’s a woman who has her own channel. It’s fab as she does it along to stories! Both my 5 & 9 yo love it and it’s a good wind-down before bed…It’s such a clever idea because it keeps them engaged too!”

Jo S replied “Yes we do this too…cosmic yoga”

Becca said “Nat runs fab classes The Little Yoga Company

Katie replied “I also recommend Nat”

Vicky said “Young yogis Gina at chineham village hall saturdays”

Ruza said “Recommend Young Yogis with Gina at Chineham village hall Saturday mornings. Very flexible and will let parents and children do this together.”

Kath replied “I run Relax Kids Basingstoke and at some point will be adding children/family yoga to my offering but it won’t be for a while”

Sarah said “Karma Kidz Yoga Absolutely brilliant family classes – but in Farnham, so might be too far for you.”

Hana said “There is a class in Chute House in town centre every Sunday. Suitable for ages 4+”

Claire said “loubedfordyoga was going to run childrens classes but didn’t have enough uptake last year. Highly recommended as a teacher for beginners. Based in Basingstoke too”

Jo R said “Sue Cordery did a class just before Xmas and may do more? We really enjoyed it.”

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Junior and Family Classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre

Junior Bootcamp at Basingstoke Sports Centre Thursdays and Fridays 4.25-5.25pm (this half term started last Thur and Fri and is £22.80 for the six weeks, there are still spaces). Next half terms starts 25th&26th April.

Mini Movers at Basingstoke Sports Centre Thursdays 11.15-11.45am (pre-school movement class), this half term is 6 weeks long and is £12 for the course, (works out at £2 a class).

Family Pedal at Basingstoke Sports Centre Saturdays 12.10-12.40pm. Spin class for the whole family. Also £12 for 6 weeks this half term (spaces left).

For more info: https://www.mybst.org/basingstoke

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Baby Mindful – Free Taster Sessions!

Free taster sessions available with spaces on Monday 11th and Monday 18th March, 10.30am in Overton Community Centre

Baby Mindful classes are an amazing opportunity for parent and baby to connect and spend time getting to know each other in a calm supportive environment. It’s so easy to be caught in a whirlwind of being busy, and Baby Mindful is an opportunity to leave the to-do list and worries behind, and focus on your baby, and also your needs too – Time to just “be” rather than “do”.

You will also learn tools to help you manage the emotional rollercoaster of parenthood (and indeed life!), that will remain valuable throughout your journey as a parent – the ability to respond rather than react to situations, and be the calm your baby seeks.

The classes follow a different theme each week and offer a range of activities to support the natural development of your baby, using activities that will gently stimulate and calm them and support their cognitive, communicative, social, emotional and physical development.

Each class has seven sections with different activities in each – Move, Play, Stretch, Feel, Breathe, Believe and Relax – with benefits for both your baby and you.

Weekly classes will be starting in Overton after Easter, with some taster sessions coming soon. I can also visit your home for 1:1 or family sessions, or for a session with your own group of friends, such as a NCT group.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/babymindfulwithlaura/

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Solo Mia Fashion Show in aid of The Pink Place Cancer Charity

Tickets on sale now £10 in advance or £12.50 on the door, for more info and sales email: events@thepinkplace.org.uk or call 07899 970 841.

On: Thursday 7th March 2019

At: The Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke, RG22 9NU

Browsing from 6.30, Fashion show approx. 7.30 tickets include a glass of bubbly! all proceeds to The Pink Place Cancer Charity.

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NHM Reader’s Experience: Children with Additional Needs, 5q14.3 deletion

Thank you very much to the NHM Reader who has written today’s post. It’s a very brave thing to write about and she’s done a brilliant job. 

NHM Reader’s Experience: Children with Additional Needs, 5q14.3 deletion

I have spoken to Louise a few times about how we can raise awareness about children with additional needs so I agreed to write a post.

I am keen for my daughter and children like her to be included, respected, accepted, encouraged, supported and loved. Hopefully raising awareness helps with this.

I have a beautiful daughter with a rare chromosome disorder. That rare it is only seen in 1 out of 120 million people !!!!

I believe there isn’t anyone in Basingstoke with the same condition, so thought it was worth explaining. I will start by describing my daughter’s story.

When she was born in April 2015 and as far as we knew she was “normal”, weighing a healthy 8lb 8oz, passing all tests & was absolutely gorgeous.

We joined the standard classes & groups making mummy+baby friends at each one. Everything was lovely for the first few months. Then between 4-6 mths a few things started playing on my mind, why is she not doing so well as the other babies ? I put most of it down to the fact she was the youngest and everyone kept telling me….

“all babies are different”

“she will get there in the end”

“all babies learn at different rates” etc

When she got to about 7 mths things became more difficult. Taking her to classes & groups started to become a struggle. Simple questions from other mums upset me, even like the standard opening question “how old is she?” I used to panic straight away thinking they were asking as they noticed how little she could do. But it’s the most common asked 1st question. The list was also getting long of all the things she couldn’t do which she should have really done much earlier e.g. roll, sit unaided or crawl. So I went to the GP who agreed a referral to a paediatrician was needed.

We had to wait till she was 9 months to get this appointment. So we enjoyed our 1st Christmas together as a family of 3 and carried on as usual. We also attended a lot of her friends 1st birthdays which was difficult as they were all walking or at least standing and walking with a parent. Whereas we were getting excited as she had just mastered a roll!

When we saw the paediatrician and we stated her short list of current milestones he referred us straight away for tests, bloods were taken that day and an MRI scan booked. The following month she had her MRI scan. Such a scary and long day at the hospital but she handled it so well. She is a placid and content person.

All her tests and MRI scan came back negative. The paediatrician just said they were waiting on the genetics team to get back to him. Everything sounded fine – Big sigh of relief. She then had her 1st birthday in April. She had 2 parties and we had a little holiday in Butlins. Our 1st family holiday. She couldn’t go on most of the rides or enjoy the parks but we had a nice time. She loves the water and the pool there is great.

At 13 months old we went back to the paediatrician and were given the devastating news that she had a rare chromosome disorder. 5q14.3 deletion. What even is that?!? Let’s ask the doctor, but even he couldn’t tell us much about it as he hadn’t come across it before. He downloaded a leaflet which explained the condition & sent us on our way.

Reading the leaflet I was in flood of tears…..

“May not walk till much older if at all”

“May never talk”

“prone to autism, epilepsy, hypotonia etc etc etc”

I was numb. Trying my hardest not to get too upset or stressed as I was 5 months pregnant. I knew I needed to be strong for my unborn child and also be there for my little girl who that same day had further blood tests along with Mummy and Daddy to see if we had passed her this. As if I didn’t feel guilty enough as it was.

We went to see the genetics team in Winchester. Finally, someone can answer our many questions. What did we get, the same leaflet that was given to us at the paediatrician appointment. However, we also found out that within her 5q14.3 deletion she was missing an entire gene – MEF2C. We later found out this is a commanding gene and explained many things.

At 17 months her baby brother was born. As I had to have a c-section the 1st 12 weeks we had visitors every day and a few people supported us so well and I will be eternally grateful. Then followed some of my loneliest & darkest days of my life. It was winter. I struggled to leave the house with both babies as I couldn’t carry them at the same time. The visitors became few and far between and the days were long and hard. Then the 2nd birthday invites started to roll in. I felt pleased that she was still being included but also extremely anxious about the fact that she was VERY different to her peers now. She was still a “baby” & they were all clearly “toddlers” running around, jumping, laughing etc whereas she could not even stand or crawl.

Now she was a little under 2 years old and her little brother started crawling at just 4 months old. I knew 1 day he would overtake her in milestones. But I had not yet prepared myself.  She had been trying all year to master crawling and he picked it up in a few days. I was honestly depressed. But also felt guilty that I couldn’t be happy for him as I was grieving for her. How bad a mother am I!!

However with each passing milestone he achieved, for instance walking at just 9 months I could then be happy for him. The 1st one was just hard. It seemed to come so easy to him with very little effort. Why is life so unfair? To make some children work so hard for what many people take for granted. I may never hear my daughter say she loves me and that is the hardest thing with all this. I can cope (well possibly my back can’t) with the physically side of this. But if she never talks, that will slowly break my heart.

At 2.5 years she got a place at an amazing special needs nursery. She also has lots of equipment now like a stander, a supportive chair and a walker. Within 3 months at the nursery she was doing well and started crawling!!! It’ss about 1 year since then and I still stop whatever I am doing to watch her crawl as I am still overwhelmed and emotional to see it.

She still continues to amaze me all the time. She can almost now stand unaided and is trying so hard to pull to stand up. She loves music and water so we are very grateful we get to do both at the amazing Bluebells facility in North Waltham which is funded by the charity Sebastian’s Action Trust.

If you are reading this and think or know your friend or family member has a child with additional needs, I would encourage you to reach out to them. They just want to feel supported and to be included and treated the same as anyone else. Empathise and listen if you can. But they certainly don’t want pity though, that is very different.

I often wish I had an easier life. But if that meant giving her up (or indeed giving up on her) I soon stop wishing that. I am blessed to be given my daughter. She is unique, loving & so special. She puts a smile of my face every day.

Some things I do that help. Some are much easier than others, some I don’t do all the time and some you may need help with

  1. I don’t compare her to others
  2. I don’t think about what she should be doing at her age
  3. Applied for financial help – Disability Living Allowance
  4. Contacted local help for support and advice hampshiresendiass@coreassets.com
  5. Tree tots. This is a coffee morning. Run every term time Wednesday 10-12. For parents of pre-schoolers
  6. I try to have separate time to concentrate on each child (when possible). My children couldn’t be more different and need/want very different things from me
  7. To not be afraid to ask for help. I need to get better at this myself.
  8. Me time. I don’t get this often, but I try to ring fence some pamper time or catch up with friends
  9. Seek support from charities (Like the above-mentioned Sebastian’s Action Trust)

Also Family Fund give grants (up to £500 per year) according to child’s needs

  1. Find Facebook groups with people who have the same or similar condition. I am on a few groups like this 1 in particular are like my extended family even if the group is only 300 people and are all over the world. This means if I am not sleeping and want to vent someone in Australia for instance will chat with me
  2. Find places that offer child free or carer free. 

If you are in a similar situation or would like me to explain any above points further please do get in contact with me via Louise ! If you don’t want to reach out to me, please reach out to someone. Thank you for reading to the end !!

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NHM Readers Recommend: Pregnancy Yoga Classes

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “I’m just wondering if you know of any yoga classes in Basingstoke for pregnant individuals.”

As always, thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Pregnancy Yoga Classes

Yoga with Tory

Melrose Hall suggested, Yoga with Tory

Physical Balance

Becky said, “…Jolene at Physical Balance.”

Fiona Wells Yoga

Amy said, “ Fiona Wells Yoga…can highly recommend Fiona if she’s still running pregnancy classes.”

Wendy said, “I’d second Fiona”

Lisa said,”…Fiona too.”

Nickie said, “I went to Fiona to but that was 10 years ago. She was fab!”

NCT

Lottie said, “I did the NCT one in both my pregnancies and really enjoyed it.”

Elisa said, “I attended (NCT) these 5 years ago. Very good back then”

Anne-Marie said, “Nct at Brookvale on a Tuesday evening was lovely.”

Charlie said, “…I loved these classes and only just stopped going with my now 9 month old. Libby is fantastic.”

Taryn said, “NCT at brookvale is really great!”

Gemma said, ” I’d also recommend Fiona. Her classes were great and I came away with a great group of friends too.”

Hayley said, “Libby Ruth runs both pregnancy and postnatal yoga. You can take it at your own pace, which meant I actually went to class on my due date!!”

Libby Ruth replied, “Thank you so much for all the lovely comments for nct pregnancy yoga! We love running these classes. Do email me for more information yfp@basingstokenct.org.uk”

Helen said, “NCT at brookvale with Libby.”

Cerys said, “There’s a new NCT Yoga for Pregnancy class just started in Overton in Sunday evenings too, 6.00-7.30pm at Overton Community Centre.”

Yoga with Gloria

Helen also said, “… Yoga & Pilates with Gloria

Carly said, “Would recommend pregnancy yoga with Gloria.”

Kath said, “Gloria Jennings.”

Fitmama

Yvette said, “Also try FitMama.”

Amanda Wallace suggested, Marie Fitmama Behenna

Marie replied, “Www.fitmamastudio.comPregnancy courses run every Tuesday evening.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Dance Classes for two-year-olds

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “Hi, I am trying to find a dance class for my little girl who is 2, I’m struggling as most seem to start at 3, do you know of any?”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Dance classes for two-year-olds

Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet

Jo said, ” I would highly recommend Lisa Beaumont ballet class on a Friday. My little girl started there and is 2 year 4 months. It’s a parent and baby class so parent does it alongside.”

Hayley said, “I second Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet too.”

Lottie said, “Another vote for Lisa Beaumont here too! Marnie has just turned 3 and started back in April and loves it!!!!”

Marion said, “A fourth vote for Lisa Beaumont. She’s very good. I danced professionally for a while in my youth (and still teach Zumba now) and I’m really flipping picky about who teaches my kids to dance. I recommend her highly.”

Tracey said, “I’ve just been to Lisa’ Beaumont’s class in Cliddesden painting pottery presents with everyone and they all have such a lovely time at the class and there were 2 year olds dancing too!”

The Lynden School of Dance & Gymnastics

Sarah said, “The Lynden School of Dance & Gymnastics take them from 2 and a half and have a parent and toddler class before this. They’ve been great for both my girls”

Debbie suggested, “Www.lyndendance.co.uk”

Moo Music

Ellie said, “I took my daughter to kids kan dance but she was a bit too young for it. I’m now taking her to moo music and she enjoyed it so much fun.”

Footsteps Dance School

Lindsey said, “Footsteps Dance School – my daughter and nieces have been there since they were 2 and half and Kelly who teaches the class is just fantastic. Would highly recommend.”

Kids Kan Dance

Kat said, “My daughter loved kids kan dance when she was younger.”

Lucy said, “Kids kan dance is great.”

Katie said, “Kids Kan Dance we have two classes for two year olds. Dance with Mummy and Twinkle 2’s…”

Leanne said, “Kids Kan Dance dance with Mummy classes are the best!!”

The M&M Academy of Arts

Lauren said,  “The M&M Academy of Arts in basingstoke take from 2 and a half and is on a Saturday.”

MG School of Dance

Jessica suggested, “MG School of Dance

Angela said, “MG school of dance at Popley fields community centre are a local dance school catering for all ages and abilities. We run classes in Modern, Tap, Ballet and Acro We have places on our Saturday classes offering the First lesson free.”

*Please note, in December 2018, MG School of Dance changed hands and became Poppies School of Dance*

Basingstoke Tappers

Kimberley said, ” Basingstoke Tappers is a good one.”

Basingstoke Tappers replied, “Performing Arts Tots from 18 months ….Also Classes for all aged children & Adults…

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NHM Readers Recommend: Swimming crash courses 2018

In July 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “I was wondering if you know of any local crash swimming courses for children?” 

Thank you for all your responses, please be aware that listings may change over time but this should still be helpful as a basis for your own research. All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

NHM Readers Recommend: Swimming crash courses 2018

Joanna said, “The sports centre do crash courses.”

Sarah said, “Bluefins at Cranbourne.”

Becky said, “My daughter has just done a crash course at the Sports Centre and she really enjoyed it.”

Karen said, “I recommend the Sports centre too.”

Andrea said, “We go to Bluefins at Cranbourne.”

Amanda said, “Aquadrome and tadley pool both do intensive courses, so five days a week for one week at a time. They learn faster as there’s no gap to forget things. Highly recommend.”

Ruth said, “We did it for our eldest, age 7? over a half term and he hasn’t looked back – Joanne is brilliant.” (Sports centre)

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NHM Reader’s Experience: Rectocele Surgery & Recovery

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Reader who is sharing some of her experience, especially with such a private subject. I really hope this post helps at least one Mum get the support that she needs.

Rectocele Surgery & Recovery

‘Some things are best kept private’ was something I truly believed. Until I faced major surgery, in an intimate area following seemingly a nice quick birth without complications some years ago.

When looking for stories about what it’s actually like to recover from pelvic floor surgery the web is polluted with tale of mesh, slings, multiple surgeries and failure.

Here’s my story, still ongoing, just one surgery, which involved lots of stitches and ‘designer vagina’ jokes but, how my life is changing as a result of this procedure.

This could have been kept private but given how it’s hard to talk about your lady bits openly, I decided to share my journey.

https://nakedtruthabout.blogspot.com/?fbclid=IwAR0aOl2IkMZsdWMIeb2Odl18PSqbXmDFSmZrbGbw4r26c0WtmoN6OduA14A

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