International Gentle Parenting Conference

I was incredibly lucky to be able to attended this conference on the Sunday (21st). Speakers for the day were Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Dr Francoise Freedman, Gill Rapley, Sheila Kitzinger, Dr Charlotte Russell and Anne McEwen. (You can read facebook posts about the speakers here)

The thought that came back with me was principally how the talks from these wonderful women linked with the thoughts of Henrik Norholt. Henrik talked about how in Denmark there is the start of a maternal revolution. How mothers can work together instead of against each other to make the differences in their country that will help improve situations for children, as well as mothers and fathers, which will impact on future generations.

I don’t think coincidences happen – I feel it is more that events, people arrive at times to confirm or direct us forwards on the right path.

All the speakers I listened to on Sunday had a similar theme running through them, the importance of women working together to show that the essential parts of pregnancy, birth and bringing up children need to be understood and catered for. And how experiences during pregnancy and birth can have an impact on the mother and the baby – not just in the first few months but for the rest of their lives.

I have just finished reading Childbirth and the Future of Homeo Sapiens by Michel Odent. So many of the women I meet during the course of my work and social time are strong minded, but gentle women. All keen to pass on knowledge, support, love and come together to work for the benefit of future generations. Because even though it is hard to look towards the future when you live in the day to day joy (and frustrations) of being a mum, the decisions we make with regard to our parenting will impact the future of our children and make an impact on the next generations.

Having read The Secret Life of the Unborn Child when I was pregnant with my first baby it made me realise just how important the in utero period is for a baby not just nutritionally but also emotionally. The same with birth, how often does your health visitor ask what the birth was like, if you are worried about a fussy, colicky baby? But in many cases this can have a huge impact on fussiness in the early months.

Listening to Dr Charlotte Russell using her skills and knowledge of science to create a website (ISIS) to make sense of all the research on sleep. I realised how by using skills and knowledge from before we become mothers, we can certainly be a force to be reckoned with in a ‘maternal revolution’ as Sarah Ockwell – Smith stated.


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