Ways to Celebrate UK Black History Month 2020

As part of are ongoing commitment to educate ourselves and our community in anti-racism work, each week during this month we’ll be including a spotlight section to our weekly newsletter, to highlight related events, articles and/or videos to raise awareness of UK Black history. Here’s what’s been included so far:

Visit
The Black Cultural Archives heritage centre in Brixton 
The Black History Month exhibitions at Museum of London Docklands

Watch
Go Back To Where You Came From a programme that explores issues of belonging and identity through a specific type of racial abuse
Black Classical Music: The Forgotten History to hear more about influential black composers from John Blanke and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to Shirley Thompson
Watch Black British filmmakers explore the impact of George Floyd’s killing by the police and the protest it sparked in the UK through four-minute-long episodes in the series Take Your Knee Off My Neck
Black history inspired documentaries, films and series from RadioTimes’ list. The list includes where to watch/access in the UK. We recommend 13th and Becoming.

Follow
@r29unbothered on Instagram made for and by Black millennial women
@sharethemicnow High profile white women hand over their social media accounts to magnifying Black women and the important work that they’re doing 
@colourfulcelebrations A baby gift shop that celebrates colour, culture and heritage boldly and proudly and watch their video on what representation means to their Colourful Mamas
@HereWeeRead, an Instagram account by Diversity & Inclusion Expert, Charnaie, who features diverse children’s book recommendations. Storytime sees her reading a diverse children’s book and can be found under the ‘Storytime’ stories on her account.

Read
About Olive Morris and her role in the movement of Black women in 1970’s Britain fighting against racial discrimination  
The 392the debut novel fromAshley Hickson-Lovence from Hackney in London about a 36 minute bus journey on the 392 in London, the characters on that bus journey and their stories.
About Wilston Samuel Jackson, the first Black train driver.


Ask
Alexa for the ‘fact of the day’ throughout October to learn more about UK and Ireland Black history

Postpartum Psychosis

After an incredibly brave, humbling and eye-opening conversation we had with postpartum psychosis survivor, Eve Canavan, we wanted to share some information about this rare but serious mental health illness that often goes un- or mis-diagnosed, so that you as a Mama, or you as a partner or friend of someone who experiences this can tell the signs and know how to help.

Eve is coordinator of the UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week for the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership, and as you’ll hear in her story even the health professionals she sought help from where unable to recognise postpartum psychosis, and when they did, not all of them knew how to help her. Please help spread the work about this severe and sometimes frightening illness, so that no women have to suffer alone or for long.

The below information was provided by the Action for PostPartum Psychosis (APP) website. For more information please visit: app-network.org


WHAT IS POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS?

Postpartum Psychosis (PP) is a severe, but treatable form of mental illness that occurs after having a baby. It can happen ‘out of the blue’ to women without previous experience of mental illness. There are some groups of women, women with a history of bipolar disorder for example, who are at much higher risk. PP normally begins in the first few days to weeks after childbirth. It can get worse very quickly and should always be treated as a medical emergency. Most women need to be treated with medication and admitted to hospital.

With the right treatment, women with PP do make a full recovery. Recovery takes time and the journey may be tough. The illness can be frightening and shocking for both the woman experiencing it and her family. Women do return to their normal selves, and are able to regain the mothering role they expected. There is no evidence that the baby’s long term development is affected by Postpartum Psychosis.

The period after childbirth can be a devastating time to experience a severe mental illness. For women who experience PP, their partners, friends and family, it can be hard to find high quality information about the symptoms, causes and treatment.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

There are a large variety of symptoms that women with PP can experience. Women may be:

  • Excited, elated, or ‘high’.
  • Depressed, anxious, or confused.
  • Excessively irritable or changeable in mood.

Postpartum Psychosis includes one or more of the following:

  • Strange beliefs that could not be true (delusions).
  • Hearing, seeing, feeling or smelling things that are not there (hallucinations).
  • High mood with loss of touch with reality (mania).
  • Severe confusion.

These are also common symptoms:

  • Being more talkative, sociable, on the phone an excessive amount.
  • Having a very busy mind or racing thoughts.
  • Feeling very energetic and like ‘super-mum’ or agitated and restless.
  • Having trouble sleeping, or not feeling the need to sleep.
  • Behaving in a way that is out of character or out of control.
  • Feeling paranoid or suspicious of people’s motives.
  • Feeling that things are connected in special ways or that stories on the TV or radio have special personal meaning.
  • Feeling that the baby is connected to God or the Devil in some way.

There are a great many other symptoms that can be experienced. For more information see mums’ and dads’ personal descriptions of PP.

WHAT’S THE DIAGNOSIS?

Postpartum Psychosis is the label used by most professionals for an episode of mania or psychosis with onset soon after childbirth. However, other names can be used and this can be confusing. You might hear the terms: Puerperal Psychosis; Postnatal Psychosis; Mania or Bipolar Disorder triggered by childbirth (this doesn’t necessarily mean that your partner will develop ongoing Bipolar Disorder); Schizoaffective Disorder with onset following childbirth (this doesn’t necessarily mean that your partner will develop ongoing Schizoaffective Disorder); Postnatal Depression with psychotic features.

There are many other mental health conditions that occur following childbirth, including Postnatal Depression (PND), severe anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is important that these conditions are not grouped under the term ‘Postnatal Depression’. PND is much more common than PP, but tends to require different treatments and has different causes and outcomes.

WHAT’S THE CAUSE?

Unfortunately we know little about the causes of PP. Research points to biological, probably hormonal, factors related to pregnancy and childbirth but many other factors are likely to be involved.

For further information about PP take a look at APP’s Frequently Asked Questions, read their Insider Guides, see the Royal College of Psychiatrists PP patient information leaflet which APP have helped to develop, read the personal stories of APP members, and find out about the research APP are conducting to help understand more about the condition.


ABOUT ACTION FOR POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS

APP’s Peer Support network helps women and families affected by PP feel understood, supported and less isolated. With the support of world-leading academic and clinical experts, an amazing, supportive, peer-led, lived experience community has been developed. The Peer Support community has been described as “life changing”, “lifting me from the shadows of a life half-lived” and a “good and precious resource to all who have been affected by PP”. Our evaluation shows that the service saves lives and improves recovery outcomes. It is the only PP support network in the UK, and the largest in the world with over 900 members. 

Our workshops, conferences and arts events enable women to articulate their experience of PP and develop information to help other women and families. We facilitate ground-breaking research into the causes of PP at the universities of Birmingham and Cardiff and produce ‘Insider Guides’ and other expert literature to support affected families and health professionals caring for those with PP.

APP is a collaborative project run by women who have experienced PP, specialist health professionals and academic experts from Birmingham and Cardiff Universities. Our project is based within the Mood Disorders Research Group in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. We are very grateful for their support.

Interpreting Stories of Motherhood

By guest contributer: Emily Orlik, co-founder of lifestyle brand NINA.

Having a baby in the middle of a global pandemic and a national lockdown was not what my brother-in-law and his wife had envisaged. We heard the challenges – how there was less support available, how partners could only be at the hospital a short while, how it was challenging to buy essentials like
nappies. We were frustrated too that we couldn’t be there in person to support and to celebrate and welcome our new niece. 2000 babies are born each day in the UK so that’s a lot of other new parents and families in the same boat.

Over the past few months we’ve heard lots of women’s’ stories and experiences of their journey to motherhood at this moment in time. NHS midwives who want to remind everyone to “Remember, we are always here for you, ‘new normal’ or not.” Completely coincidentally corroborated by Annie, who came out of hospital in the middle of the lockdown – “Midwives are still there and doing a brilliant job at keeping us and our new babies safe.” Kate shared about her fertility struggles, suggesting to others to “Try not to focus on the ‘what ifs’, because we can’t predict the future, nor
can we dwell too much on the past.” Primrose discussed how being a naturopath has been incredibly empowering for her during pregnancy (and how she can’t live without kefir every morning or her raspberry leaf & nettle tea to prevent leg cramps at night!)

Primrose Matheson – Co-Founder of Bedstraw and Madder – Blog ‘Inspiring Women’

Everyone has their own story. At NINA we launched The Motherhood Prints at the beginning of lockdown: limited-edition art prints inspired by motherhood to celebrate all the women we know and love. It’s been amazing to read about the inspiration behind the artworks and how the artists interpreted the theme of motherhood. Artist Harlie Briggs for example paints abstract nudes and nature. Beautiful pieces. But more than that, there’s so much beneath the surface that we don’t always hear about. Through her art Harlie is out to celebrate the female form “because society
decides not to.” And in creating her prints for The Motherhood Prints in particular, Harlie was reflecting on how much her own mother loved pregnancy and so she wanted to capture the joy she felt as she neared her due date.

Artist Harlie Briggs

It’s easy to forget to simply be inspired! There’s so much female power and energy in the world. Without forgetting that there are a huge variety of experiences of motherhood, it’s amazing to stop and simply be inspired by how powerful motherhood is.

Take a look at The Motherhood Prints at our website and follow us on Instagram here. 10% of the profits from each print sold goes to Awamaki, a charity that supports female artisans in Peru.


About Nina

NINA is a lifestyle brand selling unique artist-designed products for families

www.ninababy.co.uk

@heyninababy

Classic Beef Bourguignon

Recipe by ByRuby

Makes 8 portions (Approximately 300g per portion)
Dairy free

This is always a hit for a dinner party or a cosy solo supper at home alone.  Use the best quality meat you can afford and you will truly taste the difference.  Cooking low and slow tenderises the meat beautifully and it will fall apart when cooked.  This dish tastes far better if left for a day after cooking so that flavours have time to intensify and penetrate the meat.  Serve with a baked potato or tagliatelle and a sprinkling of parmesan….

INGREDIENTS LIST:

1.5kg diced organic / grass fed beef (chuck steak works well)
50g plain flour
2 large onions, diced
5 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 stick of celery, diced
3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
5 sprigs of thyme leaves, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
200g smoked streaky bacon, cut into small pieces
750ml bottle of red wine
1 beef stock cube with 1 liter of water or stock reduction equivalent
5 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
500g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
½ bunch parsley
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

COOKING METHOD:

  1. Dust the diced beef in flour then brown the meat in batches in a large saucepan with a little oil. Once all the beef has been browned put aside.
  2. In the same pan wipe any burnt bits away, then add the onions and with a tablespoon of oil and a teaspoon of salt, sweat down until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes
  3. Once the onions are soft add the carrots and celery then cook for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the chopped thyme, rosemary, garlic, bay leaves and tomato puree then cook for 5 minutes
  5. Add the bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the beef back into the pan
  6. Cover with red wine a turn down the heat to a low simmer. Reduce for 15 minutes then add the beef stock and water. Cook low and slow for 35 minutes
  7. Then add the mushrooms and chunky carrots, carry on cooking until the beef falls apart, about an hour or so, make sure the sauce doesn’t become too dry and keep topping up with water.
  8. Once the beef is soft take off the heat and add the mustard and parsley. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Freezing tips: In a freezable and microwaveable or oven proof container (see page .. for more information on freezing tips) portion out 300g of the beef casserole then once the mixture has cooled put the lid on and write a label ‘Beef bourguignon’ with a best before of 6 months. 

To reheat straight from frozen, microwave:  Put into the microwave for 3 minutes, take out of the microwave and remove the lid and stir, place the lid on top but not sealed closed then put the container back into the microwave and heat for another 5 minutes or until piping hot. Leave to stand for 3 minutes then serve.

To reheat straight from frozen, oven:  Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), Gas Mark 4. Take the lid off the oven proof container and then cover the top with foil to ensure the food will not dry in the reheating process.  Place on a baking tray and heat in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until piping hot, Leave to stand for 3 minutes before serving.


About ByRuby

Seriously special, home-cooked food. That’s what ByRuby is all about. We source the finest produce from local, ethical suppliers then lovingly prepare all your favourite meals in small batches. Super fresh, nourishing dishes made with sustainability in mind, for you to enjoy whenever you like.

“As a busy chef, I knew what it’s like to have little time at home, but still crave proper home cooking. On my days off, I loved to visit farmers markets, meeting the producers so that I could buy the catch up day, the freshest veg and the most ethical, local meat. Then I’d come home and happily spend the day batch cooking all my favourite recipes. When friends started asking me to send dishes to them too, I knew something had begun.

ByRuby was born because I want to share the joy and comfort of home style cooking, using the very best ingredients available”

BAME Breastfeeding Peer Supporter Training

This post is contributed and written by NWL Breastfeeding Support for All Minority Communities

The founders of NWL Breastfeeding Support for All Minority
Communities (BSAMC) – (formerly known as NWL BAME) – are very
excited to announce that, thanks to the many generous donations we’ve
received, we now have funds available to pay for 20 mothers to train to
be breastfeeding peer supporters! 

We have put together an application form (link below) and invite anyone
who is interested to apply for a funded place on the Association of
Breastfeeding Mothers’ “Mother Supporter” online training course. You
can find out more about the course here:

https://abm.me.uk/mother-supporter-course-introduction/

As part of the funding, we will also pay the cost of one year’s
membership of the ABM – required in order to do the course – a total
amount of £45.

If you receive funding, we will ask for a commitment from you to
complete the training, which requires a minimum of 3 hours work a
week, for 12 weeks. The work can be done on a smartphone, as well as
on a laptop or computer. Please reflect carefully on whether you will be
able to complete the training within the specified time, as we would really
like the opportunity to go to someone who is able to take full advantage
of it. 

We welcome applications from women who are London-based and have
breastfed their baby for a minimum of six months – exclusive
breastfeeding, pumping or combination feeding all count. We are
encouraging applications from women who are Black or Asian, or from
another ethnic minority community. We are very keen to promote
diversity in breastfeeding support.

In the application form we will ask for your post code, for more
information about why you would like to train, and also about what you
would do with the training once you have it – whether that is supporting
online, helping at a local group, or something else. It’s crucial that these
questions are answered in detail. 

If you’d like to apply, then please click here:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QL665G3

If you have any questions about the application process, please email: NWLBreastfeeding@gmail.com

Postnatal Depletion

By contributing writer: Clare Young, Registered Nutritional Therapist and Founder of Seed Nutrition.

You have most likely heard of postnatal depression, clinical depression involving the lack of pleasure or joy from a situation. Your midwife may have discussed the signs and symptoms with you and your doctor may have asked you a few questions surrounding your mental health in your six week check-up. But has anyone discussed postnatal depletion with you? And what even is it?

Postnatal depletion is a relatively new term coined by the Australian Doctor Oscar Serrallach. He describes a collection of symptoms from hormonal, physiological, psychological, mental and emotional changes that happen to a mother after she gives birth. Although the term is relatively new, I bet every single Mumma reading this can relate to at least one, or more, of these symptoms included in postnatal depletion even if you gave birth
10 years ago:
– Intense fatigue and exhaustion
– Anxiety
– Hypervigilance (feeling constantly wired)
– Easily startled and sensitive to bright light
– Difficulty concentrating (baby brain)
– Poor libido
– Poor Immune function (mastitis, catching every cold going, reoccurring infections).
– Loss of confidence and self-esteem
– Feeling overwhelmed, unable to cope

Your body goes through immense changes externally and internally from the moment of conception. The nutrients used while your baby grows, during childbirth, the postnatal healing process and breastfeeding are on a much larger scale than pre-conception. If your baby is taking your stores of nutrients in the womb and you don’t replace them with nutrient dense food, supplements and rest, you are likely to feel exhausted once your baby is born. This is also coupled with sleep exhaustion, which has a huge affect on your physiological and emotional health. Then topped off with adjusting to your new Mum life, potential social isolation and looking after a tiny human.

Our Western culture attributes pressures to the modern mother that other cultures do not. We are expected to open our doors to friends and family days after baby is born. We feel we must lose the baby weight and bounce back to our original jean size in a few months. We must be super mum and keep the house tidy, make cake and tea for visiting guests, appear
in control at all times, and look after a new-born baby! Other cultures employ traditional practices that involve the new mother resting for up to 40 days whilst she takes care of her baby and relatives take care of her.

So how can we prevent postnatal depletion in our modern Western World?

The key is in the preparation before the postnatal period, known as the fourth trimester. Ensuring you have a nutrient dense diet during pregnancy will not only supply your baby with the correct nutrients to grow but it will keep your stores topped up so you are not running on empty after the birth.

Our current health care system classes ‘postpartum’ as 6 weeks after childbirth, but actually postpartum recovery can take up to 2 years and postpartum depletion can exist for even longer.

These are some tips to consider for positive postnatal health:

SUPPORT
Help you can organise before the birth;
– To ensure you get some rest and time with your new family pre-warn friends and family that you don’t want any visits in the first few weeks.
– Ask close relatives to drop off food parcels for you. You will appreciate having a nourishing meal ready prepared.
– Someone to help do your house-hold chores. Anyone who visits needs to bring a meal or do the washing up!
– You may receive endless bunches of flowers and cards but why not plant the seed to friends and family that they could contribute towards a gift voucher for a postpartum massage or acupuncture and osteopath appointment.
– Sign up to a regular an online food delivery service to ensure you have a constant flow of ingredients to keep you going.
– Employ a doula who can help with many of the things listed above as well as emotional support and a wealth of knowledge. https://doula.org.uk/

NUTRITION
Everyone’s health is individual but here are some general tips to support post-partum recovery:
– Replenish depleted nutrient stores with a multi vitamin from a reputable company. I like Terranova, Wild Nutrition and Cytoplan as these all have high quality food source supplements.
– Eat when you are hungry and when you need it. Don’t wait until breakfast time if you are hungry at 3am. Keep some oatcakes or an apple by your bed so you can eat something nutritious that will keep you going until breakfast.
– Think nourishing foods – soups, broths, protein smoothies, overnight bircher muesli, dahl.
– Reduce sugar, caffeine and processed foods as these spike blood sugar levels, which if regular will contribute to hunger, tiredness and weight gain.
– Snacks like nuts, seeds, oatcakes with nut butter or guacamole, vegetable crisps, hummus, energy balls and natural fermented yogurt will nourish you and provide energy.
– Focus on the macronutrients in every meal – protein, healthy fats and slow release carbohydrates.
– Replenish important micronutrients -Vit D (supplement), Zinc (nuts and seeds, lamb), Iron (spinach, red meat, lentils – eaten with Vitamin C rich foods), B Vitamins (beef, chicken, yogurt, eggs), Magnesium (spinach, kale, nuts and seeds, legumes), Calcium (leafy greens, oily fish, dairy)
– Stay hydrated, especially if breastfeeding.

WELLBEING
– Gentle exercise like going for a walk, yoga, pelvic floor exercises (if signed off by a doctor)
– Introduce a sleep hygiene routine with ways to wind down before bed (Epsom salt bath, lavender essential oil, sleep tea, eye mask, yogic breathing, black out blinds).
– Nap when you can to restore energy especially in the early postpartum phase.
– 4-7-8 Breathing technique to vitalise and improve energy
– Keep socialising to a minimum in the first few months and spread out meet ups to allow rest days in between.


About Clare

Clare is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and founder of Seed Nutrition, focused on supporting women during pregnancy and postpartum with personalised nutrition plans which tackle common health complaints in motherhood.

She is also the founder of The Nourished Mumma Box, a new venture creating supplement and wellbeing boxes to support pregnant and new Mumma’s that Nourish, Relax and Restore.


You can find more information and recipes for postnatal recovery and free downloadable wellbeing guides on Clare’s website at www.seednutrition.space.

15 LGBTQ-Friendly Children’s Books

To celebrate Pride month, we’ve published a list of 15 LGBTQ-friendly books, suitable for a variety of ages, that you can read with your little ones at home.

These books will help you approach the topic, and encourage and open the conversation about the LGBTQ community, which will help nurture a home environment that is inclusive and accepting.

If you have any more books to add to this list, please do leave them below in the comments.

A Family is a Family is a Family

ABC A Family Alphabet Book (ages 0-5)

And Tango Makes Three (ages 0-5)

Sparkle Boy

Queer Heros: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heros From Past and Present!

The Different Dragon (ages 0-5)

Everywhere Babies (ages 0-2)

The Great Big Book of Families

Love Makes A Family (ages 0-2)

Worm Loves Worm

The Family Book

Princess Princess Ever After

I Am Jazz

Heather Has Two Mummies

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag


For other books on acceptance and inclusion, please see our post on the 20 recommended children’s books on race, ethnicity and acceptance.

Black Lives Matter Resources

Pachamama is committed to educating its team and community on the injustice and racial privilege that exists in the world today. As the business grows, we will foster an internal and external culture of diversity and inclusion, and raise the profile of black business owners in the parenting and fitness spheres.

Below is a list of helpful anti-racism resources we’ve either found online or pulled together to help educate you and your little one, should you choose to. 

Reading Lists
The Guardian Reading List
The NYT Anti-Racist Reading List
Pachamama’s Children’s Book List

Videos
Everyday Racism (under 5 mins)
Reparations & White Privilege (under 5 mins)
George The Poet on BLM (under 5 mins)
Not All Superheros Wear Capes (15 mins)

Podcasts
About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge
Make Motherhood Diverse
Code Switch
Talking to Your Kids About Race (episode)

Instagram Accounts To Follow (For Parents)
@hereweread
@theconsciouskid
@inclusivestorytime

Toys
The Pattycake Doll Company
Sugar Foot Rag Dolls
Craylora Multicultural Crayons
PebbleChild

TV & Movies
Daddy Daycare (2003)
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Space Jam (1996)
Cinderella (1997)
Are We There Yet? (2005)

Charities
Stop Hate UK
Black Women’s Project
Black Thrive

20 Children’s Books on Race, Ethnicity & Acceptance

If your ever wondering when the right time might be to talk to your little ones about race, ethnicity and tolerance, the time is now.

If you, like so many of us, want to know how to help and affect change, we would encourage you to proactively address the topic with them from an early age, rather than waiting for them to come to you with questions about what they might have seen at school or picked up in the media.

“Silence will not protect you or them,” said Beverly Daniel Tatum, a psychologist and author of “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race.” “Avoiding the topic is not a solution.”

We’ve pulled together a list of children’s books, for a variety of ages, to help get you, and them, comfortable about having these often difficult but vital conversations.

We truly believe that education is the key to unlocking everything, and what better way to help them understand race, ethnicity and acceptance from as young as possible. So let’s start learning:

Mixed by Arree Chung (age 2+)

The Anti-Racist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi (age 2+)

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev (age 2+)

Skin Again by Bell Hooks

Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

One Family by George Shannon

Be Who You Are by Todd Parr

The Snowy Day By Ezra Jack Keats (ages 3-8)

If All the World Were by Joseph Coelho (ages 3-8)

The Color of Us by Karen Katz

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester

All Are Welcome Paperback by Alexandra Penfold (ages 3-8)

A Poem for PeterBy Andrea Davis Pinkney (ages 3-8)

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña (age 4+)

Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan (age 6+)

Thunder Boy Junior by Sherman Alexie (age 3-8)

We March by Shane W. Evans

A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts (age 3-8)

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (age 8-12)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (age 8-12)


This list was pulled from a variety of source, including: Mother.ly, NYTimes, and parent recommendations

5 TOP TIPS FOR ESSENTIAL BABY FIRST AID

Let’s face it, being a new parent is stressful enough and in those first few days, weeks, months, you’re number one goal is keeping your new baby alive.

When you’re out of the safety of the hospital walls, medical emergencies can happen and may seem extremely daunting, so knowing some basic first aid skills may help you feel more prepared if an incident should arise.

Here are five top tips, by first aid training specialists Tigerlily, for essential baby first aid.

1. DON’T PANIC.

Easier said than done of course, but try your best to remain calm and focused. Take a deep breath and then fully assess the situation in front of you.

2. FOLLOW D.R.  A.B.C. 

When assessing the situation, follow these steps:

DANGER – Ensure that you and your baby are safe from any danger.

RESPONSE – Is your baby responsive? Do they respond to your touch or voice? If not, shout for help, ask someone to call 999 or 112.

AIRWAY – If your baby is unresponsive, tilt their back head slightly, to allow oxygen into the lungs.

BREATHING – Look, listen and feel for normal breathing. If you discover your baby is not breathing normally, you will need to start CPR immediately (see tip 3 below). If your baby is breathing normally, good – this is a positive outcome and you can now move on to next stage.

CIRCULATION – Once you’ve established your baby is breathing normally, check for any signs of bleeding. If there is bleeding stem the flow to preserve circulation. If your baby’s circulation is good, ensure their airway remains open and hold the baby in your arms, facing you, with their head supported and tilted slightly downwards. This is the Recovery Position for babies. Continue to monitor their airway until help arrives.

3. SIMPLE CPR. CPR will be needed if your baby is not breathing normally. It can seem pretty scary thing to do to your child, but doing something is way better than doing nothing. If you can, you should also have the ambulance crew on the phone, talking you through each step as you go and they will also stay on the line until they arrive.

Start by giving 5 RESCUE BREATHES – to perform rescue breaths, ensure the baby’s airway is open and seal your mouth over the baby’s mouth and nose. Steadily blow the amount of breath you can hold in your cheeks into the baby’s mouth for about 1 second, just enough to see the chest rise. Repeat this 5 times.

Having breathed oxygen into the baby’s lungs, you now need to circulate that around the body and to the all-important brain. You do this by performing CHEST COMPRESSIONS (this is the part many parents are afraid of, but don’t be).  Using the index and middle fingers together, press them into the centre of baby’s chest / sternum to a depth of at least a third
Do this 30 times at a rate of around two per second. Don’t worry about the numbers here, just remember to push at a nice regular rhythm and deep enough to squeeze the heart.

Then start a cycle of 2 rescue breaths to 30 compressions.

4. ASSIST WHEN CHOKING.

If your baby is choking, you’ll need to act quickly and assertively. And follow these simple steps:

  • Shout for help immediately and ask the helper to call 999/112.
  • Sitting or kneeling, lay your baby face down over your arm which should be resting on your thigh and ensure your baby’s airway is open.
  • Using the palm of your hand, give up to 5 firm back blows between the shoulder blades. Between blows check in their mouth to see if you have cleared the obstruction. Stop if you have.
    If that is unsuccessful, will need to perform CHEST THRUSTS:
  • Remain seated or kneeling and turn baby over so they are face up and lying along your arm with the support of your thigh as before.
  • Keeping their airway open and their head supported slightly lower than their chest for gravity to assist, use two fingers on the chest and give up to 5 firm chest thrusts in the same way as CPR but sharper and slower. 

    Check between thrusts and stop if the obstruction is cleared. Seek urgent medical assistance to ensure baby is recovering fully. If the obstruction is still not cleared keep repeating as above.
    If the baby becomes unresponsive, start CPR as before. Always get the baby checked by a medical professional, even if your treatment is successful.

5. DOs & DON’Ts OF FEBRILE SEIZURES.

Febrile Seizures are quite common and occur when a baby’s temperature exceeds 38C – usually due to an infection. Seeing your baby have a seizure can be frightening but they are usually harmless and over quite quickly.

DO: 

  • Stay calm and confident.
  • Take note of the time.
  • Protect your baby from injury using soft items or your hands.
  • Remove warm clothing and bed covers.
  • Cool the room.
  • After the seizure, check the baby’s airway for normal breathing and place in recovery.
  • If this is your baby’s first seizure, it lasts over 5 minutes or breathing problems persist, call 999/112.

DON’T: 

  • Over cool the baby or use a fan or wet sponge.
  • Leave the baby at any time.
  • Medicate the baby without professional advice.
  • Mix Ibuprofen & Paracetamol without the go-ahead from a medical professional.

We appreciate this can sound terrifying and overwhelming, but remember, there is is plenty of support out there and NHS 111 is a fantastic source of information and guidance.  

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The information above is taken from first aid training specialists Tigerlily, and complies with all currently accepted first-aid practice.