Lincolnshire midwife in bid to end confusion for new parents
Whether it be whisky on the gums to ease teething pain or scaring babies to cure hiccups, we’ve all heard surprising parenting techniques.
They have been passed down countless generations, but according to a Lincolnshire midwife such outdated advice is confusing new families.
Tracy Stewart claims grandparents, in particular, are using old methods to care for newborns which are now considered wrong or even dangerous.
And with more and more families relying on grandparents for childcare because of tight budgets, she is offering them modern day antenatal classes.
Miss Stewart, a midwife for 25 years, says she came up with the idea after speaking to many confused mums.
“A lot of parents coming through antenatal classes were saying ‘my mum has told me not to bottle feed, have you got some literature I can give to her?’,” she explained.
“Another couple said, ‘our mum has told me I shouldn’t pick up a crying baby.
“In the current climate most parents work so the grandparents are a big part in the pattern of childcare.
“You get a lot of conflicting advice, as how they brought their own child up is different to current teaching.”
The Busy Bumps antenatal class takes place in North Hykeham and will be held on November 3 between 4pm and 5pm, at Studio 8 in North Hykeham.
And if they are successful, Miss Stewart would consider rolling out pay-by-session classes across Lincolnshire.
“It is mainly information so that they can support their child and help to be a part of bringing up their grandchild,” said Miss Stewart, who helps deliver babies at Lincoln County Hospital.
Emily Cabill, from Scothern, gave birth to daughter Alberta around two months ago.
She says advice from older family members can be confusing to new mums, but mothers should still have a choice on whose advice to take.
“They tell you now you are not supposed to pre-mix bottles and that you are supposed to make them to order, but it is a lot harder,” she said.
“Everyone said it doesn’t hurt them to have a good cry – both my mum and nan have said that.
“But the midwife said when it gets to that point, walk away and come back – don’t actually leave them screaming.
“With hiccups and bad digestion, my nan would put a drop of brown sugar in some boiling water, just a few grains, dilute it down and leave to go cold.
“But you are not allowed to do that, although obviously you do what you think is best.
“It might benefit some people but with my nan and my mum, if my baby is happy then I am happy and that is how it should be.”