Welcome to The Pregnancy and Birth Network
A couple of years ago, a few of us, all working around the Leamington Spa area of Warwickshire in the field of complementary health and with a special focus on pregnancy, birth and babies - started to talk to each other about working together. Our fields of work cover homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, yoga, osteopathy, hypnotherapy, reflexology and baby classes... just to mention a few! We realised that between us we had a lot of expertise and that if we came together we could really help to improve things for pregnant and new mums, as well as helping ourselves by marketing ourselves and cross-referring our clients.
So that's what we did! We created the Warwickshire Pregnancy and Birth Network with our strapline Love your body, your birth, your baby. This reflects the way we would like women to feel both during and after pregnancy. In our area, as in many others, it can be hard as well as confusing for pregnant and new mums to find out about the services on offer. The network extends the choice available to women by signposting them to a whole range of therapies and services which can really make a difference, as complementing those already offered by public health professionals.
We created a constitution to formalise the arrangement, hold regular meetings and pool membership payments to fund our activities. We have set up a Yahoo group for communicating with each other. The creation of our website www.pregnancyandbirthnetwork.co.uk has been a crucial tool for spreading the word. It is our shop window and each member (there are now around 30 of us and the number is growing all the time and into other areas of Warwickshire) has their own page. We distribute fliers and posters with our website details to members of the public, health professionals and our own clients.
Of course there are costs involved in doing this. One cost is time – some of our members have generously put huge amounts of time into getting the network going. Financially, we charge £100 to join the network which includes the website page and a further £50 per year membership. This gives us the funds to cover on-going costs such as that of the website as well as participating in joint marketing and networking events.
We host themed presentation evenings aimed at sharing with each other and with the midwives what specific benefits our therapies can bring. Recent topics have been: 'managing back pain in pregnancy' and 'alleviating the fear of childbirth'. In addition we have arranged screenings of films of interest to network members, midwives and members of the public on the subject of birth and its management.
So what are the benefits of this network?
- The pregnant and new mum can now easily find out about therapists and support services on offer to her locally and benefit from these at the right time for her
- The midwives and other health professionals know what other forms of support are on offer so can refer women to the network
- As network members, we can more effectively promote what we do, with a valuable source of support by getting to know each other and have a unique opportunity to learn from other professionals who all share the same focus on the wellbeing of mums and babies.
So if nothing like this already exists in your area, why not have a go at creating your own pregnancy and birth network? One thing's for sure: you won't need to feel isolated in your line of work ever again!
We look forward to hearing from you.