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Mum & Baby Mindfulness

By Severine Etienne for Queen’s Park Mums

As busy mothers, our minds can relentlessly jump from one thought to another thereby composing endless to-do lists. Our mental egg timer flips as each day starts, while negative judgments (of ourselves and others) and unnecessary worries can clutter our headspace even further. Add sleep deprivation, pressure of perfection and the irrepressible hormone roller coaster that characterises the first year with baby and we’re often asking for trouble. 

Imagine now you were given some perspective and the tools to lead a calmer and more fulfilling life, without resorting to the box of chocolates.  Step in Leonie Schell’s Mum and Baby Mindfulness classes.

North West Londoner Leonie created the 8 week Mum and Baby Mindfulness Course programme by drawing from her extensive experience as a mindfulness trainer in the corporate world. 

Leonie adapted techniques from the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum to the specific needs of new parents and their babies, and proof tested them in her own parenting journey. 

Babies love the games, gentle movement and massage, which helps many be calmer and sleep better.

Equally, the course provides a useful set of tools aimed at mothers who want to maintain a sense of calmness when upsetting situations arise and to help mothers feel better equipped to deal with overwhelming emotions. Mothers can benefit from breathing techniques and an increased awareness of body sensations and mental perceptions to be more in tune with their baby and their own needs.  

What’s more, it has been found that relaxed parents can have a positive effect on babies’ neural development.

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The weekly Mum and Baby Mindfulness session is 1 hour long and consists of a combination of guided meditation practices with baby, cognitive exercises and discussion. The teaching also focuses on methods to continue mindfulness practices beyond the course and into everyday life.  

The course was launched in Willesden in Autumn 2018 and sold out in a matter of days. With enquiries mounting and waiting lists lengthening, classes will also be dispensed at The Maqam Centre  in Queen’s Park and the Sherriff Centre in West Hampstead in January 2019. Courses are available for babies from 0 to 8 months (up to crawling) and 6 to 18 months (crawling to walking). 

If you can’t wait that long, ‘Little Snowflake’ themed taster sessions will be held this December in Willesden (Dewsbury Road, 5th December); Queen’s Park (The Maqam Centre, 7th December) & West Hampstead (The Sherriff Centre, 11th December).

For mothers (and fathers) looking for more personalised guidance, time flexibility or confidentiality, Leonie also provides 1-2-1 sessions at her house or online via platforms such as Skype and Zoom.

Before you think mindfulness is just another thing to add to your overburdened life and go back to scrolling down your Instagram feed – envying highly polished influencer mums, just consider this: 

If the mindfulness classes can leave you feeling more serene, energised and joyful during this transitional first year, whilst also positively impacting your baby’s wellbeing, it can only be a positive experience!

Practical details: It is a baby-led class, so you are welcome to breast-feed during the class and there is no requirement to sit still. Parents practice being mindful while rocking, playing with or feeding their baby. A baby changing station is also provided.

10% discount is offered to all QPM card holders by emailing hello@mumandbabymindfulness.com

Classes can also be booked via the website www.mumandbabymindfulness.com

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This article includes sponsored content.

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