|22 May, 2013 >> About The Baby Book
For the last 12 years I have worked as a health visitor. My job is to support, advise and guide parents-to-be and new parents/carers through the trials and tribulations of parenthood.
As a sick children’s nurse I was continually hearing that parents didn’t feel supported or get on with their health visitor, so maybe naively I decided that I should become a health visitor and try to make a difference.
From early on I realised that being a new parent was wonderful but also fraught with anxieties, guilt, worries and often many tears. As a life changing event mums (and dads) could sometimes feel that they had lost control; from working full time to being at home with a baby all day and every day or living in an area that they didn’t work in and away from the support of family members.
After having my first son these feelings of loneliness, isolation, loss of control and status were real for me too. Going from working full-time to being at home, from having lots of work friends but no baby friends and being away from family made what is perceived to be a wonderful time very trying and there were many tears.
I had neither the time, energy nor inclination to trawl the internet, papers and local magazines for what was available for new mums and I so wished that there was a little booklet available that had all I needed to know in it.
This need was reiterated in my experiences as a health visitor. Often I felt frustrated that I couldn’t give a booklet out at our visit to meet mums-to-be and new mums. I was aware that it was a time when parents were bombarded with information...."information overload". Tired, hormonal and overwhelmed meant that often the important and most useful information was simply forgotten.
Weeks and months later, mums would then tell me that they had found out about groups, activities and support when it was too late; missing out on wonderful opportunities to gain support, make new friendships and share new experiences with their babies and toddlers.............and so my idea for The Baby Book was born.
It had to be easy to read, split into sections with a combination of relevant local information such as baby clinics, mother and toddler groups, family planning clinics and support groups; adverts (to cover the production costs) and editorial that was interesting enough to want them to look out for and pick up the next edition of the book.
The book has gone from strength to strength and as well as being available now three times per year, we are online, have a monthly newsletter and use facebook and twitter to spread the word and encourage parents to interact....and we still have much more to come.
You may wonder what motivates me. I am driven by the fact that I know that something as simple as a "one-stop booklet" can make all the difference to parents, and because I care enough to want to make that difference, I will continue to develop The Baby Book concept.
I couldn’t do this on my own though and I am fortunate to be surrounded by a fantastic team of people who also “believe” in The Baby Book and together with the continued support of businesses who sponsor and advertise with us we will promise to provide a book that lets families know what is out there for them so that they can make their own choices as to whether or not they use these groups, facilities and support.
Most recently I have changed the company to a community interest company, this will ensure that now everyone will hopefully understand that The Baby Book has been developed for one reason only......to benefit families and people working with families.
In April 2009 Sharon won a local Dragon’s Den style competition 'Super Start' and in November The Baby Book was a finalist in the Colchester Business Awards
The Baby Book may be little, but it always does and always will speak volumes.
[Last Updated April 2010]