Archive | Our Blog

Power of the pride – thank you team Annerley & family

Power of the pride – thank you team Annerley & family

Posted on 12 March 2018 by hulda

We have all noticed the international day of women came and went. Like some other special days, it makes me, once again endlessly grateful.

Thanks to some other women, my name was mentioned in one of the articles published in Hong Kong on this day, along with some other women, amazing ones, funnily enough many of which I have been fortunate enough to walk alongside here in this fun city.

The article also mentioned my sister in law, Kristrun Lind, who re-established Annerley Midwives with me, something that not everyone would have been capable of doing. She put in endless hours to help to create what we have today. Annerley had previously been setup as mostly an education and lactation company by Ann Illingworth in 1995, then taken over and changed into a more wide range service clinic – pretty much one of its kind in Hong Kong, where traditionally women either saw a private obstetrician and gave birth in a private hospital, or went to government hospitals and clinics for their care. Private midwives rarely performed routine antenatal care.

Inspiration every day

Inspiration every day

Since then, a lot of water under the bridge and Annerley now offers a wide range of antenatal care, we have an obstetrician who tends to our women and a special shared care programme, NEXUS, that gives families an option of a great continuous care by midwives and obstetricians at a very affordable price. We are just about to publish our clinical outcomes from this programme and we are very excited.

But back to where I started. I remember when I got married in 2001 and I was thanking all my family and friends for all the help they had offered and given me in my life. Right from birth of course, parents and siblings, grandparents and many more – but then ongoing: I would never have finished school, university and my postgraduate midwifery degree, had it not been for my sister Rebekka for example, help from friends and family that babysat, fed, offered lodgings, cars, money and more and more – for years. Other friends who are always there, on the phone if not in person, always willing, listening, practical, loving and just there.

I also would never have survived here in Hong Kong, had it not been for all the friends and families that came through Annerley, all the staff that I have been fortunate to been surrounded by. I don’t think anyone can really imagine what it is to run a little business like this, that is so dependent on that everyone puts in their best and that – when nature rules what time babies are born, everyone is emotional, happy, helpless, sad, – the whole lot, many times over during the months of the parenting journey – completely depends on the whole team to be amazingly committed.
Families of those employees, the midwives, team in our office, they also have had their share. There are phone-calls, strange working hours and discussions about stuff that none of them really would love to hear. But they put up with it and fortunately I think I can say that most of the time our little team is a happy one.

Since 2001 in my marriage speech, I have many times stood in front of crowds and written blogs like this. All quite similar. About the same people.

And I can never say it enough. Women and men, – there are so many around me that I really cannot thank enough. People who stand by me and I want to say to that I will always, too, stand by you.

Sometimes this is obvious, sometimes it is not. But it is there. The it. Believe in it, lean into it, feel it. I really hope that one day, I can return all those favors, love and generosity, not that anyone seems to be counting.

I have had a tough year myself. I divorced and my whole family has suffered. We all try to make it work though and in my 45th year of living, I am making it my passion to try and live in peace and harmony and try to make the world a little better than when I came into it.
With the help of all these wonderful role-models around me, I would never be able to think that way. Of course, on the darkest days, it is even hard. But I am so lucky to be able to always be knocked into a beautiful path, if ever I seem to wander out of it. By you all, beautifulies. My family is an amazing one. Unusual and strange I suppose, but I am so glad to be in it. My birth family and my Annerley family.

“The power of the pride” – our little team mantra, this one led by the only man in our Annerley team. We are all there to support each other, to support families, who then support each other and so it goes.

Power of the pride

Power of the pride

I would like to dedicate my song on this day to my beautiful daughter Freyja, who is my inspiration every day. If we could all just be like her, the sun would always shine. Happy (just after) international day to all women in this world.

From the forever grateful mum and midwife,
Hulda

Comments Off

Job Opportunity at Annerley – Office/Client Relationship Manager

Job Opportunity at Annerley – Office/Client Relationship Manager

Posted on 07 November 2017 by Ailish Cotton

November 2017

We are looking for a real multi-tasker who is highly organised with an interest in people, an eye for detail, and to top it all is a kind and happy homemaker!

The role is a full-time Office Manager of a small, well-established midwife-led clinic in Hong Kong. Over the past decade we have built a unique, boutique business, very personal and and totally client-focused. We are looking for an empathetic individual capable of performing tasks requiring a talent for interpersonal-communication, organization and planning. The successful applicant will be expected to rapidly acquire a comprehensive knowledge of our core business objectives and master the details of all of our services and products while demonstrating all the key, basic, small-office, housekeeping skills.

This post requires a special individual who will take care of everything from setting the mood at the start of the day, welcoming clients, handling bookings, stock control, keeping the place tidy, managing the midwives’ schedules and making sure cups are clean and drinks are always offered. We have intentionally cultivated a secure and intimate working environment cognisant of the fact that our clients are going through a very special event and often emotionally dynamic period in their lives. Our clients will often be disclosing very intimate details of their private lives so absolute discretion allied with a sensitive and a non-judgemental attitude are essential attributes. Work in this field can be hugely rewarding but it can be busy and not infrequently you may find that you have several balls in the air at the same time. The Office Manager needs to be highly organized, able to think ahead and be willing to turn their hand to pretty much anything. An ability to maintain calm under pressure would be a definite advantage. Basic accounting skills will be sufficient but a well developed understanding in social media, email and communication in English is required. An ability to speak Cantonese and Mandarin and Icelandic would be a bonus. We are a tech-savvy company who devote a significant amount of time and energy to developing our communication and marketing strategies thus skills in using basic 21st century tools such as Facebook, Pinterest, WordPress, Canva etc would be highly desirable. Our basic email and filing systems are built on Google Business – all systems are in place and easy to navigate.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Manages all daily administrative operations of the clinic, including establishing work priorities, and ensures a smooth running of the day-to-day operations of the business, including keeping the clinic manned, neat and welcoming for clients at all times.
  • First contact with client and manages all incoming calls, emails, direct face-to-face enquiries and requests from clients regarding services and products provided, and main contact for all sales and bookings of such services.
  • Client relationship management – shared with the Practice Manager.
  • Some responsibility for financial and accounting duties, mainly very simple daily reports. Responsible for petty cash and day to day expenses.
  • Maintains the booking system and website and makes sure everything is up to date.
  • Use social media for marketing and promoting. Update and maintain advertising schedule and marketing schedule.
  • Oversees scheduling of all classes at least one year in advance, including allocating the teachers to each course.
  • Provides administrative assistance and support to the midwives, including problem solving, project planning and management, day-to-day office coordination, and secretarial services.
  • Manages and oversees business computer system and filing. We use Google drive as our filing operating system.
  • In charge of sales and stock control.
  • Manages day-to-day running of the office, such as stationery and printing, snacks and drinks for classes etc.
  • Assists with coordinating programs, seminars, workshops, travel arrangements, special projects, and/or events.
  • Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

WORKING CONDITIONS AND PHYSICAL EFFORT:

  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior/office work environment.
  • Some work will be done outside office, such as necessary tasks in banks, post office, suppliers, government offices etc.
  • Working hours are from 9.00am to 6.30pm.
  • The role is under general supervision and in line with the Managing Directors.
  • Holidays 15 working days per year plus all public holidays.

Please contact Ailish ailish@annerley.com.hk if you feel you are the perfect fit to the Annerley team. To find out more about Annerley, please see our website www.annerley.com.hk

Comments Off

Silver Nursing Cups

Silver Nursing Cups

Posted on 06 November 2017 by Kristrun

silverettesphotoI have been a midwife for many years in the UK and have had clients trying a variety of creams and strategies for healing their sore, cracked or bleeding nipples. However, it wasn’t until I started working at Annerley, that I became aware of Silverettes (or Breast Angels).

Silverettes are made in Italy from silver 925 and they are little magical nipple covers. Silver has natural antibacterial and disinfecting properties. helping to prevent infection and the moist healing environment aids with fast healing of damaged nipples. To use – just squirt a little of your breast milk into the cup and place over your nipple, inside your bra, between feeds.

The breastmilk inside the cups helps with moist healing and the cup prevents rubbing and irritation from clothing.

No need for any other creams or products so nothing is being ingested by baby.

Extremely hygienic – clean with a little water and bicarbonate of sod, and air dry.

Eco-friendly – can be safely passed on to other mums after you have finished with them. Or keep for your next baby.

Sore nipples can often be a result of poor positioning of baby at the breast and then the help from a certified IBCLC lactation consultant is invaluable. I have seen first hand the (sometimes miraculous) difference these little silver cups can make within a few days, accompanied by correction of baby’s position and latch at the breast.

Sue x

Sue Pollard is a registered midwife and IBCLC lactation consultant at Annerley the midwives clinic www.annerley.com.hk

Silverettes can be bought directly from the Breast Angels UK website or from us in our clinic shop – see here for details.

Give us a call to make sure we have some on the shelf as we regularly sell out!

Comments Off

What exactly is Hypnobirthing?

What exactly is Hypnobirthing?

Posted on 08 June 2017 by Kristrun

WD-TamaraQuinn med 081The name tends to put most people off.  Like some one is going to be front of you holding a watch on a string, telling you “ you’re getting sleeeeeeepy”.  But HypnoBirthing is really about teaching yourself to breathe and relax.  Its just a deep relaxation that you will learn to do to/for yourself and your partner is there to help you stay as relaxed as you can through loving words and touch.

When working with women in labour you find that women who are able to stay more relaxed usually have shorter and less painful births than those who “fight” against their bodies.  HypnoBirthing is simply a method to help you understand what your body is doing and how to work with it and not against it.  Its about letting go of the fear. Remember that Fear is not your friend in labour!  It causes women to tense up and go against what their body is trying to do.  This is why prenatal classes are so important! Knowledge is key.

I’m not going to guarantee you a pain-free labour (although I have had moms who have done it!) but  I will give you great tools to help you cope and deal with it.  You will learn to understand what/ how/ and why your body in labour works the way it does, which helps to give women the confidence and trust to work through their labour.  Also the confidence to ask questions, be included in all decisions, understanding every decision that is made and having no regrets.

One thing I always say when I teach is that you have these moments in labour where fear may try to sneak in and you second guess yourself.  Its like having two little birds sitting on your shoulders – one telling you to “fight it”, the other saying “just breathe and relax”.  Its about listening to the right bird! Its about looking forward to your labour and embracing what it can do.  Don’t psych yourself out before you’ve even begun. Remember – you are not your friend, mother, sister or someone you read about on an online forum.  This is your own experience – you and your baby.  I want every woman to embrace it and love it because… what a gift at the end!!

Tamara Quinn, Hypnobirthing instructor

You can find more details about our Hypnobirthing course here, or give us a call for more details.

Comments Off

Hypnobirthing and normal birth in government hospitals

Hypnobirthing and normal birth in government hospitals

Posted on 31 January 2017 by hulda

As you may know, the  government hospitals are constantly trying to increase their normal birth rates.  They have in the last 15 years introduced the birth balls in all labour rooms, the dad’s massage programme and labour position choice for birth.  You also all know that this is not always obvious, not always offered to you. In fact, you may have to ask for it more than once, but usually in the end, if you know this is possible, it will make your experience and outcomes much better.
Annerley Hypnobirthing Classes

Hypnobirthing in Hong Kong

Luckily for me, when I had my last baby in the Queen Mary Hospital I knew what to do and even if I was asked to stay on my back, I smiled politely and told them that I had been trained to be mobile, even with the IV lines and monitors attached to me.  Then I moved to my knees on the bed and was able to do pick any position I liked.  I guess I would not have done that so comfortably had I not known that it was possible.
What I am trying to say is that the staff is now allowed to allow you to be more free in your movements during labour, they are able to encourage more participation of the dads in the labour room and now, have one more addition:
HYPNOBIRTHING training for the midwives in government hospitals is in the cards.  The training course for the midwives is scheduled for April, meaning that hopefully you will be able to enjoy even more support from the staff, for breathing and relaxation during childbirth.  At Annerley we can do YOUR  part of the training, i.e. the classes that prepare you with the Hypnobirthing techniques.  And then you will know that you will be greeted by staff that knows how to follow up.  Hopefully many midwives will sign up for this course, offered by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
What is also very important to know is that none of the above will actually ever become the NORM, unless you actively ask to use it.  I.e. now that it is allowed in the hospitals does not actually have to mean that all staff wants or is used to using it.  It means  you can ask for it and actively participate in helping the staff to train their own skills too.  This is a constant co-operation that needs all of us to participate in.
So again, I encourage all of you mums- and dads-to-be to be proactive, positive, and help others to help you.  Slowly good things happen.
Happy new year to all,
Hulda Thorey, midwife

Comments Off

Lactation consultants

Lactation consultants

Posted on 16 December 2016 by Kristrun

sue1One of the biggest learning curves for me to be in Hong Kong is the knowledge and understanding I have gained through the years about other peoples traditions, systems, languages, homes etc. I had never heard of swaddling, sleep training, breastfeeding by the clock or lactation consultants – and I could not imagine could it would be offered by anyone else but midwives. Because where I come from all the postnatal care is taken care of by midwives where they have years and years of helping women to breastfeed – and they have done a magnificent job as in Iceland everybody will breastfeed. They will breastfeed on the go, in public, at a friends house and anywhere a baby gets hungry.

Now I know that in some countries there are no midwives, and in some countries the midwives are only working in hospitals and not in the communities. So lactation consultants are available for breastfeeding help and for advocating for breastfeeding and offering help on-site.

Today is a big day at Annerley, we have three midwives – all of them have spent countless hours on supporting and hands on helping with breastfeeding out in the community – but today midwife number two became registered as a lactation consultant. Well done Sue Pollard! May we keep helping women of Hong Kong to breastfeed their babies as long as they like.

Keep breastfeeding!

Kristrun Xx

More information about our breastfeeding support at home  and in our clinic.

 

Comments Off

Make Hong Kong your village

Make Hong Kong your village

Posted on 22 November 2016 by hulda

When I had my first two kids, I lived in a village.  Most mornings I walked to the bakery and bought fresh breads and had coffee while I watched the fellow villagers pass by and my baby slept in the pram.  Then it was the swimming pool where it was perfect to go for a soak where the older one could sit by himself and the other one was attached to me. Friends would gather there with their kids at the same time each morning usually. Sometimes it was quite hard work when there were two of them (14 months apart), pushing the pram in the 20 cm high snow.  I managed to get a seat to attach on top of the pram, so that one could sit there while the other one slept.  For lunch, luckily, the village was so small that my husband could come home and we all had lunch together and then one of the kids neatly would vomit on his jacket before he set off again for work at 1pm.

 

New mum

It takes a village

We usually slept in if the kids allowed it.  Everyone woke a little when my husband went to work but then we all continued to sleep a little longer because we had after all woken twice to feed in the middle of the night so we were tired.  It was not like there was anything particular that needed to be done, aside from the housework, which I have no memory of enjoying, but somehow mostly managed to do. I think my father in law found my lack of housewife skills slightly alarming, but probably also understood that when people are tired, doing the dishes is not priority.

 

Sure, it was sometimes tough.  Breastfeeding was not easy.  Guilt.  Going to the gym?  Tell me another joke.  The first time I went to the volleyball exercise that I had wanted to do for so long my 18 month old son ate 20 contraception pills that I of course was taking (as not wanting to have three kids in 3 years), pills that I thought I kept well stored in the bathroom cabinet.  But he had no problem climbing up there.  The doctor, when I called him, told me “well he might develop boobs”.

 

What was so good about the village then? 

Well, people somehow look after you.  They notice when you don’t show up in the pool many days in a row, or in the mummy mornings on Wednesdays.  They pop in unannounced and have a short coffee.  Your family and friends sometimes babysit.  People care.  Distance is short, so time spent on traveling is short. You meet your family for lunch.  And so it goes. Even when it snows, you still go out with the kids, just for the fresh air or change of scene.

 

I meet many mums who are semi-happy in Hong Kong.  They find life here difficult.  The taxis are not fitted for car seats.  The heat. The rain.  The steps.  The people on the streets.  The urban setting.  Long workdays are not family friendly.  “Well you know, it is Hong Kong” – they say.  This is why it is important to find the village side of Hong Kong.  It is true that many things here are not easy.  Maternity leave here is short and paternity leave hardly exists.  Plus, no matter where you live, life can be pretty tough with a newborn.  But there are things to do that can make our big city a village too, and somehow we seem to forget it at times.

 

  1. Take it easy.  A confinement period is not so silly to do.  You may want to adjust it to your needs, but Hello Magazine offers a very unrealistic picture of the new mother, all perfect and busy straight after birth.
  2. Sleep in. Wake up if you want if you have a partner that is going to work, but then try and get a few more minutes in bed if you are tired.  After all, there may be help with the housework.
  3. Once you feel ready, go out every day, at least once.  Is there a swimming pool in your building or district?  Around 4 weeks after birth you can go and at least enjoy the outdoors, and soon enough dip in.
  4. Too hot by the pool, even if you are in it?  Why not find a windier place.  The circle around the Peak for example, or the promenade in central or Pok Fu Lam, – or any promenade for that matter. Babies tend to sleep very well in prams.
  5. If you live close to one, beaches tend to have wind too.
  6. After the first weeks, meet your partner for lunch.  Every day.  Or every other day. He/she too, needs to eat.
  7. Have an afternoon nap.
  8. Meet a friend regularly, within slightly flexible timeslots though.  Someone who also has a baby and is understanding of how long it may take to get out of the house.  Great it if it someone that you can walk to meet.
  9. But on that, have a bag ready by the door with all the things needed for an outing with a baby and just leave, when you want to.  No “what if he needs to feed”.  Just go.
  10. Give yourself time to be not-so-perfect.  Take one day at a time and do little things that please you.
  11. Taxis do fit car seats.  It just takes you one extra minute to fit them in than it would in Melbourne.
  12. And yes the baby gets hot in a carrier. But that does not mean you cannot go out, just do short walks at a time.
  13. It is also perfectly acceptable, if you like it, do do nothing for days, except just enjoy your baby at home.
  14. Dinner is often more enjoyable if the appetizer is given, then baby is fed, then the meal is had.  Otherwise you may spend the whole dinner trying to settle a half hungry, half tired baby.
  15. The baby needs very little stimulation from classes and hangouts.  It just really needs you.  So pick your activities based on what you enjoy doing. A happy parent usually makes a happy baby.

 

The truth is that sometimes you have to create the life you want to live.  Find ways to be balanced and happy as a person, mother, in your family.  Pregnancy, birth and the period after often throws unexpected challenges at us and it can be easy to not see simple solutions that will make life more enjoyable.  Latest research shows us that the infant years have very strong effects on our lives later on.  It is hugely important to be alerted and alarmed, equipped and supported so that postnatal depression will not develop, or if it does, to be able to seek help and assistance as easily as possible.

For some the strongest prevention is ordinary life, in a village, with kind people in it.  That village may have to be created by you.  But it is worth it.

Hulda Thorey – midwife

November 2016

Comments Off

My baby is crying

My baby is crying

Posted on 04 August 2016 by Kristrun

crying baby tongueOne way for a new-born baby is to express him/her is through cry, and therefore crying is considered normal. Usually there is a reason for why the new-born cries however; he/she is telling us that something is wrong: hunger, tiredness, wet diaper, cold, pain, – or most commonly that he/she just wants you to be there.

Different types of cry:
Although sometimes this is hard in the beginning, parents usually quickly learn to know different types of cry. The cry because of hunger somehow sounds different from the cry from someone that wants attention. Some babies cry more than others and some stop immediately when you either pick them up or feed them, while others will always take time to recover.

What should you do?
Even though your baby does not stop crying immediately when you cuddle him/her, they can still feel the security of your presence, and often this is what they are really longing for, just like kittens do when they cuddle up with their mum in the early days.
If the cry does not stop, you can try to change the nappy, or see if the baby is either too hot or cold. Of course hunger is also often the reason for cry, and you must ensure that the baby has been fed well. If you have difficulties knowing when the baby has fed enough, you can always contact the midwife or lactation consultant to help you out.

If your baby cries without any obvious reason for extended periods (more than an hour or two and does not stop), you should have a doctor’s appointment to ensure nothing is seriously wrong, such as an ear infection or an accidental fall or injury.

Colic, is a condition that requires a lot of patience and support from everyone in the family, since often there is little that can be done to fix the problem, except for waiting for the baby to develop, and whilst doing so, to find different settling ways that might help. When there is colic (crying on and off more or less every day at the same time of the day for 1 – 3 hours) present – I would suggest that you come to the baby clinic or see the midwives/health visitor to help you to identify this for sure. But should this be the case, usually the best solution is to keep the baby as close to you as possible, – you will end up with lots of cuddles, tummy time, chest time and usually a sling. Mum or dad can of course both do this. A pacifier is sometimes helpful and movement usually helps.

Parents often feel real helpless when their baby cries a lot, and they find it difficult to continuously try to find ways to settle the crying new-born – and often cannot find why the cry is there. Again, best way is to be patient and try different positions, walk around and talk to the baby, have the baby in a slightly upright position or even lying on its front on your chest. If you find that you simply need a break, ask your partner, a friend or your helper to give you a little time off, where you leave the apartment and try to catch your breath for a few minutes. To take a baby outside or change the environment often works like magic. But time passing is what eventually helps and the problem is usually solved on its own around 3 months. As it can be hard to wait it may be useful to speak with other mums and dads, come to playgroups and the well-baby clinic to share your experiences – often when learning others are going through the same, it somehow makes the problem a little less hard to deal with.

What NOT to do:
You should NEVER shake your baby, no matter how angry/tired/annoyed you are. This can cause extreme danger to the baby. If you feel like doing something like this, put the baby down immediately, walk out of the room, close the door and either have someone else caring for the child while you calm down, or just leave it for some moments if no one is around to help you. Call a friend or family member. Enter the room again when you feel that you have calmed down, and try not to feel guilty, this is something that many parents experience at some point in their parenthood, but the main thing is to deal with the situation in the correct way.

Is it healthy for the baby to cry?
In the old days this was a common belief, and thought to strengthen babies´ lungs. There is a possibility that there is some truth in this, especially in the first days of their lives when they need to get rid of extra fluid in their lungs after being in the uterus. However, parents should always respond to their baby’s cry and try to figure out why the baby is crying. Babies should not be left crying for a long time, they need tender, love and care so that they may develop trust for their parents and the feeling that someone is always there for them.

2015/ Annerley – Hulda Thorey

Comments Off

12274678_1083024155042138_514321846625584688_n

Succesful Blooming Bellies

Posted on 02 December 2015 by Kristrun

Helen - Feel Good Factor

Helen – Feel Good Factor

We are very proud of the successful Blooming Bellies event we recently hosted at Feel Good Factor spa on November 20th. The ladies attending learned about birth options from Hong Kong’s leading expert on the subject (our very own Hulda) – at the same time as meeting other mums-to-be and enjoying the well known hospitality of the  Feel Good Factor!

The speakers were:

Hulda Thorey Gardarsdottir – midwife at AnnerleyGiving birth in Hong Kong . Hulda talked about Hong Kong birth options from a professional point of view as well as sharing her own birth stories, which include both medical and more natural choices. Lots of useful questions were asked and lots of laughs especially when exploring the role of the partner!

Jennifer Heathfield-Lee from Athena Lifedebunked the myths behind about cord blood stem cell banking. Jennifer has a unique insight into stem cell banking options in Hong Kong and how it can be done.

Dora H. Hardaway from Right To Birth Your WayTop exercises for a better birth . Dora is known for her passion about personal and direct approach to help women achieve their goals when it comes to preparing for giving birth in Hong Kong.

Delicious food courtesy of Liz from Gingers with an express mani, pedi or foot massage from the staff at The Feel Good Factor. Everyone attending received 5% off the services at Athena Life  and a lucky winners were drawn who won a hamper worth over HK$2000 from Native Essentials and a support package ( Best of Both or Private Hospital Package) from Annerley. The Photographer Ines Laimins captured the mood and took photos as well as provided a further prize of a photo shoot. Every participant will get 50% off one of the prenatal fitness classes with Dora and for one lucky participant a free three class pass they can use towards any of Dora’s classes. Here is a this comparison of a couple different workouts. Last but not least The Feel Good Factor gave away a package of 3 pregnancy massages and one post pregnancy massage worth HK$2,800.00.

It was a truly enjoyable afternoon – relaxed, fun and informative. Just what we were aiming for.

Thank you all …

Great photos from the event on our Facebook page.

 

 

Add- delete as needed

 

 

 

 

Comments Off

Outdoors with babies in the cooler weather

Outdoors with babies in the cooler weather

Posted on 04 October 2015 by Kristrun

Winter is approaching and finally the weather is cooling down a little! This gives us a great opportunity to spend more time with our children outdoors without much discomfort. Hong Kong has some great beaches, green parks and swimming pools with TVs (like these at https://www.hereon.biz/outdoor-tv/) available for us all to use. It is important for the overall development of babies to stimulate them in many different ways and the great outdoors plays an important role in that.

As many of you know I do tend to often remind others (as well as myself) that as parents, we are responsible for stimulating our children and exposing them to the world – it will make them smarter and they will sleep better than ever after a day outside. I never get tired of sharing the story of my son Tomas…..I had always been aware of the importance of outdoor stimulation and I thought I had done a good job of it. One day we were in the park and I realized he had never walked barefoot on grass and mud – not in his life! The outcome was rather amusing If I do say so myself.

Tomas walks on grass

But where do you start?

Start slowly. Start by a short trip to a park, or a BBQ site. Go in the afternoon – after 2pm when it’s even cooler. Bring a blanket, food, drinks and some toys. Bring a plastic bag and gloves to clean up a small area around your blanket. Make sure there is no rubbish, glass or dog poo in a safe radius of your space. Let your child crawl around barefoot, have a walk or just sit there touching the grass and/or soil. Links to HK parks: http://www.hong-kong-hotels.ws/attractions/parks.htm

You can apply the same method for going to the beach for the first few times. I love the beaches during the winter – the kids love the sand from a very early age and it’s such a great way of entertaining them. Bring a small bag of beach toys, a blanket, towels and fresh clothes. Most of the time you will have access to water to rinse off hands and feet before you go home. The result? A happy tired and educated baby. http://www.littlestepsasia.com/articles/play/top-10-family-beaches

As children get older you can spend more time outdoors and gradually even move to over-night camping  - creating memories they will never forget. I’m not a very brave camper but I have been once with my kids – scared to death of the pigs and snakes – but I did it and they are still raving about it. http://www.littlestepsasia.com/hong-kong/articles/play/camping-hong-kong

Enjoy the great outdoors!

Kristrun and the Annerley team.

Do you need more support? Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

Comments Off