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What is Coffee, Cake & Coping?

‘Being a Mummy, isn’t it just the best thing ever?’

Simple questions can sometimes be the hardest to answer, especially when the reality of motherhood doesn’t compare to what you imagined it would be.

Following the births of my three children – and especially after the first – I remember being asked the question “Isn’t being a mum the best thing ever?”. There were times when I could very quickly, and honestly agree. However, there were also times when I could hear myself quietly mumble “yes, it is” or loudly proclaim “I am loving it!” while silently sobbing inside. Why was I finding it so difficult telling people the truth? I was finding it hard, I wasn’t getting any sleep, my nipples hurt and at times I really wasn’t enjoying being a mum.

Luckily I had a fantastic support network around me – family and friends who I could call on and talk to. But how many people aren’t as lucky?

This is something that kept coming up in discussions once I started working at Calmababy. How many women are out there, feeling alone and finding motherhood hard? How many mums in those difficult early days/weeks need someone to talk to without feeling judged?

And so the initial seeds of an idea started to grow. We wanted to create a group where the mother was the centre of attention, not the baby. Somewhere she could be celebrated and nurtured. Where she could ask questions, have a little moan, even cry if she wanted. As well as laugh and rejoice over all the things that were happening in her life – big and small. Somewhere mothers could speak honestly – without fear of people telling them what they were doing was wrong. Where they could meet new friends to share the ups and downs, a hot drink and some cake with. A safe space they could come once a week, just as they are and certainly without the pressure of putting on make-up or washing their hair.

Two years ago we launched Coffee, Cake & Coping. We offered a trial course, asking for eight new mums to give us their time in exchange for their honest opinion (and of course yummy cake). Within hours of the initial post on Facebook, it was full! We added a second course which also filled within hours – at that point, we knew we were on to something. This was a course that women not only wanted but really needed.

Two years on and we are still running two classes per week – offering help, information and support to mums from all around Peterborough and further afield. We do not profess to be parenting experts (we don’t think such a thing exists), but we try to cover the topics that mums want to talk about:

  • Feeding
  • Sleeping
  • Settling baby
  • Behavioural states and development
  • Our bodies and hormones
  • Relationships
  • As well as many others that the mums themselves raise – it is incredible what different topics come up!

The course runs over five weeks. Each week is a 90-minute session with Vanessa and myself where we explore: the transition to early-motherhood, repairing, realigning and closing the body after giving birth. Understanding baby language and how to calm crying: plus Baby Massage, Postnatal Yoga stretches and pelvic floor repair through deep breathing exercises. We’ll show you how to close the pelvis and support your hips and lower back. At the end of the session, we hold space for relaxation with your baby, leaving you feeling refreshed and energised.

When the class is done, everyone moves to Selina’s tearoom to carry on chatting over coffee and cake. Could there be a better way to spend a couple of hours?

“I did the coffee cake and coping course. I can’t recommend it enough. Venessa and Sarah were so lovely and supportive. It was great to share the highs and lows of being a new mum and get some helpful tips along the way.” Esther Ormston

“I’ve just finished the fifth session of Coffee, Cake & Coping and I would whole-heartedly recommend this to ALL new mums. My little boy is 7 months now and I wish I had attended much sooner. I learned so much about posture and positions that I’m already feeling true physical benefits. Talking through the good and bad times each week was a real mental therapy, plus there’s cake at the end of it! I think it should be compulsory for mums! Vanessa and Sarah were so friendly, helpful and caring. Thank you!” Sophie Knight

If this sounds like something you, or a friend, would benefit from – or just want to find out more – head over to our Coffee, Cake & Coping page or pop into the Centre and ask our lovely reception staff.

Sarah Collister

Pregnancy & Postnatal Teacher

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