Trageschule Foundation Course, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 2014

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI have just got back from Trageschule Foundation Course in Kyiv, Ukraine and I really want to share with you what an amazing inspirational course it has been. I feel touched and warm and truly humbled to remember the passion and the commitment that the course participants (now Babywearing Consultants – Trageschule Foundation Course) have for supporting the families and the babies even in this time of upheaval and uncertainty. We started organising the course nearly a year ago, when no-one had an inkling about how the events would develop. I am really grateful to everyone who made it on the course. One of the course participants made it from Odessa. The other one made it with a one and a half month old baby – from Severodonetsk, where 50 km from the town the war zone starts. We have missed one of the course participants who could not make it out of the war zone. I am also hugely grateful to Nina Zaychenko, who organised and coordinated the course through all changes in circumstances and despite the recent political events. Given all that, the very least I could do was to make it to the course myself and give it my 100%! Together, we all made the course happen, and made it a success for everyone :). I am really grateful that now the Babywearing Consultants in the Ukraine can support the parents and babies with the techniques that help absolute beginners to achieve success and confidence in using slings. And what is more, I hope they would be unstoppable in spreading babywearing love, now that they have ways to share research, which get the message across effectively and compassionately. And I am confident they would be greatly helped in their work with the effective communication skills learnt on the course that would enable them to navigate the trickiest sling consultancy situations with grace, confidence and intention for everyone to win! SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES I am also totally grateful for the enthusiasm and hard work that everyone has put into this course (in-between tending to their work and the children during the breaks and after the end of every day!). It has been a joy to observe everyone’s skills growing from one round of teaching to the next, with the support of each other and my feedback and support. I am deeply appreciative that now Babywearing Consultants in Ukraine have joined Trageschule Network 🙂 (watch this space for their names and contact details being added :)! ). And I look forward to continuing our journey together during Advanced course (which I has already been asked about 🙂 ). If you feel inspired reading this post, or happy that there are people all over the world who are passionate about helping parents to keep their babies safe and close, no matter what may be going on in the place where they are, do spread this story by linking to it or Liking us or the story on Trageschule Facebook page. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIf you are also passionate about helping mothers, families and babies, no matter what, and you want to be able to help anyone interested in babywearing, be in an absolute beginner or a more experienced sling user, and are interested in joining us at a Trageschule course, do get in touch with us at care @ trageschule.co.uk (please delete spaces). We still have spaces on Trageschule Foundation Course in Shrewsbury in September, and spaces on the Advanced Trageschule course in November in Hebden Bridge. Booking is easy, again, email us at care @ trageschule.co.uk with any questions or queries. If you are outside the UK, for Malaysian courses this year, do get in touch with Izam at isuziani @ yahoo.com .

“It’s all because of you that I can do the workshops and make these mamas happy”

I have not blogged for a while as my life has been very full recently with some fantastic Trageschule courses, supporting Trageschule-trained Babywearing Consultants on their journeys, and being away for work and with family. I am truly grateful to everyone who has been rooting for Trageschule and helping make the courses happen 🙂 . And today I feel moved to share a wonderful success story about spreading Babywearing Love and skills from one of Trageschule Advanced Course Graduates Joanna Harding (Babywearing Consultant Trageschule Advanced course, Liverpool Sling Library ).

This has made my heart sing and has totally made my day 🙂 . I hope it inspires you too.

Here is what Joanna said: “It’s all because of you that I can do the workshops and make these mamas happy” when I emailed her the congratulations on some AMAZING feedback Joanna received after her babywearing workshop from her satisfied workshop participants (see below).

It is feedback like this, and the knowledge that those who trained with me are making good use of their training and helping so many other parents and babies to benefit from it, that makes my work so worthwhile and rewarding. Hearing from you lets me know that there are ripples of learning, support, kindness, skills that are being sent into the world and reaching more and more mothers and babies. So I want to say big thank you to those of you who trained with Trageschule and keeps spreading Babywearing Love!

All comments and photos used with permission (from Joanna). And here is what Joanna’s workshop participants told her:
10300682_10152070509634599_7256471420285947580_n“I tried M on my back when I got home, she loved it, she was chatting away and having a good look around! Thank you so much for teaching me all I know about wraps and wrapping, my only regret is that I didn’t do it with my first two! It’s the best feeling in the world having your baby so close and knowing you can calm them in an instant. You are a wonderful teacher and I recommend your workshops to everyone x”

AND

10323047_10152070508389599_1219881044_n“I agree, V! I got F straight into a ruck first go after she’d had a good sleep. It felt so comfy and safe. She must have loved it because she fell straight back to sleep again!! Thanks for your patience, Jo, it was a lovely session!“.

And in turn, I am grateful for the skills for babywearing support and teaching that are UNIQUE to Trageschule (including Trageschule teaching and carrying techniques that evolved over the last 15 years). I am really confident that using those skills would mean helping parents to achieve success with carrying their babies. Would you like to add those skills to your toolbox as well and be able to successfully and empathetically help the parents learn babywearing, and to feel more confident and unstoppable in your sharing babywearing? Do ask us ( care @ trageschule.co.uk or Simo at chibisimo @ hotmail.com , please delete the gaps) about our next Foundation Course in Shrewsbury in September (registration timeline 1 June 🙂 ) . And if you completed one of our Foundation Courses and would love to run workshops as amazing as Joanna’s, I am confident that our Advanced course would give you the skills for doing it (as long as you are willing to use them after the course 🙂 ). You can see our Graduates’ testimonials here :). And I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming courses.

Season’s Greetings :)!

HNY1I want to wish everyone a really happy New Year, and all the best in 2014 (and I hope that you have really enjoyed Christmas).

Here are ten highlights (out of many more 🙂 ) from my Trageschule work in 2013 (in no particular order):

1. The courses in the UK, Russia and Ireland … Now more parents and babies, from Tomsk in Siberia to Ireland and Northern Ireland can benefit from qualified support! Check out the previous blogposts to see the photos and the reports and to get more idea of what a Trageschule course may be like :)!

2. We have had two more male babywearing consultants joining Trageschule network in 2013 :), and more sling vendors and health professionals trained with us too.

3. I am also feeling humbled and very grateful remembering some amazing unsolicited feedback (e.g. here and here – and stay tuned for more :)!) that I have received throughout the year.

4. It also has been great to be able to support the Irish Babywearing Fair and a Babywearing group and Natural Mamas’ Birthday celebration with some donations of babywearing art prints and posters :).

5. Babywearing educator’s insurance deal now being available to Trageschule Graduates is another highlight of 2013 for me (and the work that went into sorting it out 🙂 )!

6. It has also been amazing to receive your feedback on my article and know that it may have contributed to increasing professionalism in Babywearing Support and Education :).

7. I still have warm memories of the community, learning and networking at Dresden Trageschule mini-conference – and am happy to think that now this option is also available for Trageschule Graduates in the UK, Ireland and beyond :). The registration is still open for May mini-conference!

8. Now Trageschule website is available in Russian!

9. I’m incredibly grateful for the support of our Medical Advisors in 2013, who supported Trageschule trained Babywearing consultants with relevant information for a wide range of additional needs situations, from carrying babies born breech to a winged scapula in a parent. Huge thanks to all of you again!

HNY210. During Trageschule courses in 2013, I have met so many amazing people (you know who you are!), who are passionate about being there for the parents. I’m really looking forward to keeping in touch over phone, email or Trageschule consultants’ group, and to seeing you again at Advanced and Certification courses and the CPD event/mini-conference in 2014!

Once again, I want to say huge thanks to all of you who supported Trageschule UK, Ireland and Russia in 2013! Thank you for choosing us for being with you on your journey of helping the parents and babies.

Stay tuned for more Trageschule news and updates in 2014. Registration is still open for the Foundation Course in Hebden Bridge (February 2014) and for the Advanced course in Hebden Bridge (March, confirmed). I’m looking forward to seeing you and meeting you in 2014!

Press-release: Trageschule website, now in Russian :)!

I invite you to join me in the celebration of the long-awaited arrival of the Russian language version of our website in Russian. To read it, all you need to do (as long as you can read in Russian 🙂 ) is to click on the Russian flag on the right-hand side of your screen.

I hope that this may support Trageschule-trained Babywearing Consultants in Russia.  And I also hope that having the site in Russian may also help everyone interested in bringing a Russian-language Trageschule course to their location.

I’m super-grateful to those who have helped out with the website side of things to make it possible,  and to the wonderful translator who translated most of it. You know who you are :)! There are couple of pages that have been added later and are still being translated, please stay tuned for their content being available in Russian too.

And, finally, huge thanks to everyone who studied with Trageschule in Russia, for your support and inspiration!

Trageschule: helping you to help the parents, successfully!

yellow rosesMy heart sings at having received this unsolicited feedback from one of recent Trageschule Graduates:

QUOTE I have met up with my friend and all the tips I gave her made her feel that she can carry her little girl. It was very nice to see that the method works ;)UNQUOTE (Iwona ML, shared with the author’s permission).

Reading this, I feel happy and warm and satisfied. One of the reasons for my feeling this way is hearing yet about another parent’s helped by a Trageschule consultant to babywear in safety and comfort. The other one is remembering how often I have heard a delighted ‘It works!!’ from Trageschule-trained consultants who applied their skills and knowledge acquired at the course and fully used Trageschule approach to accompany a parent through their learning a new carry :).

This also makes me remember my own experiences. By the time I attended a Trageschule course (when these became available in the UK in 2008), I had been babywearing for about four years, and had been helping other parents to learn babywearing for the most of that time 🙂 (one-to-one and in groups). By that time, I already had fantastic training, feedback and CPD opportunities as a lay trained breastfeeding counsellor, and through my learning of Nonviolent Communication. Yet, I found the approach shared at Trageschule courses I attended incredibly useful, both in terms of how we would help the parents learn and the ‘what’, the learning choices available to the parents. I noticed, how, when applied consistently, the approach would deliver the results, with people belonging to different cultures and social groups and babies of different ages.

It has been especially gratifying this summer to see some of the parents who I helped to learn babywearing, using Trageschule method, in 2008, fresh out of my own consultancy training. Some of them went on to have more children. For me, it’s been amazing and especially gratifying to see how, despite the time that has passed – five years, no less! – the way that they used the technique and the results were consistent with what they learnt five years ago :). Imagine acquiring a life skill that you would use for this length of time, sometimes for many hours a day. Knowing the quality of Trageschule approach and carrying methods, I see it as a true investment into one’s back health and into the ease and comfort of one’s life with a baby.

Since 2008, I experienced it so many times in my work with the parents and have heard it from so many Trageschule consultants that, when applied in their wholeness and consistently, for so many people, the methods and approach would deliver the results. The results often are safe and comfortable babywearing, physiologically optimal baby positioning in the sling, and the parent’s feeling reaffirmed and empowered. The satisfaction and delight of these experiences have been my major motivation in taking my Trageschule learning further to offer trainings to those who support the parents.

If you, too, want to learn these highly effective, tried-and-tested ways to help the parents achieve their babywearing success, we’d be delighted to see you at our next Foundation course in Hebden Bridge . If you are interested, please get in touch with Olga at olga @ trageschule.co.uk with any questions or to book . I look forward to hearing from you and to your joining us at the course :)!

Insurance discount for Trageschule trained Babywearing Consultants (including Sling Library option)

I am thrilled to announce that now Trageschule consultants can get babywearing consultancy and sling library insurance on the strength of their Trageschule training. Now getting your insurance as a Trageschule Graduate is easy and simple (see the details in the Consultants’ section of the website, see below how to get access). We have done our best to accommodate your request for the insurance for Trageschule consultants, and to secure a discount for you. Now as a Trageschule-trained babywearing consultant, you can get insurance either though this option, or, as before, after joining BABI . Hopefully, more choices of insurance will mean greater peace of mind for both you and the parents and babies who you support.

Trageschule consultants who are the UK and Irish residents, or the residents of Holland, Gibraltar and France are eligible to this insurance. More EU countries are being added as we speak – please ask if in doubt 🙂 . The insurance covers your working world-wide (apart from the USA and Canada). I believe that in this respect, this insurance well suits the international profile of our Graduates :).

Just right now, with the discount, £73 p.a. would cover your activities related to sharing babywearing (see the insurer’s leaflet for the details, insurer’s T&C apply). The combined Sling Library and Babywearing Insurance is £84.77.

The insurance details can be accessed via the Consultants’ section of out website. See the access details on the Trageschule Babywearing Consultants’ group, or email me at olga @ trageschule.co.uk .

Increasing Professionalism in Babywearing Education: Introduction

Introduction

It had never really occurred to me that plagiarism might be something to consider in the babywearing world. Sure, research methods, referencing sources and acknowledging the existing body of knowledge were all concepts that were familiar to me from my first degree and MSc in accountancy, but I hadn’t realised that they may be applicable to babywearing matters as well. However, some eight or nine years ago, it became clear to me that they were just as important in the babywearing world when I was active on www.thebabywearer.com. I saw the enormous care the site takes over such questions when I became a moderator there. More recently, since I have been part of the international Trageschule network, with its links to health care providers and researchers, and during my own Trageschule learning around how to facilitate Trageschule courses, I have remained well aware of the issue. I realise everyone comes to babywearing via their own unique path and has their own particular contributions to make, and perhaps these are questions that you have not encountered before.

I hope that this article may be another contribution of mine to the babywearing profession being taken more seriously in its own right. Hopefully, this will also contribute to us becoming better integrated into a wider community of professionals.

I am sure everyone involved in babywearing circles would like to see babywearing adopted more widely. I am sure everyone would like for the benefits of babywearing to be accepted by more healthcare providers, or to see supportive articles in the media, or to persuade academics that it is a subject worthy of their attention. I strongly believe that we—the babywearing professionals who support parents and promote a culture of babywearing—can take a few simple steps towards presenting our knowledge in a positive and credible manner. By doing this, I believe we increase our chances of getting our message across. I believe that acknowledging the sources and referencing our work can be a significant step in this direction.

How can we do this in practise? I suggest looking briefly at the following five questions (click on each heading to read the discussion):

1 What’s in it for me?

2 How can I tell if it’s original work, plagiarism or derivative?

3 Isn’t it a bit strange to talk about original work when babywearing is an ancient art, passed down the generations?

4 Ok, so how do I do the referencing then?

5 Ok, so how can I help spread this best practice within the community?

6 Bibliography

If all this sounds like a lot to digest at once, feel free to bookmark the page and come back when you have a cup of tea brewed. Also, if you would like to deepen your knowledge in this area, and apply it in practice, why not attend one of our Certification courses where you would use referencing and create bibliography for your babywearing-themed presentation.

The scope of this article is to give you a starting point to explore widely accepting publishing conventions on distinguishing between original work and derivative work/plagiarism. It does NOT address issues of copyright, which is another theme in its own right. What I am looking at here are intellectual issues, rather than commericial concerns. If the distinction between plagiarism and copyright infringement is one you are interested in, here is a useful summary at Plagiarism Checker (“Plagiarism vs. Copyright Infringement: Is Copying Illegal?,” n.d.) and also  “Plagiarism is nothing to do with copyright” (Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week,” n.d.).

A disclaimer

All this is to the best of my knowledge. I have drawn on my understanding of the subject from my previous studies. I used the sources cited (see bibliography). I checked the end result for factual inaccuracies with two people who have taught at university level and completed their own research. I also had some input from a professional journalist. Please also bear in mind that it is an article for informative purposes only, and is not meant to be a replacement for professional advice! If in doubt, please consult a suitably qualified person.

Also, I am using ‘original work’, ‘derivative work’ and ‘plagiarism’ here as commonly accepted labels that can be looked up in dictionaries etc., thus making it easier to discuss the subject. I do not mean to use them as value judgements/’right’/’wrong’ labels.

So, let’s delve into the question of how we distinguish original work from derivative work (including plagiarism), and how we can acknowledge and reference sources: Part 1 – What’s in it for me?

Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Bibliography

Moscow, Russia, Trageschule course, Summer 2013 :)

Now that it is getting colder and so autumnal, I remember the baking hot days in Moscow, during the Trageschule course in June 2013. Even my children still remember how hot it was, especially in Moscow Metro! Thinking of the course brings back warm and happy memories of so much learning that we did together, the laughter, the fun and the enthusiasm and deep care of everyone at the course about supporting the parents and babies to the best of their skills and abilities. And in that weather, it was as well that our venue, a local Children’s Arts School, was pleasantly cool. So even with all the learning Trageschule techniques and practicng teaching them, we did not work up a sweat! Our special thanks to the venue, and to Dasha and Yulia for finding the venue and liasiing with it :).

The participants at Moscow course were from different locations, from various areas of Moscow itself to Perm’ (in the Urals). Also, with this course, Moscow gained its first trained babywearing consultant who is also a health professional.

The participants of this course really made the best use of the communication skills module and worked on a variety of situations using the effective communication skills. On this course, in this module, I remember so much enthusiasm for experiential learning, including using supported role-plays and coaching for gaining skills for transforming a variety of challenging situations.

Everyone was deeply grateful to an amazing breastfeeding counsellor and babywearing consultant, who, single-handedly, with an on-off assistance of the children’s Mums, kept the older little ones (mostly) happy, peaceful and entertained (can you spot this rather impressive shortie hammock? there were two at least; only one made it into the photos 🙂 ).

If you are interested in organising a course in Russia or in Russian language next year, please get in touch with Olga at Olga@trageschule.co.uk .

Want to support Babywearing Northern Ireland and get some babywearing Christmas cards?

To continue the topic of Seasons’ Greetings Babywearing Postcards/Art Prints, for those of you in the UK who want to support a good babywearing cause and spread some babywearing love with the cards that you send and gift for Christmas and New Year :), I donated the remaining Seasons’ Greetings cards (artwork by me) to support the amazing work of the Northern Irish Babywearing Group. I feel excited and delighted to know about the work that they have been doing and I thought I’d share it with you :)! So, f you want to hear more about them, or to find out where to get the cards, read on :)!

I heard about what the group has managed to achieve from one of the Trageschule Certified Babywearing Consultants, Beth Beaney. Through their NI group, Beth and the others have managed to bring together many parents and, at least for these families, mend the divide that many others efforts of other organisations have not managed to bridge! This group has done it through the shared love of babywearing and care about the babies.

This is something that is precious for me and unities the themes that I hold dear: the love of babywearing, the care for other parents, building the community and a desire for peace. I am so inspired, humbled and hopeful when I think of the work done by this group. I’m also very grateful that, through my Trageschule work, I got to meet Beth, witness her journey in supporting the parents via sharing babywearing through the very first Trageschule Foundation course, then the Advanced and Certification courses, and get to know about her and others’ work in Northern Ireland. I hope that Babywearing Northern Ireland will go from strength to strength, with two more Babywearing Consultants (Trageschule Foundation Course), Chrisy Bracewell and Claire Douglas, supporting the parents in Northern Ireland.

If you too would like to support the group’s work and help them with fundraising, please get in touch with Beth at beth@lovetobenatural.co.uk . All proceeds from the postcards sales will go to support the group. It’s the last of these Christmas cards for the year, and when they are gone, they are gone, so get in touch with Beth ASAP and get them whilst they last :). And, you can share this story with someone else this coming festive season – whilst spreading babywearing love.

Trageschule Posters, Postcards and Irish Babywearing Fair – Wearing a Hug

With it being Halloween today, gifting and posting the Halloween postcards/art prints (featuring my artwork), which was amongst the others that I donated to Babywearing Ireland for Wearing a Hug Fair, reminded me of the fair itself. [A hint: it is not one of the pictures you can see in this post :)… If you are not sure which print it may be, look for further hints here ]. So I thought I’d tell you about the fair, which was the huge success by the sounds of it :). I am really happy to have been able to support this non-for-profit organisation and all the amazing work it has been doing though this donation.

I have not made it there this year and enjoyed it vicariously through looking at the photos. It’s been especially lovely to see my babywearing postcards/art prints and A3 posters in this picture too :). By the way, if you want to support Babywearing Ireland too, you can get some remaining babywearing Seasons’ Greetings cards (my artwork) from them. All sales proceeds from these donated cards go to Babywearing Ireland 🙂 . Sending and gifting the cards/art prints that portray babywearing and family life may be one way to spread babywearing love AND support a good cause :). Also, many of those who got these cards from me in the past were not a part of the slinging world: they found the colours and peaceful happy scenes called to them 🙂 .

Back to the fair photos, I have been so thrilled to spot so many familiar faces of those of you who have trained with Trageschule in the photos! If you want to check it out yourself… how many of our graduates can you spot there :)?

It has been expecially sweet to see that Trageschule visual teaching aids were being put to good use during the talk by Trageschule Certified Consultant Olwen Rowe 🙂 in this photo. And even sweeter to see her son asleep in the baby carrier whilst she was delivering her talk!

As the Irish Babywearing Fair goes, I really cherish my invitation to it next year and intend to make it (major emergencies notwithstanding) :). And if you want to join Trageschule Graduates in Ireland, we have last few spaces remaining on the Foundation course in Central Dublin 15-17 November. Contact me at olga @ trageschule.co.uk (delete spaces in the email address) to book a space or with any questions . I look forward to seeing you in Dublin – or at the Fair next year 🙂 (or sometime in-between 🙂 ).

A note: all photos are shared with the kind permission of the copyright holder, Mike LePage. Thank you Mike and Babywearing Ireland.