This section tells you who we are, what our background is, what we aim to do and why we have decided to do it this way. It also tells you who to contact if you want to contribute, advertise or comment.
Natality is owned and administered by Jenny and Raymond Lesley. Jenny is an antenatal teacher, breastfeeding counsellor and freelance writer who has been writing about all things birth and family for about 10 years. Raymond is a computer software engineer and website designer with more years of experience than he cares to put into print.
Jenny wrote a long running column for the Newcastle Evening Chronicle about life as a parent called “Secret Diary of a Demented Mother”. She has written frequently on humorous and factual topics for the NCT member’s magazine New Generation and its public magazine Bumps and Babies. She has also written for the BBC Parenting website, the Good Birth website and the Dr Foster Guide.
As well as her antenatal teaching and breastfeeding counselling, Jenny works with women and couples expecting babies after a previous caesarean. She is well known within the birth world for having had a home water birth after three previous caesareans and has written a book called “Birth After Caesarean” published by AIMS (The Association for Improvements in Maternity Services) in 2005.
Ray has moved around different aspects of software engineering but discovered a love of website building and design a couple of years ago. He is never too proud to accept suggestion or free code so do contact us with ideas!
Why are we here?
We do not seek to hide that this is a commercial venture for us, however we only do what we do because we have a quixotic and unshakeable conviction that no-one else is quite doing this parenting information online thing the way we want to do it.
Our company ethos
Every website has a philosophy, an agenda – complete absence of bias is not possible and also, sometimes not desirable. There are many places on the web where someone will give you inaccurate information which biases towards the concepts of birth as a mechanistic process in the control of other people, an unavoidably frightening, painful experience followed by a concept of parenting with the child as the enemy to be defeated or subdued. We do not subscribe to those theories.
We do not aim to be all things to all people but we do think we have something to offer every parent who has an enquiring mind. We aim to inform without patronising, to be honest , to find the best available writers and information and to support and value you.
No advertising will be accepted from any companies where doing so would breach the World Health Organisation code on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Similarly we do not accept advertisers whose products detract from the concept that birth of itself is a normal, physiological process, that babies and children require nurture and that where possible we should raise them in a way which does not cost them their future wellbeing on our planet.
We welcome national advertisers with something for everyone across the UK but we also welcome, and have a price structure for, individuals who have something to offer in their local community. Do contact us if you would like more information. As we are an evolving business we are pleased to offer 6 months free advertising to all new advertisers in 2007. Woohoo, what are you waiting for?
We value parent to parent information sharing but also want to explore and encourage art forms arising from birth and parenting experiences. If you’d like to contribute then do contact us. We do have to keep it legal but almost anything goes providing that it also contributes to our ethos. You can also keep a pregnancy, birth or parenting blog here to record all those good, bad and,frankly, quite ugly moments of family life. Natality is also a place to have fun and if you have a taste for the irreverent then you are very welcome here too. We don’t pretend that parenthood is always fun but we aim to keep a sense of fun about it.
Our aims and philosophy
We believe that birth is an inherently natural process that in our modern age has become increasingly managed by professionals on a medical risk managed mechanistic model. However we acknowledge that individual birth and parenting choices are often limited and constrained by circumstance, belief and experience and no-one should be made to feel guilty or ashamed about their birth and parenting choices. We believe that we can campaign, for example, against rising caesarean rates whilst supporting and caring for parents who have had caesarean births. Being for something does not mean that you are against something else.
The only exception to this is that we do not allow any discussion of Gina Ford or other proponents of baby scheduling – partly because GF herself has shown herself to be extremely litigation conscious but mainly because we don’t believe that her methods are in sympathy with our company ethos.
We follow the WHO code on advertising not because we are against baby formula but because we agree with the World Health Organisation that parents and babies need protecting from the advertising of breastmilk substitutes. We promote breastfeeding as the normal and desirable way to feed a baby but we welcome and support all parents regardless of their feeding choices, many of which will have been made in very difficult circumstances with very difficult emotions surrounding the issue. It is not our business to tell you what to do or to pass any judgement on you, rather it is our business to inform your choices, to campaign to increase your choices and to support you in your choices.