"Early experiences affect the quality of the brain 'architecture', by making either a sturdy or a fragile foundation for all a child's future learning of empathy, happiness, hopefulness and resiliency"

James McKenna (University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioural Sleep Laboratory)

Antenatal, Baby and Parenting classes for Mums and Dads - How can I help you?

With my antenatal, parenting and baby classes, my aim is to help enable you as parents - and prospective parents - to look forward to having children, and for you to have as easy and pleasurable a life with your baby as is possible. I look forward to meeting you in my classes!

Mary-Clare Buckle with her twins - Antenatal, Baby and Parenting classes for Mums and Dads - Weymouth Dorchester and Bridport My antenatal and postnatal (parenting) classes are all about informing, enriching and supporting you through this emotional and transitional time. A good start and early bonding can help both parents invest the time and emotional energy needed to look after their children until adulthood. Families who enjoy secure attachments and strong bonds are more likely to weather the early years of parenting safely and build resilient children with an indomitable sense of their own worth.

Hello Mary-Clare You helped me lots about my baby's sleeping when I really really need someone's help. You helped my emotions as well. Your sling helped my baby and me. I never ever forget about your support. My boy will be 7 years old next month. xxx

YN, Aldershot

Prepare for birth! Prepare for your baby!

Next Antenatal Course - please contact us for dates and further information -

Mary-Clare - 07775-656782

Antenatal - Classes in Pregnancy

Antenatal course (in total 7 x 2 hour)

Pregnant mother - Antenatal, Baby and Parenting classes for Mums and Dads - Weymouth Dorchester and Bridport

Antenatal course, Part 1 - 'Birth Preparation'

This 4 x 2 hour part of the antenatal course includes: What birth is and how it happens; coping mechanisms; considering your options; getting the best support; pain-relieving options and medical and non-medical tools to help your labour. Also, after labour: '3rd stage' options; the 'golden hour' immediately after birth; the first feed and feeding in general. Whatever type of birth you opt for - including a waterbirth or a planned caesarean birth - we help you figure out what is important to you and how to fit what you want into what you need and get the best support from your care providers.

Antenatal course, Part 2 - 'Preparing to Parent'

This part of the antenatal course (3 x 2 hours) covers: looking after and understanding your new baby and the way they experience and interpret the world around them, looking at their brain and neurological development and how your parenting can optimise that, why they might cry, normal infant sleep, the importance of slings as a calming post-natal aid and how to tie them, what you might need or not need for your baby, creating a 'postnatal sanctuary' plan, getting ready for a quiet uninterrupted time for you both to get to know your baby.

Standalone 'Preparing to Parent' Course (3 x 2 hours)

The 'Preparing to Parent' course covers the same as the Antenatal course, but without the birth preparation element (if, for example, you have already taken a hypnobirthing or other birth preparation course such as NCT antenatal classes or NHS Antenatal classes).

All of the antenatal courses above include full hand-outs of everything we talked about in the classes, an extensive summary email detailing support networks and email/phone support if you need it, before or after the birth.

Picture credit (above): SanchaBella (Sancha Blass-Laker), Dorchester

Can't recommend Mary-Clare enough. Lovely lady, extremely knowledgeable xx

JE, Dorchester

This was my second visit to West Dorset Sling library, and once again Mary-Clare was just brilliant - what she does't know about slings isn't worth knowing. Great value for money to hire a sling, huge selection to choose from and two very lovely and helpful people to help find what's right for you

AM, Weymouth

'Preparing To Parent' Refresher Course (2 x 2 hours)

This is a special antenatal course for parents who are expecting a 2nd, 3rd or more baby, tailored to your exact needs.

Creating a Postpartum Sanctuary Workshop (1 hour)

Difficult to think beyond the birth of your baby - but this antenatal workshop helps you with getting ready for a quiet uninterrupted time for you both to get to know your baby. This workshop is a useful add-on for the NCT antenatal classes or NHS Antenatal classes.

Real Food in Pregnancy Workshop (2 hours)


Postnatal baby classes for new parents - both Mums and Dads!

So friendly and welcoming and genuinely interested in what we had to say. And clearly cared a lot about the subject matter. Provided links and reading material. Encouraged different viewpoints. Just talking to Mary-Clare and the other people on the course - reassured my concerns and questions are the same as others.

AH, Dorchester

You and Your New Baby Workshop (3 hours)

This workshop covers: You and your new baby, postnatal recovery, looking after yourself, understanding your baby, understanding sleep, using slings, what you can do to make things easier for yourself.

Learning all about Slings Workshop (1 1/2 hours)

We look at sling safety, all the different types of sling available and learn how to tie them. There is an option to hire one to try for a period of time.

Starting Solids Workshop (2-3 hours)

Positive weaning and eating for Life: how to help your child have a healthy attitude to and relationship with food, the importance of responsive feeding, the foods to avoid, the pro and cons of 'baby led weaning' versus spoon feeding, practicalities of baby led weaning, current weaning guidelines and why they exist, do you need to wait until 6 months, what do babies need from solids, false and true signs of readiness for starting solids and the 3 aspects of that (biological, physical and psychological).