This time: BCT support for the years beyond tots and toddlers, getting peer support on Facebook and via the Experiences Register, the BCT's First Aid courses.

Growing up with the BCT: The BCT Lifers 

One might think that the Brussels Childbirth Trust (BCT) is all about Bumps & Babies and Tots & Toddlers but far from it! One of the biggest and most active groups in the BCT is the “Lifers” group: A network that counts about 400 families in all kinds of life situations, with babies, young children or those whose children have grown up. But all have one thing in common: they are living in Belgium permanently or expect to remain long-term.

The group organizes baby playgroups (Baby Lifers), has a very active forum to share information and experiences, and the Lifers University Group, for instance, organises regular meetings and information events for parents whose children are planning to study in the UK. You can find out more about this and many other interest groups in the BCT on our website. 

Getting support from peers –
online and offline

Nowadays, social media is an important resource providing information and peer-support. The popularity of the BCT Facebook group with its 1.600 members shows how important it is for people to get recommendations and information from others – even if this happens in a public forum and online. The topics range from questions about hospitals to providing entertainment for children, sometimes even the parents. Find the BCT Group on Facebook.

Sometimes, however, people prefer a more private environment to look for support and information. The BCT’s Experiences Register offers personal support via email, the phone or in person. It is an ever-expanding network of fellow parents who provide support on a wide range of topics, all speaking from their own experience. Depending on what is needed, they can share resources or simply offer a listening ear to someone who is going through the same problem they have faced before. Find out more about the BCT’s Experiences Register on our website.

BCT Members story: A lifeline going strong

Even though our members join the BCT for similar reasons, each member has their unique story. Here is Jo’s story:

The BCT has been an absolute lifeline both for me and for my family – it would not be overstating things to say that it’s kept me sane(ish!?).

The playgroups were not only a fabulous way of making new friends (several of whom I’m still in regular contact with), but also, to put it bluntly, the only thing that forced me to leave the house some days when my kids were tiny. My volunteer roles have given me a sense of purpose and self-worth, and a strong feeling of being part of a team, while I’ve taken extended ‘time out’ of my career.

Now that my children are both in school and we no longer make as much day-to-day use of the BCT, I still find my BCT Lifers’ membership an invaluable source of information and support and I very much enjoy attending BCT events (with my kids) and the BCT book club (without them!).
” Jo N.

Giving parents more confidence in emergencies

Interview with BCT prenatal teacher Kate Ellwood about First Aid for Parents.
You’ve been giving prenatal courses for more than 2 years now. Why did you decide to train as a First Aid Instructor?
In nearly every prenatal class, parents ask about First Aid, choking, what to do if their child falls from a slide, down stairs etc. but there is just not enough time to cover it sufficiently. So, it’s on new parents minds even before their baby is born. It was therefore just natural to do the training (in Belgium and the UK) in order to facilitate First Aid sessions for the BCT. We can now offer important First Aid education to parents and answer their many question.
Can you tell us more about the things you teach parents who attend the class?
I cover first aid techniques for babies (0-1yrs) and children (1-12yrs), such as:
  • How to manage a child who is unconscious and not responding to you
  • How to perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a child (and adult) that has stopped breathing
  • What to do if they start choking
  • Bleeding
  • Burns
Is there one most important thing all parents need to know?
Safety for yourself, the casualty and others before you leap in to help then airway, airway, airway! 

First Aid for Parents on the BCT website.

Event agenda

To receive the latest updates on BCT events or to register, please check the events section of our website or like our page on Facebook.

Pregnancy in Belgium Evening
A one-off class for those who are planning or expecting to have a baby in Belgium. Topics: Pregnancy care, place of birth, health and wellbeing, support services and resources in Belgium.
4 Nov, 9 Dec (7.30 - 10 pm)
Details and registration

Prenatal Courses
· First-time parent's courses: continuously throughout the year
· Refresher courses: every 3 to 4 months. Next dates: 21 Oct
Details and registration
First Aid for Parents
A 3-hour session [one-off class] covering choking, basic life support and common first aid scenarios with the aim of providing plenty of opportunity to practice new skills
15 Nov (2-5pm), 24 Nov (7-10pm), 6 Jan (7-10pm), 16 Jan (10am-1pm), 4 Feb (7-10pm), 21 Feb (10am-1pm)
Participation fee: €25 (members); €35 (non-members)
Crafts for Christmas – a Funday!
Our very popular do-it-yourself craft market in a Christmassy atmosphere.
29 Nov, 2-5 pm
BCT Talk: Elimination Communication or “Early Potty Training”
1 Dec, 8 pm (Wezembeek-Oppem)
3 Dec, 8 pm (Central Brussels)
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