Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

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Guest blog from Hazel Roberts, Jammy Cow MK

Valerie says, “I am delighted to have been part of Milton Keynes Midnight Moo, and part of the Moos at Ten team!”

Hazel writes:

Last Saturday night  was the 2012 Midnight Moo – an all ladies 10 mile walk through Milton Keynes. The herd set off a midnight and whilst they were busy striding through the early miles, Jammy Cow and her heifer friends were busy preparing the final mile for their welcome home.
At the beginning of mile 10, ready to greet the herd for their final mile was the very professional Moos at Ten Cow, Mavis.  She is a very sensible and reliable cow and in stark contrast to the next cow round the first corner. Silly Cow, Connie giggled her way through the night.
Those of you who walked the 10 miles will know that most of mile 10 is uphill so the Moos at Ten team were ready to add that extra bit of encouragement as the herd came through. Having said that, Bossy Cow’s version of encouragement is about as friendly as bootcamp with her strident, “Keep moooving!” shout. It is at this point in the early hours of the morning that you realise exactly how far 10 miles is to walk. “Holy cow, aren’t we there yet?” you may mutter as you pass the pious Holy Cow, Mary.

Continuing up Midsummer Boulevard, the end is near and breakfast at Pret A Manger awaits, a thought not lost on the perpetually hungry Fat Cow, Victoria as she patiently waved the crowds through. Normally, Hetty the Mad Cow stands out as a bit odd but last night she was in good company with lots of ladies suitably dressed up for the night.

Through Witan Gate underpass and by now there is less than half a mile to go. Bed is calling and lucky you, you’ll soon be home and tucked up. Lucy, the Lucky Cow was there, cheering you on for the final push. And only another 50 calories left to burn, something Clover, the Skinny Cow was quick to point out. Nearly at the end of mile 10 now and so very close to achieving your aim. A point to feel proud and to reflect upon why you are doing this. Willen Hospice is a fantastic cause and everyone is impressed by your fundraising efforts. Remember those Concrete Cows you passed in mile 7, well one makes a final appearance here to salute your efforts on behalf of Milton Keynes.

And there, with the end in sight, Jammy Cow welcomes you to the end of mile 10 and congratulates you on completing the Midnight Moo. A big cheer, breakfast, bath and bed.

So can you work out how many cows there were on mile 10 of the Midnight Moo? If you can and you are local to Milton Keynes then why not enter our competition to win a fabulous hamper of goodies. Visit or email your answer to

As an Independent Midwife I am often asked by clients whether I know about pregnancy yoga classes, or baby swimming classes or even about complementary therapists and nurseries.

Over the years I have worked hard to collate databases of useful information, and often would hand out piles of flyers to my clients, but I began to see the need to put this information into one central place and thus the idea of BirthIndex was born. is a LOCAL on-line Directory for all things Pregnancy, Birth and Baby and currently covers the Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton areas.  There are sections for Fertility, where one might find anything to prepare of assist with actually getting pregnant; a Pregnancy and Birth section listing everything from pregnancy ultrasound, complementary therapists who work with pregnancy to a specialist pathology laboratory; the postnatal section includes pilates or physiotherapy for Mum and baby signing whilst the Other section includes photographers and caterers who make christening cakes!  There are also useful Baby Equipment, Complementary Therapists and Childcare sections as well as an Events section listing relevant local events (if you are hosting events please do list them with us as it makes the site more useful – there is no charge for this).  There is a comprehensive Links section and a Useful Articles section which is set to expand over time and finally an opportunity to sign up for our BirthIndex newsletters.

Please do visit the site and let me know what you think, I would welcome any ideas you may have for improving the site, equally if you know of businesses that should be listed please do invite them to look at the site, as they can be listed free of charge.

A woman in America has given birth to eight babies, and although born nine weeks prematurely, at present doctors say all of them are doing well.  The babies weighed between 1lb 8 ounces (820g) and 3lb 4oz (1.47kg) and will need to stay in Neonatal Intensive Care for some time.  It’s only the second time in the world that someone has given birth to eight babies at once, and doctors were only expecting her to have seven!

Also in the news is the story of surrogate mother Carol Horlock who has had eleven babies for other couples and also has two children of her own. I am sure surrogacy takes place in most cultures, often with the surrogate mother being a family member, of course this raises huge ethical issues not to mention the emotional issues for all concerned, but wow … this is something that I personally could never have considered, I couldn’t even have parted with my eggs, but I know many couples are eternally grateful for those that are able to help them have a family.

Today I was twice invited to speak on BBC 3 Counties Radio, partly in response to this news story and also to speak about my work as an Independent Midwife –

I had hoped to have the opportunity to discuss my new website but the interviewer was keen to discuss my blog. was launched only three months ago has already proved popular.  The site currently covers Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton and aims to be THE information site for all things Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.  For example on the site you can find therapists who specialise in Pre-conceptual support, pregnancy ultrasound, swimming classes for babies and even photographers to photograph your little one!  The site has a comprehensive Links section and an interesting selection of articles and the opportunity to sign up for a regular newsletter.

I am a fan of real (or washable cloth) nappies, having used them on my four children.  I used the old terry towelling squares and can honestly say that it wasn’t that difficult, I did occasionally use disposable, for example when I was out or on holiday, but generally used the cloth ones with a nappy liner.  The liners can either be paper liners, placed inside the nappy to catch the solid waste and also to help keep the moisture away from your baby’s skin, or indeed there are also washable liners too.  Interestingly there is no need to soak or sterilize real nappies as modern washing machines wash so well.

Today there is a huge (sometimes bewildering) range of reusable nappies to choose from, but to help you there are many independent nappy suppliers who will often lend you nappies to “try before you buy”.  An excellent website for information is where you can learn all about real nappies, and this site will also direct you to local suppliers.

Obviously real nappies can be bought in all the usual nursery suppliers but also some supermarkets, however you may like to consider the small local independent suppliers who are often mothers who have used cloth nappies themselves.  Suppliers local to Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton are listed on

This subject has recently been discussed on Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert website and I wholeheartedly agree that there is money to be saved by using cloth nappies, particularly if you plan to have more than one child, and take advantage of local council incentives for example offer a £35 cash-back payment for those using real nappies (£40 for those on benefits).  In Bedford you can claim a £25 payment and a similar £25 if you live in Northampton

Today I am going to write about my latest project, is an on-line Listings Directory for all things related to Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.  As a Registered Midwife I saw the need to produce this on-line Directory to give clients and families comprehensive information about what is available in their LOCAL area. 

At the moment we have sites up and running in the Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton areas but hope to expand this shortly.

The site contains listings relating to pre-conception or fertility advice; pregnancy and birth; postnatal issues; baby equipment; complimentary therapists; childcare and other services for example photographers, activities to do with your baby/toddler.  We are also building a reference library of useful articles and currently have articles on the following subjects:

A Day In The Life Of An Independent Midwife

Alternatives To Hospital Induction

Blood Tests And Scans

Blood Tests For Your Baby

Breech Birth

Foods Rich In Iron

Heartburn Relief

Homebirth List Of Useful Items

Independent Midwives – Endangered Species

Planning A Baby

So You Are Pregnant!

The Big Day!

Top Tips For Labour

Vitamin K

Local events will happily be promoted on the site, and a periodic newsletter will be produced to keep families up-to-date.

I am inviting all related businesses to take a FREE listing on this site.  Additionally there are also other advertising opportunities available at half price for limited period; for example “Enhanced Listings” or “Box” and “Banner” advertisements.

Please do go and have a look around my new site  


Valerie Gommon