May Bump + Beyond News

Now that May is upon us, it’s time to look back on some of the recent baby news that has got us all talking...

There’s been some truly inspiring stories to share this month which have made waves in the parenting world for their tales of hope, promise and encouragement. Some of the stories that we spotted include Olivia and Alex Bowen’s mission to improve support for new parents-to-be, Ashley Cain’s remarkable ultra-marathon in memory of his daughter Azaylia, new government benefits to support families with children, and Italy’s court ruling on ungendered surnames.

Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash
Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

Olivia and Alex Bowen on supporting parents-to-be 

Olivia Bowen Alex Bowen campaign

One of Love Island’s most famous couples, Olivia and Alex Bowen, have become the face of a new campaign to tackle parenting judgement and promote supportive environments for new parents-to-be.  The couple, who are expecting their first child together this summer, faced a mass of comments after revealing their pregnancy news on social media. Now, with the help of Cow&Gate’s “Love Don’t Judge” campaign, they’re helping to spread the message of support, by offering tips, advice and awareness to combatting the scrutiny of others.

Their experience isn’t an uncommon one, with research behind the campaign discovering that judgement faced by parents was at its highest during the first year of parenthood, with everything from a child’s diet, weaning and children’s screen time coming under scrutiny.

Gurinder Bal, from C&G baby club, said: “There is no such thing as ‘perfect parenting’ - parents deserve support, no matter what their parenting path looks like or the choices they make." 

Watch the full video on the campaign here.

NBS Loves

Like Gurinder and the Bowen family, we too believe that parents and parents-to-be need more support and less judgment. After all, welcoming a new arrival is the most exciting and rewarding journey you can possibly take! We love that huge corporations like Cow&Gate are doing their bit to offer help and advice to anyone who feels a little overwhelmed by their pregnancy.

Ashley Cain completes ultra-marathon in memory of daughter Azaylia

Ashley Cain Ultra Marathon Azaylia Foundation

Former Coventry City footballer and TV personality Ashley Cain completed a 100-mile ultra-marathon to mark the first anniversary of his daughter Azaylia’s death. The 31-year-old ex-footballer and mother Safiyya, 33, tragically lost Azaylia when she was just eight months old, after her battle with a rare form of leukaemia.

In memory of, and to raise money for the Azaylia Foundation, Ashley and Safiyya created the trust to help children with serious illnesses access treatment not readily available on the NHS. 

Ashley went on to complete his marathon from Nuneaton to London's Trafalgar Square after a gruelling 30 hours!  This mammoth task received a mass of support by fans and friends alike, including other celebrities such as Ant Middleton who joined for certain parts of the marathon to help cheer Ashley on.

To mark the occasion, he wrote on his Instagram: “We ran for 31 hours, covered 109 miles, completed over 260,000 steps...Not only have you made me a better man, you’ve made surrounding people better people, the world a better place, and a future brighter for those children who follow your footsteps in fighting cancer."

NBS Loves

This story really touched ours, and a whole nation of hearts. We can't imagine what Ashley and his family went through losing Azaylia, and his impressive 30 hour challenge brought such a beautiful message of strength, and how it can bring positivity in even the hardest of times! Ashley put it perfectly in his message to supporters; that around the corner "lies strength, lies courage and lies greatness!"

Infants, children and families to benefit from government boost in support

Government boost

From Saturday 2nd April, thousands of babies, children and families will benefit from a multi-million-pound government package to improve access to support, advice, and services! This wide-ranging support will be offered across their flagship family programmes for those who need extra help and provide more opportunities for children across the country.

75 local authorities have been announced as eligible for a share of £302 million to create new Family Hubs in their areas. These hubs give parents advice on how to take care of their little ones and make sure they are safe and healthy. They do this by providing services including parenting and breastfeeding support, plus further support for little ones in their early years. This includes £100million of funding to be shared for bespoke parent-infant relationship and perinatal mental health support. 

Through its Supporting Families programme, 300,000 of the most vulnerable families are due to receive help from a dedicated keyworker who will offer practical assistance, such as hands-on parenting support – backed by £700 million.

The new package is set to support children from low-income families who often face multiple challengers without the family support network that many of us take for granted. Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Being part of a stable, loving family gives a child an early advantage, which is why we are investing so significantly in helping every family to access the vital services that help them, and their children thrive.”

NBS Loves

When there is news of positive change and support from government, it gives hope that we are all moving towards a better future for our little ones. At Natural Baby Shower, we also believe that small steps lead to big change, which is why we want to shout this story from the tree-tops!

Italy court rules children should be given surnames of both parents

Italy court rules surnames

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash 

Towards the end of April, it was revealed that the Constitutional Court in Italy overturned the tradition to automatically name newborns after the father. Since 2016, Italian parents have been allowed to keep both surnames on their children's birth certificates and ID cards but only the mother's surname was allowed for children of single mothers, or when fathers were absent. Now for the first time, this ruling makes it possible for children born to carry only their mother’s last name, if they so choose.

Reaction to the ruling has been largely positive despite the court still needing to call on parliament to change the law and implement the new legislation that is required. Family Minister Elena Bonetti wrote on Facebook the government will fully support parliament in this process: “We need to give substance [to the decision] ... and it is a high priority and urgent task of politics to do so,” she wrote, adding that parents should take equal responsibility for the upbringing of a child.”

The common practice for children to be given either or both parental surnames is already implemented in many European countries, but Italy has been a little slower to accept. The ruling means that children can now be given both parents’ surnames in the order that they decide, unless they agree their children should take just one of them.

NBS Loves

We love how this news is another promising step forward in closing the gender inequality gap across the world! Hopefully this ruling will encourage other countries to make a similar change towards a brighter, more equal future for our little ones.

Have your say

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the above so, if there’s a topic of discussion you think we should include in our next monthly Bump + Beyond round up, please get in touch via email to pr@naturalbabyshower.co.uk.