11.15am - 12.00pm / Main auditorium

Births: myth vs reality

Our opening panel explores five ‘truths’ about childbirth which the Mumsnet community reckon mightn’t really be truths at all. In this myth-busting session, our panel of hand-picked experts – including magazine editor and writer Alison Perry (Chair), senior press office at Mumsnet Jane Gentle, consultant obstetrician Dr Penny Law, top doula Mars Lord and practice development midwife Danielle Nixon – will sort the facts from the fluff. Forget what you've read – here’s the truth about birth from those in the know.

12.10pm - 12.35pm / Main auditorium

A flexible routine: sounds contradictory, but it works

This session will explain the benefits of routine – but give you the tools to know when to chillax. Acclaimed maternity nurse Rachel Waddilove will look at why a flexible routine can be beneficial to both babies and parents – in the early days, and as your baby grows – helping you develop a structured but relaxed parenting style which fits the natural patterns of both babies and parents.

12.45pm - 1.30pm / Main auditorium

You help to build your baby's brain

Join Penelope Leach as she explains how the development of your baby's brain in the early years is influenced by genetics, but can also be stimulated by the intensely loving relationship that develops between the two of you. Find out how to encourage the neural development and behavioural patterns of your baby by maximising the bond you share – with one of the most respected parenting voices of our time.

1.40pm - 2.05pm / Main auditorium

Sleep: a masterclass

Sleep – a vanishing resource, at least in the first few months after birth. Andrea Grace – health visitor, nurse, and mother of four – knows a fair bit about babies and sleep, and in this session she'll explore your expectations, and guide you through the realities, leaving you much more prepared for when your baby is born. How does baby sleep differ from adult sleep? What's a 'normal' amount of sleep for a newborn? When will they sleep through the night? And what can you do if your baby won't sleep? Our sleep masterclass answers your questions.

2.15pm - 3.00pm / Main auditorium

Dads-to-be: what to expect

Our panel of male parenting experts will share their experiences of becoming dads – and offer advice to expectant fathers. Our panel of hand-picked experts including – Stuart Heritage, Dean Beaumont, Tom Briggs and Al Ferguson – will be offering all expectant fathers their advice. What are dads-to-be expecting life with a baby to be like, and (crucially) how does this match the reality? How should you juggle the demands of new fatherhood with work? And what does it take to be a ‘hands-on dad’? This session will cover the basics: from how to engage and play with a new baby, to the essential everyday acts that strengthen the father-child relationship, and put the fun in fatherhood.

3.10pm - 3.35pm / Main auditorium

Breastfeeding: A brief overview

So what's the deal with breastfeeding? Sarah Beeson will be talking openly and honestly about all aspects of breastfeeding, as well as other feeding options, and the importance of making the right decision for you. If you would like to receive advice in a more informal, one-to-one setting, then pop over to our breastfeeding drop-in before or after this session.
Sponsored by Dr Care Anywhere.

3.45pm - 4.30pm / Main auditorium

After the apocalypse: what to expect in the weeks following birth

You’ve given birth – so what now? There’s an amazing journey ahead, but many new parents report feeling completely unprepared for what happens when they return home with a new baby; having focused so hard on birth, they’re not primed for the reality of the first weeks with a brand new (and pretty demanding) human being. Our panel – ranging from scientists, to parenting experts, to been-there mothers including – Sarah Crown, Rebecca Schiller, Dr Ellie Cannon, Julia Deering and Vanessa Christie – share their wisdom on how to cope with the first few weeks of parenthood: sleep (or lack of it), feeding, when to have visitors, family and relationship expectations, PND, your body after birth, and more…

  • * Please note that this session will be finishing at 4.30pm.

11.15am - 2.45pm / Mezzanine room

Baby first aid: be prepared - provided by British Red Cross

In a typical year, up to half of infants under 12 months will attend hospital. Bumps and falls are inevitable once babies start crawling and toddling. Thankfully most aren’t serious – but it is important that you know what to do if you find yourself in an emergency. Join Tracey Taylor in this need-to-know session which will teach you simple life-saving techniques, and give you the opportunity to practice the skills as you learn so you’ll feel more confident should you need to use them in real life.
These sessions will be for 40 minutes at the following times:

3.00pm - 3.45pm / Mezzanine room

How to write your birth plan

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the idea of writing a birth plan, or unsure what you can ask for? Join Beth Graham and Emma Dewey who will be leading this workshop which will guide you gently through the decisions you can make before you reach the delivery room, and help you to identify what you’d like your birth partner to help with during labour. Plus, we’ll explain some of the decisions you’ll be asked to make in the moments after birth, leaving you fully prepared for the first few hours of your newborn’s life.

11.15am - 4.00pm / The Club

Ask me anything about the birth!

Got a burning question about birth or beyond, but didn’t want to stick your hand up in the panel sessions? The Club is where you’ll find our expert speakers and other guests giving informal 1-2-1s – they’ll have loads of advice on birth options; hospitals, home, hypnobirthing, c-section? The following expert speakers will be offering advice in this session; Dean Beaumont, Sarah Beeson, Sarah Gerth, Helen Turier, Cecilia Antolini, Henrietta Norton, Leena Kothari-Seward, Al Ferguson, Dr Ellie Cannon, Fatima Ali, and Dr Philippa Kaye.

Have a look at our The experts page to see the times when our expert speakers will be available to offer you advice.

11.15am - 4.00pm / The Gallery

Breastfeeding drop-in: advice and tips

Most mothers want to breastfeed their babies – but many have worries about what to do if it doesn’t go smoothly. Drop in to the Gallery throughout the day to get informal, one-to-one advice from breastfeeding experts – and leave feeling informed, empowered and reassured. There will be a break in this session at 3.10pm which will give you the opportunity to join Sarah Beeson to receive more general advice about breastfeeding in the main auditorium.
Experts including: La Leche League GB, Rachel Waddilove and Sarah Beeson.

11.00am - 4.00pm / Sponsors and demos zone

How do I...?

Our experts, along with some of our lovely sponsors, will be running practical demos throughout the day. From bathing a slippery newborn to swaddling and nappy-changing – these hands-on sessions will get you quickly up to speed with the skills you really need, leaving you feeling calm, confident and ready for life with a newborn.

11.00am - 4.00pm / Sponsors and demos zone

Baby products: the essentials

Browse the best baby products around in our sponsors’ area, where a selection of essential baby kit will be available for you to try out. Ask questions, and get advice and tips from the brands that make ’em, away from the hurly-burly of the high street: so much more relaxing!

11.00am - 4.00pm / Sponsors and demos zones

And relax...

Visit our pamper zone for a lovely pregnancy massage or pick-me-up mani or pedi, or relax with an Elemis mini-treatment designed especially for mums-to-be.