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Mum who's been through 1,000 births

Rachel Stead with her latest antenatal class, at Subdub House, Faversham, as she celebrates teaching her 1,000th couple.
Rachel Stead with her latest antenatal class, at Subdub House, Faversham, as she celebrates teaching her 1,000th couple.

Rachel Stead with her latest antenatal class, at Subdub House, Faversham, as she celebrates teaching her 1,000th couple.

by Lauren Fruen

Rachel Stead is one lady certainly used to pregnancy - after preparing for 1,000 births.

The mum of three, from Faversham, has now seen 1,000 couples through the transition into parenthood.

After qualifying as an antenatal teacher for the national childbirth trust (NCT) in 2003, Rachel has seen some extraordinary births and remembers them all fondly.

Antenatal teacher Rachel Stead with her 1,000th couple - Alison and David Gore
Antenatal teacher Rachel Stead with her 1,000th couple - Alison and David Gore

The 43-year-old, pictured left, said: "You remember the people who have stayed friends with you after the births most but every birth is special.

"Some people I have been with through the births of all of their children and you feel part of the family.

"I am asked to be at a lot of births and they are the most memorable. They are really special.

"There is a family from Faversham with three boys and I have helped with the birth of all three brothers. You feel a real part of the community.

"I went to NCT classes myself with my oldest son. I worked as a volunteer for the NCT before and when they needed an NCT antenatal teacher I thought I would do it."

But Rachel admits it has not been all plain sailing in the role: "I have had some great times but also some very sad times. There have been some babies who have died and there was a dad who died of cancer while his partner was pregnant and attending the classes and that was very sad."

After helping deliver babies, Rachel has certainly come across all types of births - including the more unusual.

She said: "I have had women in labour knocking on my front door asking if I am free right there and then to go with them.

"I have had babies weighing from a tiny three pounds to 11 pounds and other ladies who have gone into labour and waters have broken at the group.

"I have also helped a partially sighted Paralympian and his partner with their birth."

Rachel will be celebrating with 250 of those she has helped in a upcoming party to celebrate the feat.

The award-winning antenatal teacher said: "There will be children at the party who are now nine, the first pregnant mums I ever worked with.

"I have met some amazing people in the role, it really is a lovely job."

Has Rachel Stead helped you through pregnancy? Leave yourcomments below.


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