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As we say ‘au revoir’ to our Programme Administrator, Sophie, 27, as she starts her maternity leave. We thought it would be interesting to find out whether working at Better Start Bradford has had an impact on her own pregnancy journey. We asked Sophie a few questions before she starts her motherhood adventure. Tell us about your role at Better Start Bradford? My role is to provide an administration service to the Better Start Bradford team. It includes taking minutes at meetings, answering the phone, organising catering, arranging transport, booking accommodation and helping out at events. I also deal with our recruitment and any IT issues that we may have. Would you say that working at Better Start Bradford has helped you with your pregnancy? Definitely. I’m quite an anxious person and I find that I overthink a lot of things so being surrounded by all the key messages and all this knowledge has really helped me relax and enjoy my pregnancy. It has also made me feel more confident in making decisions, such as choosing a home birth. It has also helped me make more informed choices around what I need to buy in preparation for the baby being born: we haven’t bought anything we don’t need. I share anything that I learn with my partner straightaway as we are both total newbies! Is there anything that really surprised you in terms of your developing baby? The importance of talking to my bump and the first 1000 critical days. I didn’t realise that babies would recognise voices that they had heard while in the womb when they are born. Luckily for this baby I never shut up so I should be easily recognisable! What are you doing during pregnancy to help give your baby the best start in life? I have followed (as best as I can) all the healthy start tips for eating in pregnancy and I’ve stayed as active as I would have been before pregnancy. I’ve tried my best to stay calm and relaxed even with Bradford City’s impending relegation. Mostly I’ve trusted my body and trusted that millions of women have done this before me and that my body and my baby know what they’re doing. Have you joined any local classes? I haven’t really gone to any classes because I’ve not managed to find the time whilst working full time and living far away from the office. I’ve attended one Better Start Bradford hypnobirthing taster session which was really useful and actually helped me with my fear of needles which you have to get used to. Which is your favourite Better Start Bradford project? I love all the outdoorsy ones, Better Place, Forest Schools and Pre-schoolers in the Playground. They all really remind me of my childhood of playing out in the garden, streets, parks and woodland behind my house. I can’t wait to take the little one to my local park and play on the swings and slides. I also really love the language programmes we have. My husband did a degree in English Language and Linguistics and his passion for how we learn language has been contagious. Talking Together and Better Start Imagine really opens up a whole other world to children. When they are confident and delve into the world of books, they’re so much more creative and confident. The other project I love is the Parents in the Lead Activities Fund, some of our best ideas come from our community and to give them an opportunity to fill a gap in the services, create it, organise it and then run it is amazing. The ideas we see are so inventive and we love seeing them come into implementation. So basically, I can’t choose a favourite as there are so many great projects. What would you to say to anyone who has just found out that they are pregnant? Relax, take it easy, accept help and support no matter how hard it might be and trust in your instincts. All your baby really needs is for you to love it and keep it safe from day one and you’re the best person for the job. It’s a journey: the aching joints, heartburn, restless sleep and increase in body temperature will seem like they’re never-ending (trust me I’m there), and when you get to the end it’s going to be worth it!