C&G Good morning, you're through to the Cow & Gate careline. How can I help you?
Mktg My husband and I have just decided to try for a family, but I'm really nervous about motherhood and wondered if you could help.
C&G I'd like to put you through to one of our midwives. Is that OK? They'll be able to speak to you a bit more about it.
Mktg Yes, that's fine.
C&G (midwife) Hello, I understand you're looking to get pregnant?
Mktg Yes, but I don't have a clue what to do with a baby or what to feed it - or me, for that matter. People and books are forever telling me what I should and shouldn't do and I don't know where to start. Please help.
C&G The first thing is to forget all the reading. Just remember you have a woman's body and it's very easy to become pregnant. And don't worry about what to feed your baby yet. It will be a while before you need to think about that and it's amazing how much information you can collect along the way. Relax. If you're hoping to get pregnant, the main thing to think about is not smoking, and I'd advise you to give up alcohol too.
C&G If you're looking for optimal health for you and your baby, yes. Make sure you eat a healthy diet and take folic acid.
Mktg There's just so much information out there.
C&G Yes, it's hard these days because we make everything so materialistic and you can easily buy books, but sometimes you need to get back to the basics. We have a baby mailing programme which will give you advice and information; would you like to join it? It might also be worth phoning your GP and seeing if there are any pre-conception clinics in your area, as they will give you unbiased advice.
Mktg Thanks for your time, I feel a lot better.
C&G It's a wonderful time, but can be awful if you're bound up by worries. Your baby just needs security and warmth, which come from you and your partner. Enjoy the journey and take it slowly.
This call-handler's approach made me forget that she worked for a commercial brand. The advice was so sympathetic that by the end of the conversation I felt more than happy to divulge my details for the mailing. There was no sense of wanting to get off the phone or push products, and she seemed genuinely interested.
This is only a snippet of the free advice she happily dished out. The trick for Cow & Gate will be to build on this outstanding experience.