Online support group helps new mums in pandemic

Baby with Christmas wrapping paper

Mums and babies were given Christmas presents from Home-Start North Somerset. - Credit: Home-Start North Somerset

Babies and their parents coping with additional challenges through the pandemic have been inundated with presents and friendship this Christmas from Home-Start North Somerset, in partnership with local churches, White Stuff and Waitrose. 

During the pandemic, mums and their babies have still been meeting each other through the online Mums in Mind support group to reduce loneliness and isolation during lockdown. 

The group has helped new mums to make friends and access support from other parents, when they are unable to meet face to face.  

One mum said: “It’s nice having people I can just talk to if I’m worrying about stuff, who understand and are going through it at the same time. 

“I still worry about things and especially being a first-time mum but it’s just nice to have people to talk about whether it’s a normal worry or whether I’m overthinking things.

“I’m doing less than I hoped I would be on maternity but because we have the group, and even though we’re all at home, I don’t really think of that now.

"I might be physically on my own for the day but I’m not isolated.”
Karen Whitaker, Home-Start North Somerset’s Group Coordinator said: “Having completed our first term of Mums in Mind online, we are so pleased to see that meeting as a group virtually seems to be having just as powerful an effect as our in-person groups have over the past three years. 

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“When new mums come together, whatever the hardships faced during pregnancy, birth or beyond, they realise they are not alone in how they are feeling, can normalise their experiences and find acceptance in themselves and their lives.

"Having a go-to group makes for a happier, calmer and supported journey into motherhood.” 

The weekly discussions and WhatsApp group have led to mums organising their own park group walks and catch-ups.

Home-Start North Somerset is running a new group for mums with babies under one from January 20 and plans to combine this with group park walks to support mums struggling with their emotional wellbeing in lockdown.  

Mums can self-refer or ask a health professional to make a referral for them for the group services or one-to-one weekly volunteer support.  

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