Trust continues to help Newham mums cope with parenthood during coronavirus pandemic
- Credit: Newham NCT
It can be daunting being a new mum at any time - and for those giving birth this year, the coronavirus pandemic has presented new challenges.
But for those in Newham, help has been at hand in the shape of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).
The charity aims to support new parents during the first 1,000 days of a baby’s life - considered to be the most significant in a child’s development.
Belinda Ngugi, a project manager at the borough’s branch, explained how the NCT had been helping parents cope when many of the usual support systems were unavailable.
“It’s a bit of a challenge,” she said. “During lockdown, a lot of women were unable to get out and started to feel very isloated, started to feel quite anxious.
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“Those that were antenatal, they were feeling quite anxious about giving birth. Those that were postnatal, they were anxious if they were doing it correctly.”
Among the initiatives to support new and expectant mums was the creation of a virtual milk bar, allowing women to chat online and get advice on things such as breastfeeding.
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Since restrictions have eased, socially distanced Walk and Talk events have allowed mums to come together in person in addition to the online classes.
“We’re definitely going to continue Walk and Talk as long as we can, while government guidance allows us to meet outside,” Belinda said.
“We’d like to be able to meet inside in a small group, socially distant, in future.”
The NCT also runs a Parents in Mind service which provides group or one to one support for women who are feeling anxious or low during pregnancy or the early months of motherhood.
It sees peer supporters - often mums who have been through similar experiences - offer advice and guidance to those most in need of it.
Two of these peer supporters, Nalini Sadai and Jessie Brett, were among members of the NCT to meet the Duchess of Cambridge during an event in Battersea Park last month.
Anyone who is pregnant or who has given birth in the last two years who feels like they may benefit from the Parents in Mind service should contact ParentsinMind.Newham@nct.org.uk
For more information about the NCT, visit nct.org.uk