‘An especially frightening time’ - Support group set up for new mothers during lockdown
Looking after a newborn can be stressful enough at the best of times, especially for first-time parents, let alone during a global pandemic.
Gemma Hampton, 34, formerly employed in the childcare sector, is well aware of the struggles.
And although now working as a photographer, she has used her knowledge and contacts from her previous career to set up an online support group for pregnant women and new mothers isolating at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Ms Hampton, who lives in Beighton, said her photography business, which she started in October 2018, had been “progressing nicely”.
“I was getting lots of regular clients and positive feedback. It had been starting to grow steadily at the start of the year.”
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Then coronavirus hit.
She’d had a lot of clients booked and had to postpone or cancel appointments.
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“I specialise in maternity, newborn and children’s photography and this is an especially frightening time for pregnant and new mums,” she said.
“They are having to face all kinds of issues they wouldn’t normally, including not having their birthing partners with them for the full duration of their labour, not to mention all of the birthing, parenting and baby classes they now can’t access.”
MORE: ‘It made a big difference’ - how twins charity helped new mum Tanya through lockdown strugglesShe asked herself what she could to do support the women.
“I used to be a family support worker at a children’s centre and ran a new mum’s group, so I had knowledge and contacts on the services available,” she said.
She set up a Facebook group, Norfolk and Suffolk Pregnant and New Mums Together in Isolation.
So far the group has about 125 members.
“It’s full of amazing support. The women there have made a real community and I find it incredible that they are facing this frightening time with so much positivity and focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
As for the photography business, she hopes to get that back up and running by early July, when she will start booking in new clients again, with the compulsory measures including social distancing and PPE in place.
To join the group visit the Facebook page here.