New parents who gave birth during Covid-19 pandemic being offered support by YMCA

File photo dated 11/7/2014 of a mother cradles the feet of her new born baby in her hand. The number

a new wellbeing programme to support new parents who gave birth during the coronavirus pandemic. - Credit: PA

A free wellbeing programme has been launched to help support new parents who gave birth during the coronavirus pandemic.

The families and communities team at YMCA Norfolk is running six-week online workshops looking at the needs of post-natal parents and new families.

Parents taking part in the sessions hosted by Little Dots Norwich, which will run until June next year,  have the chance to learn about massage stroke techniques and practice baby massage while there is also baby yoga sessions available too.

The programme came about after staff at YMCA Norfolk identified a need for support among parents who missed out on the regular perinatal support provided - due to the pressures on the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marie Whiteland, families senior engagement worker at YMCA Norfolk, said: “The YMCA recognises that the pandemic has been particularly tough on pregnant women and new families.

"Health fears, combined with several lock downs and restrictions has led to social isolation and an increase in anxiety for many. 

"When we found out about the Norfolk Community Foundation peri-natal, mental health and wellbeing fund we instantly knew that we wanted to get involved.”

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Further online classes running into the new year include the likes of ‘Calm, Confident birth and beyond’ and ‘the practical peri-natal guide for new families.’ All classes are relaxed and easy to follow with weekly reviewal as well time for informal parent discussion.

The overall aim of the programme is to make perinatal support as accessible as possible following a difficult year for parents and to help new families to think about postnatal preparation.

Engagement workers will work with parents to determine the way best way ask for help post-birth, how to tackle relationship difficulties, how to manage social media pressures and as well as other barriers of positive parental wellbeing that have been identified.

She added: "We strive to deliver many online forums to discuss everything peri-natal, including baby growth and development, Mother and Father mental health, CBT techniques to combat negative and worrying thoughts, financial advice and much more.

All classes are free to attend. 

Email marie.whiteland@ymcanorfolk.org to book a class or for further details.

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