Wimbotsham-based courses for new mothers needing support during coronavirus pandemic
A series of classes designed to support new mothers proved to be a success during lockdown.
Downham mother Roma Malone ran a new course called 'Nurturing Baby and Me' which ran from November 3 to December 15 with mothers able to attend in person at Wimbotsham Village Hall.
The classes were exempt from the coronavirus restrictions in line with government guidance, much to the relief of Roma, whose second baby Ember-Rose was born in November.
She said: "In the beginning it was rather stressful as we weren’t sure we could go ahead in person or not and I was prepared to take the course online which would have been okay but just wouldn’t have given the same level of support and I wouldn’t have been able to demonstrate as well.
"There is nothing quite like the connection you get from being in the same room as other parents going through the same things as you.
"When I found out support groups for new parents were exempt I was so relieved and we even organised a backup venue in case Wimbotsham Hall had to close during lockdown. Luckily it remained open so we could stay there and run the course safely throughout."
There were eight mothers and their babies booked for the course and further sessions are being lined up for 2021.
The next course starts on Tuesday, January 26 and runs for six weeks with a break during February half-term. The classes are at Wimbotsham Village Hall from 12.30pm until 2.15pm.
Roma continued: "I feel the course is something that is really needed for new mums especially during these difficult times as being a new parent can already feel so lonely at the best of times let alone during a pandemic.
"It is essential this support and information is available to all who need it, which is why I make it as accessible as possible with various payment plans and discounts available for those who are struggling financially.
"Going forward I hope the course becomes a regular occurrence running multiple times a year and perhaps in new locations in the future if there is interest."
She also help to run a non-profit community group and sling library called West Norfolk Calm Families which has just received funding from Tesco Bags of Help. The group hope to fund some free workshops for parents in the near future via this organisation.
Roma has received positive feedback for her 'Nurturing Baby and Me' courses with one mother called Kerith saying she "loved every minute of it".
Another parent, Adrienne, who attended with her baby Peyton said: "From the moment I walked in on that first day, I felt welcomed and accepted. My favourite part was the first icebreaker, introducing ourselves and our babies totally put me at ease and set the friendly tone for the duration of the course.
"I feel armed with the knowledge that Roma shared with all of us. The space was safe for sharing our worries as mothers, but also our hopes for how our mothering journey will continue.
"I really think, as a first time mother, I needed this course. Personally I feel the information I received has given me the courage and confidence to advocate for my child and the way I parent."
For more information on the course, go to www.facebook.com/events/306594853831055/