NCT Branch Amber Valley in Derbyshire have supported over 300 local parents, providing topic-based postnatal sessions plus breastfeeding support for their local community.
Working closely with NCT Amber Valley Branch, practitioners Lucy Pedder (NCT Postnatal Practitioner) and Alys Vaughan-Williams (NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor) identified that many parents feel isolated when their baby reaches around 6 weeks.
Support really seemed to fall away after six weeks
One mum said: “After my midwife and health visitor checks, support really seemed to fall away. I wanted to meet other parents to talk about all the challenges that having a new baby brings.”
Using grant funding from Awards for All, NCT Amber Valley Branch set out to build confidence and support networks in the area, enabling parents to explore the complexities and pressures of parenthood in a safe, non-judgemental space, alongside professional breastfeeding support.
NCT Postnatal Leader Lucy explains: “We run a series of group sessions that can be changed to suit the needs of the group. So, topics such as sleep, crying, returning to work, as well as talking about how the expectation of becoming a parent might differ from the reality.
“The sessions have been so valuable and I’ve been so pleased to see support being given between parents at the group. Even though we are now running the sessions online due to covid, it’s been amazing!”
Inevitably, the arrival of Covid meant a change to the way the group could run. Almost overnight, the session changed to being online with additional support via a dedicated Whatsapp group.
NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor Alys explains how the group successfully overcame the move to online. “Being able to support mothers who want to breastfeed whilst in the middle of a pandemic felt initially challenging,” she says.
“But through Zoom and the Whatsapp group, we were able to reach more mothers and families than we would have in a face-to-face group.
“We now support mothers from the first week after birth until around 9 months, and we can offer 1:1 support alongside support from the group.
“We’ve been so impressed by the non-judgemental support the parents offer each other. One of the most positive things for us both I think, has been seeing parents arriving visibly upset or anxious, and their bodies literally relaxing as they talk and are heard and held by us all.”
Parents wishing to join the Amber Valley postnatal sessions can find out more on:
Facebook & Instagram @BirthandBeyondDerbyshire
Our infant feeding support line is open 8am-midnight, every day including weekend and bank holidays. Call 0300 330 0700.