Thu, 16 Apr 2020
Heather Wild and Ellis
WHEN Heather Wild gave birth to her son Ellis on February 14 this year it was the perfect Valentine's Day gift.
She was looking forward to sharing her experience as a new mum with other mothers from the area. She said: "I'd built up a nice little network of four other mums and we all looked forward to all the post natal classes run by the Family Hub team."
Unfortunately, just over a month later the country went into lockdown and she was cut off from her new friends and support network.
Ms Wild said: "All of the services that I knew were there to help me have now either been removed or replaced with a telephone service instead."
So she decided to do something about it.
"I therefore wanted to create a Facebook group to bring all of us scared, anxious, frustrated and sometimes angry mums together so that we could share advice and support.
"I invited six of my friends and warned them that nothing may come of it."
The group - West Berkshire - 2020 Babies - Friendly Mums Support Group - went up on Tuesday this week, April 14, and already has nearly 100 members.
"We had 80 members within 24 hours and I've added two moderators to support me.
"I've also had support from the Family Hub team, so they are aware that I'm promoting their professional support too as I'm not an expert in anything!"
The group is open to any new mothers in the area who are looking for support and has already shared discussions on topics such as whether mums are breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
Ms Wild said there had also been a thread around their experiences with local surgeries "as a lot of us are coming up to our 8-week immunisations, which is normally a worrying time anyway, but is heightened now".
Ms Wild, who is 32 and lives in Thatcham, said: "There are ladies from all over, we ask where people are from before accepting them in to the group and we do have a couple from the Hampshire border too.
"I've seen Thatcham, Newbury, Basingstoke, Lambourn, Beedon, Chieveley, Kingsclere and many of the other villages in this area."
One new member Lucie Gemzova posted: "I'm so happy this page exists, it's a lifesaver."
Ms Wild added: "I have set this page up completely independently, but the Family Hub have kindly shared it on their page and have given me permission to share their content in the group."
Family Hubs are council-run groups providing services for children and families in West Berkshire.
If you are a new mother and would like to join the group, visit Facebook and search West Berkshire - 2020 Babies - Friendly Mums Support Group