Babies born in 2020 came into a world of restrictions and the pandemic has had a major impact on them and their parents.
According to the ONS (Office of National Statistics) here were 464,437 live births in England and Wales during 2020.
Those babies haven’t gone to play group, their mums may not have gone to antenatal classes and their children may have never met someone who isn’t their parent.
For such parents and babies this pandemic has been a truly unique experience. Sophie Glynn, 21, gave birth in January 2021 said the although the start of the pandemic was scary it was “nice to be a little family unit” at home without outside influence, an experience that would have otherwise been impossible to achieve.
“The first thing I felt was fear”
Lowri Croydon, Mother
However, Lowri Croydon, 23, was pregnant throughout the first lockdown and gave birth in June. When lockdown was announced she said “the first thing she felt was fear” due to the lack of information out there for pregnant women and the worry of having to give birth alone.
Both Mum’s have struggled with raising their babies during unprecedented times. Due to restrictions on health visitors and the business of the NHS Lowri didn’t have regular important checks on her baby Cali: “We just got thrown in”.
Due to falling through the cracks Lowri felt she had little support with raising her first baby.
“No one was allowed anywhere near us”
Sophie Glynn, mother
Sophie went into the first lockdown with a baby only a few months old and, like Lowri, was filled with fear concerning the health of her baby. She wouldn’t let anyone near her or her family in hopes of keeping them all safe from the deadly coronavirus.
This time last year babies were born in lockdown and are now spending their first birthday in lockdown 😭
— 🍧 (@_shxxnx_) March 18, 2021
Sophie’s son turned one in July and “now this toddler is just causing chaos”. She says its far more difficult to navigate lockdown with a toddler than a baby as he’s “frustrated in the house” with little stimulation and only his Mum to play with.
A health visitor from the west Midlands says she feels as though she hasn’t been able to deliver the care she is used to due to the reduction in face to face care.
She has offered some coping advice to Mums, especially first time Mums.
- Reach out if you need help, the early post natal period can be challenging and scary so ask for help when you need it!
- Use this time to spend lot’s of time with your baby and follow their cues.
- Cuddles release ‘feel good’ hormones and these can help your mental health, so lot’s of cuddles.
- Don’t worry about filling your time with jobs, just try to focus on enjoying the time with your baby.
Both Lowri and Sophie worry for the way this odd start to life will affect their children’s social development but feel this worry is eased slightly by the idea that most of their peers will be in the same position.
“We’ll get into the swing of things”
Sophie Glynn, Mother
Sophie says she is nervous for life to return to normal as she comes out of the life she has known as a stay at home Mum all of lockdown but is sure “we’ll get into the swing of things” just as she did when lockdown began.