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Praise as new support group for families of premature babies is launched

PUBLISHED: 12:59 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:59 01 October 2018

Charmaine Dowling (left) with Jaxon at the first Tiny Tots meeting. Picture: East Coast Community Healthcare

Charmaine Dowling (left) with Jaxon at the first Tiny Tots meeting. Picture: East Coast Community Healthcare

Archant

A new support group for families of premature babies has been successfully launched in Lowestoft.

Jaxon Dowling just after his birth (left) and now. Picture: East Coast Community Healthcare/Dowling familyJaxon Dowling just after his birth (left) and now. Picture: East Coast Community Healthcare/Dowling family

Parents of premature babies had a chance to meet and chat about their experiences as the new support group was launched in Lowestoft – thanks to a partnership between East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) and Suffolk Libraries.

The first ‘Tiny Tots’ session was held in Lowestoft Library after several families with premature babies expressed a wish for more opportunities to get together and share their experiences.

An ECCH health visitor was on hand at the inaugural session to offer advice and answer any questions or concerns.

Enjoying the first session, Lowestoft-based mum Charmaine Dowling – whose son Jaxon was born 11 weeks early – believes this new group will help others.

She said: “I really enjoyed it. Having a premature baby can be very scary and it really helps just having someone to talk to, and seeing the positive outcome for other babies gives you a little peace of mind.

“We spent a total of seven weeks in three different hospitals and the lack of support was beyond me. I believe this group will help other parents and grandparents who are going through a similar rollercoaster experience.”

Health visitor Anne-Marie Freeman, who helped to organise the new group, said: “We’re delighted that the group got off to such a positive start.

“We wanted to be able to offer more support to parents and give them a chance to meet and talk with others who have been in the same situation. We can give advice on things like feeding and check on the overall health and development of both babies and their mums while parents can ask questions, share tips, and make friends with others who understand exactly how they feel.”

The groups will run every Tuesday from 10.45am to 11.45am with a member of the ECCH health visiting team attending once a month.

Are you organising an event in the Lowestoft area? Tell The Journal by calling reporters on 01502 525820 or alternatively you can email all the details and photos to mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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