‘It is so sad’ – New mum on struggles without baby classes in lockdown
- Credit: JESSICA CABLE-DAVEY
A first-time-mum has made an impassioned plea for baby classes to be given the green light again after missing out during lockdown.
Kesgrave mum Jessica Cable-Davey’s motherhood journey has not been the one most would expect after giving birth during the pandemic – with her and baby Scarlett now unable to meet and socialise with other mums and their babies.
There has been confusion over whether baby classes should be allowed under the current guidelines, with Government documents stating “parent and child groups” can continue “where they provide support to parent and/or child”.
Baby sensory classes, however, are no longer seen as exempt under guidance issued to local authorities by the Office for Product Safety & Standards.
Mrs Cable-Davey, 27, said mums not having the opportunity to socialise with others and their children is having an adverse affect on their mental health.
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“It is just so confusing,” she said. “It is upsetting for all us mums – not just for me.
“There are so many barriers up at the minute – there is even an outdoor buggy walk that has been cancelled.
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“All us mums are so upset – the classes are the only way for us to make friends. It is unfair we are missing out on all this time.”
Some online classes are available via video software like Zoom, although they are not having the same effect as in-person classes.
“Try and sit by a laptop with a crying newborn baby, it doesn’t work,” she said. “All my baby knows is babies on a screen – she looks at my phone and expects to see a baby because she’s never seen one in person. It is so sad.”
Mrs Cable-Davey, who said she sympathises with staff at the classes, also set up an online petition.
She added: “I’m getting so many different responses from people in local government – we are getting told too many different things and it feels like us mums are running around in circles. I’m getting nowhere.
“My fear is that they will still try to stipulate these restrictions after the lockdown ends.
“What annoys me is that if she was in nursery or school, she would be able to see other children. But she can’t.”
An East Suffolk Council spokeswoman said they hope businesses – including baby sensory classes – will once again be able to reopen when restrictions are lifted next week.
They said: “We know that this is challenging time for organisations that have been asked to adhere to nationwide restrictions and subsequently, the people who rely on their services. However, East Suffolk Council is required not only to provide advice and guidance based on the official guidelines set by the Government but also to implement measures in line with current restrictions.
“This short spell of additional restrictions are, however, due to be lifted next week and if this is the case, we would hope that businesses in East Suffolk will be able to reopen as part of revised guidelines announced by the Government.”