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  • Writer's pictureAbby Hopewell

What a week, what a year...

I wasn't entirely sure that 2020 could get any stranger, and then I found myself sat in my car over the road from my house speaking with Paulette Edwards from BBC Radio Sheffield this week.

Over lockdown, I've felt helpless seeing many parents struggling. There has been a surge in online support which is of course better than nothing and I'm sure for those who suffer anxiety and don't like attending groups it's actually been brilliant - but for most, it just isn't the same as in-person support.

I'm used to holding babies and more importantly, holding space for their parents as they tell me why they need my support, and I've missed it!

Last week I came across a thread on a facebook group and it was just full of mums saying how lonely they were and how isolated they felt; it broke my heart.

I'd been planning to host "The Pregnancy Cake Club" for ages, since way before lockdown but I was worried about it falling flat; what if nobody came? I'd been putting the wheels in motion for a while but that thread on facebook spurred me on to do it.

I got a little more than I bargained for though. At the time of writing, my little excited post on my facebook page (with only a couple of hundred

followers!) announcing the launch of the Pregnancy Cake Club has been seen by over 5400 people because people were commenting, tagging friends and sharing it.

The response blew me away - I knew it was needed, I just hadn't anticipated how much.

That was on the 11th July.

By the 14th July, an email landed in my inbox asking if I fancied chatting to Paulette the following day. I panicked; I stared at that email for 25 minutes before responding after friends and family encouraged me to agree.

Ahead of the interview, I drove over the road and settled in the car park - the reason? I have four noisy children and it was raining...! My phone was constantly going off with notifications and as the minutes ticked by I wondered if they were actually going to call - maybe they had changed their mind! How embarrassing! I switched my phone to silent, took a deep breath and the call came.

I had a lovely chat with Paulette about what I do and why I do it. I could have gone on for hours about a topic which I love and care about but I only had a few minutes so I hope I did it justice.

Parents - you matter! I'm so sorry that some of you have experienced a form of grief by not having the pregnancy and maternity leave experience of those before you; I see you.

I hope to help more expectant parents to build those support networks with other families who are going through it, too.

"It takes a village to raise a child" - let's build that village.

Abby <3

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