WITH antenatal classes cancelled because of lockdown, a pair of Borders women decided to set up online support groups. Reporter Hilary Scott found out more...

‘Baby brain’ – a term widely used by pregnant women, who have blamed it for forgetfulness, poor decision-making and a lack of concentration.

Fortunately, two Innerleithen women have brought new meaning to the phrase after coming up with a way to ‘bump’ into their pregnancy pals.

First-time mum Louise Claire and Karen Wilson – expecting her second baby – have created two virtual antenatal groups so that mums-to-be won’t miss out on the support they need due to classes being cancelled because of COVID restrictions.

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Louise is due her baby in April and has set up a WhatsApp group. She said: “I’m sure there will be lots of women in similar situations especially as a first-time mum.

“One of my friends had set up a similar group last year when she was pregnant and I thought it was a brilliant idea.

“I think we are quite lucky in the Borders that midwife appointments are still running face-to-face and partners can attend scans, but without antenatal classes it’s quite a daunting time. 

“It can be really isolating and worrying as the rules and restrictions are changing all the time.

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"I think with the lockdown announced and now not being able to meet with friends for support, an online group will be really helpful.

“I hope we can share any help and advice for navigating the last few months of pregnancy as well as once our babies have arrived.

"Hopefully baby classes will be able to run towards the end of spring/summer and we can all meet in person.”

And it seems two ‘baby brains’ are better than one – as at the very same time, Karen had created a support group on social media.

“I had just set up the message group and shortly after noticed that Karen had set up a Facebook group so it will be great to have both. Information can be shared on the Facebook group and I was thinking the WhatsApp group would be more informal for chatting.

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"I’ve already had several expectant mums message me with their phone numbers and I’ve added them to the group. I’ve also posted on W4 too to reach more people.”

Karen, who is mum to two-year-old Laura, is due her second baby at the end of March and set up the Facebook page ‘Tweeddale Babies due in Jan-Jun 2021’.

She said: “I met a fantastic group of mums at antenatal classes when pregnant with my first and we still support each other now. I also got to know other mums at classes and groups. 

“With none of that happening it can feel very isolating as an expectant mum so hopefully these virtual groups can help that, particularly for first time mums as it is so important to have that support network of people going through the same things.”

Mums-to-be can request to join the Facebook group, or contact Louise on 07944 068 305 to join the WhatsApp.