Help for mums and dads

PUBLISHED: 08:55 03 May 2011

A PLAY group set up to help new parents is reaching out to mums and dads to help them through the pitfalls of pregnancy and childcare.

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Dunmow and Braintree group, Babies and Bumps and Toddlers, offers parents help through its community as well as classes to get new parents through pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood.

NCT Dunmow and Braintree branch co-ordinator Melanie Sims, who takes her 11-month-old daughter Olivia to the group, said the meetings are important for both the children and the parents. She describes it as a “survival group” for lots of the mothers and their children.

“New mothers can become very isolated when they have children,” she said. “Apart from the health visitors from your local health clinic, a lot of new mums are handed the reigns very early.

“Here at NCT Dunmow and Braintree we have a buddy system where new parents can get a lift with existing members so more people can enjoy the benefits of this group.

“That is brilliant for new people who have moved to the area or who don’t have friends with babies. Having visited many ‘cliquey’ baby groups, everyone comments how ours is so relaxed and friendly.”

The NCT, which is the largest parenting charity in the UK, also offers antenatal and postnatal courses, local support and information on a wide variety of parenting matters.

NCT Dunmow and Braintree has also recently been awarded a Good Practice certificate from the Pre-school Learning Alliance - the pre-school equivalent of Ofsted - so parents can rest assured that their child is having fun and learning in a clean and safe environment.

Miss Sims is also keen to quash the notion that the NCT is “members only.”

“Our group is also big enough to incorporate very young children and toddlers, so parents are not ‘banished’ from the group when their children become more mobile.”

While the group allows children to learn the importance of listening and sharing, youngsters and parents can also benefit from regular taster sessions from local businesses, at no extra cost, including baby reflexology and baby signing.

For more information on any of the upcoming events visit nct/org.uk/dunmow. Follow the link to its Facebook account - a great community for events, competitions and discounts.

The group meets every Monday, excluding bank holidays, at Stebbing Village Hall from 10am-12pm.

Each session costs £2 per family including refreshments. No booking needed.

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