A mum who is worried about losing maternity services in Bedford has taken matters into her own hands by forming a Baby Bumps support group.
Dominique Edell is a former police safeguarding officer and also a family lawyer.
She discovered a lot of new mums and dads were worried about the impact the closure of maternity services would have on pregnant women and new parents.
“Bedford Hospital’s maternity service is a real asset to the town, and its potential closure could see pregnant families travelling some distance for their care,” she said.
Dominque set up Bedford Baby Bumps as a networking and support group specifically for local expectant parents.
“I wanted to create a group where pregnant ladies and their partners could meet other expectant parents, hear from local businesses and services, and build strong social and community networks ahead of their baby’s arrival,” she said.
“Being pregnant, and then at home with a new baby, can be an anxious time for any new parent.
“The maternity services at Bedford are at risk, so I wanted a group to complement existing antenatal support services.”
Bedford, as a commuter town, has a large population of young couples who have travelled there from this country and abroad to live and work.
Many of them have no family support locally and could find new parenthood a lonely time.
Dominique, who has a one-year-old daughter, said: “Loneliness and isolation can be key factors in pre and post natal anxiety for both parents. Hopefully community groups such as Bedford Baby Bumps can reduce this risk.”
The group organises communal buggy strolls, as well as outings and weekly meetings featuring guest speaker.
“We have some excellent speakers, covering aspects of pregnancy and birth such as health and fitness, feeding and baby development and legal rights,” said Dominique.
Sessions will be on Wednesdays between 7.30 and 9.00pm at Anjulita Court care home in Bramley Way.
They start on March 1, with a talk from a nutritionist about healthy eating in pregnancy and beyond.
For more details, or to book a place, contact firstname.lastname@example.org