We’ve changed how we do things, but we are still here to help!

Pregnancy and becoming a parent can be both a wonderful and a sometimes difficult journey to navigate at the best of times. Given the current situation, it is understandable that mums may be feeling lonely or worried. Our fantastic peer supporters can offer a friendly listening ear and provide reassurance, company and flexible ongoing support and information.

Support available:

  • Free one-to-one telephone/video support to pregnant mums and their families in Basildon, Billericay, Wickford, Thurrock and Canvey Island
  • Antenatal and postnatal fitness – we are offering small group online fitness classes with a fully qualified and experienced YMCA personal trainer who specialises in prenatal and postnatal exercise
  • Virtual information sessions – our peer supporters will be hosting informal and friendly group sessions to enable mums to meet, chat and share information
  • Online workshops for expectant dads

Expectant parents simply need to contact us on 01268 525758 or email [email protected]

Organisations and professionals can refer to us in the same way or complete our simple and secure online referral form: https://www.tfaforms.com/420282

Read the latest guidance on coronavirus for pregnant women.

If you would like to connect and chat with other local mums, please do join our Essex community chatrooms over on our national website. 

Here is a list of advice and support that other organisations provide, that you might find useful:

Latest professional advice Parenting support
Local Maternity Services information The Health Visiting service
Other antenatal support Registration of baby and child benefit
Support for dads Maternity rights and benefits
Wellbeing and mental health Other local support available
Postnatal support Domestic abuse support
Breastfeeding advice and support

  • Latest advice from The Royal College of Midwives


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  • Local Maternity Services Information
    Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital have produced this short video to answer your questions on maternity care.

Basildon Hospital: Latest information:


Southend Hospital: Latest information:


Blood tests for Basildon women in pregnancy have now changed location, this includes GTTs (Glucose Tolerance Tests): Latest information:

All routine blood tests and GTTs will now take place at Orsett Hospital, there is no longer a service at Basildon Hospital for maternity patients. Women with existing appointments will be contacted by Pathology, to inform you of any changes to your appointment. If have been told you need a GTT then you will need to book via the website and the location will be at Orsett Hospital. Website to book all blood tests http://www.basildonandthurrock.nhs.uk/blood-tests-online

Blood tests for Southend women in pregnancy have now changed location, this includes GTTs (Glucose Tolerance Tests): Latest information:

All routine blood tests and GTTs will now take place at the Rehabilitation Centre, Hillborough Building, Southend University Hospital. Women with existing appointments will be contacted by Pathology, to inform you of any changes to your appointment. If have been told you need a GTT then you will need to book via the website and the location will be at the Rehabilitation Centre, Hillborough Building, Southend University   Hospital. Website to book all blood tests http://www.basildonandthurrock.nhs.uk/blood-tests-online

Antenatal appointments may be fewer than before, your midwife will keep you up to date with when all your appointments and visits will take place. Please make sure all your contact details are up to date so that the midwives can contact you, call the community midwives office if you have changed your contact details. No partners/friends/family are currently allowed to accompany you to any appointments.         

Labour and Birth at present only one birth partner will be allowed to support you and this person will have to stay with you and not be changed with another person. Your birth partner may be asked to stay outside of the hospital e.g the car, until it has been confirmed that you are in labour, they will be asked to leave shortly after the birth. For elective caesarean sections your birth partner will be asked to stay outside of the hospital until you are ready to go to theatre. They will be allowed with you in theatre if your caesarean is being performed under spinal anaesthesia, they will not be allowed in theatre if its under GA (General anaesthesia). The home birth service is still under operation, but this may change due to demand on services, please check with your midwife.

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  • Other Antenatal support

https://www.positivebirthmovement.org/courses/about-positive-birth-covid-19-rescue-pack/  online positive birth course with hypnobirthing.

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  •  Support for Dads

Dads Rock 

https://www.dadsrock.org.uk/calendar Practical workshops as well as live chats over Zoom and Facebook.

Dads Matter

https://m.facebook.com/events/1364360287082598 Facebook Live chats with advice and support from other Dads.



Association of Breastfeeding Mothers

https://www.facebook.com/AssocBfMothers/photos/a.164288863628435/3067312243326068/?type=3&theater  Advice and support for Dads/Partners around infant feeding.

Great resource for Dads - all things Parenting - https://www.bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people/dad-life

Information on postnatal depression in dads:



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  • Well-being and mental health Support

Evidence based Self-Care Tips from the Parent Infant Foundation:


 PANDAS charity for perinatal mental illness offer free telephone support:

Mon-Sun 9am-8pm on 0808 1961776 or by email on  [email protected]

(response within 72 hours)

 Free mindfulness exercises to practice:


 NHS tips on Mental well-being at this time:


 Samaritans telephone support available 24 hrs:

Call 116 123 Free or email support on [email protected] (response within 24 hrs)

 Shout Crisis Text Line:

 Text SHOUT to 85258 to text with a trained crisis volunteer 24/7


 Anxiety UK advice and helpline:

03444775774 (9:30am–10pm Mon–Fri 10am–8pm Sat & Sun) or text support on 07537 416 905. There are also regular online support groups you can register for http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/coronanxiety-support-resources/

 Mind Coronavirus and your wellbeing:


A list of mental well-being Apps


'Emotional Survival for Infants and their Parents’ factsheet


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  • Postnatal Support

Postnatal visits may be fewer and some will be telephone contacts. Your midwives will let you know when this will happen.

Postnatal Advice from the Institute of Health Visiting



Guide for Parents with Babies on the neonatal unit during Covid 19


Lullaby Trust 

 Information regarding looking after your newborn. https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/coronavirus-and-caring-for-your-baby/

Great resource for mums all things parenting, pregnancy and beyond. https://www.bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people/mum-life



Action for Postpartum Psychosis during Covid 19


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  • Breastfeeding Advice and Support

Breastfeeding advice from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:

Will I be able to breastfeed my baby if I have suspected or confirmed coronavirus?

Yes. There is no evidence showing that the virus can be carried in breastmilk, the well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk.

The main risk of breastfeeding is close contact between you and your baby, as if you cough or sneeze, this could contain droplets which are infected with the virus, leading to infection of the baby after birth.

A discussion about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding should take place between you and your family and your maternity team.
This guidance may change as knowledge evolves.

When you or anyone else feeds your baby, the following precautions are recommended:

- Wash your hands before touching your baby, breast pump or bottles

- Try to avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while feeding at the breast

- Consider wearing a face mask while breastfeeding, if available

- Follow recommendations for pump cleaning after each use

- Consider asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breast milk to your baby.

If you choose to feed your baby with formula or expressed milk, it is recommend that you follow strict adherence to sterilisation guidelines. If you are expressing breast milk in hospital, a dedicated breast pump should be used.

 Useful Breastfeeding support services:


Call them on: 0300 330 0700

Option 1: NCT infant feeding helpline

Option 1 then Option 1: Every day, 8am to Midnight, including bank holidays

Option 1 then Options 2-4: Monday-Friday 9-5pm. Closed on Bank Holidays

Option 2: Monday-Friday 9-5pm. Closed on Bank Holidays

Option 3: Monday-Friday 9-5pm. Closed on Bank Holidays

 Breastfeeding Network:


You may not need to venture beyond your front door to get breastfeeding support. BfN Registered Breastfeeding Supporters are trained to give support and information by telephone.

 Laleche UK:


Call their national helpline on 0345 1202918

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  • Parenting Support

Parenting and coping during Covid-19


How to talk to your children about Coronavirus


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  • The Health Visiting Service

Essex Family well-being service: Latest information:



Some of your appointments may be over the telephone, your Health Visitor will be in touch once you have had your baby.

Mid Essex Tel: 0300 247 0014

North Essex Tel: 0300 247 0015

South Essex Tel: 0300 247 0013

West Essex Tel: 0300 247 0122

Southend Health Visiting Service: Latest information:


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  • Registration of baby and Child Benefit

Essex County Council: Info on Birth Registration


Gov.uk: Advice on how to claim child benefit:


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  • Support about maternity rights and benefits

Maternity Action: FAQs Covid-19 – rights and benefits during pregnancy and maternity leave:


Citizens Advice: Advice on working and paying bills, your rights and benefits:


Gov. Uk: Advice on Maternity Pay and leave:


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  • Other forms of Local Support

The Essex Welfare Service

Essex Welfare Support Service

Essex County Council has set up a new service to help vulnerable people in our community who are staying at home and in need of support during the coronavirus period. The Essex Welfare Service is for people who are unable to access the support they need at this time.

https://essexwelfareservice.org/ or tel: 03003039988

Thurrock - 01375 511 002 Open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday.

Southend Borough Council:

Advice and support for people living in Southend who may need extra support:

https://www.southend.gov.uk/coronavirus or tel: 01702 212497

Mid and South Essex Covid-19 Pregnancy Support Group on Facebook:

Run by Southend Midwife and Maternity Voices Partnership, advice and info.


Advice for claiming Universal Credit:


ACL Essex

https://aclessex.com/ For online courses for you and your children to access.


For advice about local support in the Castle Point area.


Victim Support

Advice regarding scams around Corona virus:


Advice and Info for single parents


Leap Lambeth

Tips on bonding and interaction with your baby during coronavirus:



Housing advice during coronavirus:


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  • Domestic Abuse Support

If you are experiencing any form of domestic abuse here are some contacts for you:

Safer Places:

24 hours a day, 7 days a week tel: 03301 025811

Women’s Aid:


Changing pathways:


24 hours a day, 7 days a week tel: 0330 3337444

National Abuse Network:


24 hours a day, 7 days a week tel: 0808 2000 247

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