JERSEY’S first pregnancy and post-natal fair will serve as a ‘one-stop shop’ for expectant parents and new families, after its organiser experienced a lack of consolidated support as a new mother.
Bump, Baby and Beyond, a free walk-in event, is due to take place at St Clement Parish Hall tomorrow from 10am to 3pm.
The fair will bring together antenatal self-care, parent and baby groups, professional services and baby-focused businesses in a ‘one-stop shop’ for expectant parents and new families.
Event organiser Emma Matthews, founder of keepsake and casting service Jersey Memory Maker (previously Freddie’s Footprint), said: ‘The idea came from my own experience of pregnancy and being on maternity leave.
‘I found that outside of social media, there isn’t a single source for information covering varying aspects of being a new parent or helping parents connect with other parents and babies.’
She added: ‘It can be so isolating being on maternity leave if you’re struggling to cope with a new baby and not being sure where or who to turn to, especially if you’re a single parent or struggling with post-natal depression. Fewer people now have the “village” that it takes to raise a child, which can make that time that is supposed to be so special become full of uncertainty and self-doubt.
‘Not everyone finds it easy to reach out for help, and as a first-time parent, sometimes even getting the courage to go somewhere new and meet new people in a group feels daunting and overwhelming.’
Mrs Matthews hopes that Bump, Baby and Beyond will reduce this isolation and loneliness by bringing services together in one place, allowing new mothers to gather information and make connections.
On the day, attendees can expect to find ‘a baby fair with a difference’, with some family-fun thrown in – and freebies.
She added: ‘Being able to ask questions can help to relieve anxiety and replace this with excitement to attend.’
If successful, she will look to run the event annually or twice yearly.
The non-profit event will also be raising funds for Philip’s Footprints, which works to support parents through child loss and promotes safer pregnancy.
Parking will be available and there will be disabled/buggy access on the right hand side of the hall.