As part of the #BabiesInLockdown report findings, we heard several stories from parents that had a challenging experience having a baby in lockdown with minimal support. Here is Jess' story.

I had my second baby just before lockdown started on the 22nd February, when my eldest was 19 months old. Lockdown for us has been extremely difficult. I've been on my own throughout the lockdown as my partner has had to continue working as he is self employed and we needed the income. Luckily, he's a gardener, so at low risk of catching COVID-19. However, this meant me being at home on my own with two children under two years old. My baby started to struggle and cry constantly at around two weeks old and I was unable to put him down, which meant I had to wear him in a sling. Eventually, after around 4 weeks of struggling, we managed to speak to a doctor over the phone, and he was diagnosed with silent reflux and prescribed medication. 

After another two agonising weeks and pushing me to breaking point, his medication finally arrived. As you can imagine, it was such a hard time trying to care for a baby who was in pain, meet the needs of a toddler and also look after myself. The medication has made a difference to him but he was still struggling. Therefore, I had to try and get back in touch with the doctor. They prescribed him another medication to help him with his bowel issues at the start of July. Since then, he's a different baby altogether - so happy and finally settled. This, however, has meant a big chunk of his life has been spent in lockdown and in pain. No health visitor or professional has been near us to help as they view me as 'knowing what I'm doing' being a second time parent - but my first didn't have any issues. 


I'm having to weigh my baby weekly on my bathroom scales for his medication, as there is no access to any clinics. Lockdown has taken its toll on me massively and has really affected my mental health. I'm slowly starting to get back to myself and starting to venture out with my two little ones. But the confidence to do this is low, as it's something I've never done before. Soon, I'll be having to make the decision whether to return to work and leave my baby after not having the maternity leave I expected, or go onto unpaid leave which is something that would be possible, but would leave us struggling. 

I feel like I'm grieving the time that has been taken from me, and I get very upset at the fact my baby hasn't had any of the experiences my first child did, or the bonding one-to-one time with me or my family. Part of my family are now back in local lockdown which also means our childcare isn't available at the moment. I just wish the government would listen and grant the very little money for a paid extension of maternity leave to allow me and my family to enjoy the time together without financial worries. 

Jess, Bradford