'I felt completely isolated': The ups and downs of becoming a first-time mum during lockdown

  • Video report by ITV Wales reporter¬†Jess Main

Two women have shared their experience of becoming first-time parents during a global pandemic.

Nia Lewis had her first child in August last year, and said giving birth was especially difficult because she could not have her husband there during labour.

During the first lockdown, expectant dads, partners and close contacts were unable to attend the early stages of labour - with some missing the birth entirely due to restrictions.

It prompted thousands of people to sign a petition calling for restrictions on birthing partners to be eased in Wales.

Like many women who have become mothers during lockdown, Nia wasn't able to introduce Elis, her seven-month-old baby, to the rest of her friends and family.

Nia said she felt "completely isolated basically from the rest of the world".

"During lockdown, it's been really difficult trying to entertain our six-month-old baby while I wait for my husband to get home. I do feel lonely at times," she added.

"I think the frustration that I could be with my sister who has a baby also is there as well. She's in her house, I'm in my house - we could just be together."

Nia's husband was unable to see his son for nearly a week when Elis was re-admitted to hospital due to an infection. Credit: Nia Lewis

Nia said both her parents and her husband's parents "have missed out" because they have been unable to meet their son.

But despite this, she said she "has dealt with it by just trying to put a positive spin on everything" and "as it's keeping everybody safe that's the main thing."

She added: "Hopefully then we'll be able to move forward and take this as an experience something to definitely talk about for a long time to come."

Nia also shared some positive news - she is currently expecting another baby.

She hopes by the time she gives birth to her second child, restrictions will be eased to allow the rest of her family to meet her son.

"Hopefully we can make up for lost time," she said.

Hawys Barrett said she was able to remain positive as a first-time mother during lockdown. Credit: Hawys Barrett

Lockdown was an eventful time for Hawys Barrett, who also became a first-time mum to Mabon in October of last year.

Hawys and her partner decided to start the process of IVF treatment in 2019 after miscarrying twice, and were delighted to find out their son was conceived.

The Carmarthenshire mum said: "I'd lost two babies beforehand so IVF was kind of the last alternative for us.

"The first round didn't work for us and I wasn't too sure if I was ready to go through the whole process again.

"It's very, very lucky that we did because, obviously unbeknown to us in, about a month's time after that we were in a national lockdown."

Hawys said it has been a challenging year but becoming a mum is what got her through it.

She added: "The year that we've had and all our worries and everything and now he's here and it's all okay - everything works out in the end you know, and he is very very special to us."

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