A year of lockdown in Doncaster: Lockdown babies still missing out on baby groups and how mums faced a lonely time in hospital

Becoming a mum in Doncaster during lockdown was a lonely time.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 5:00 pm

Nearly a year after having her son, Charlie, Gemma Lane, remembers how worried she was when Doncaster first went into lockdown.

She said: “When the lockdown was announced I felt very anxious because in this pregnancy I knew I had to be induced because of having the pregnancy condition gestational diabetes – and I was aware that we would have to stay in hospital for at least 24 hours because of this.”

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Charlie Lane Hall was born during lockdown at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

She said it was lonely with no visitors. Her partner, John Hall, had to leave two-and-a-half hours after the birth.

She said: "I was sad that he didn't get to spend long with us but we were well supported on M1 (the maternity ward).

“Charlie is my fourth child and his sister Emily and brothers Bradley and Connor couldn't wait to meet him. They adore their baby brother and he does them. All of the home schooling meant that they got to spend extra time with him.

"We enjoyed our first family holiday with Charlie at the seaside in August last year and this was the first time we got to get out with Charlie – it was nice getting away.

Stacey Wallace with Bella and Amelia, lockdown babies

"Charlie turns one on May 1 and we are having a small family tea party but a year on we hoped we would be able to have a bigger party for him.

“We enjoyed Charlie's first Christmas seeing close family, although there is still family that haven't met him yet. We really hope for normality soon because the babies born during lockdown have missed out on things like going to baby groups, Charlie hasn't met another baby so we will look forward to the day when we can take him to some groups and he can play with others his age.”

Gemma was one of many going through pregnancy at the height of lockdown.

Stacey Wallace gave birth to twins.

Kelly White with Hendrix and Paul.

Stacey, from Intake, had Bella and Amelia on April 15, by caesarian section, having attended daily hospital appointments alone.

Partner David was allowed into the hospital only for the caesarian.

After seeing their daughters arrive, he then had to go home, while Stacey and the girls were kept in for three days.

She said: “In a way I found it lonely, with David and the boys not being there. But it was peaceful not having other visitors there, and that meant I could become more comfortable about breast feeding.

“It was good to get back after three days and finally let David and the boys spend time with the twins.”

First time mum Kelly White, from Askern, gave birth to son Hendrix on Monday, May 18, by caesarian at DRI. She was kept in hospital for two days.

He could not meet his grandparents until June due to lockdown.

She said going to appointments on her own was hardest.

She said: “Hendrix was born by caesarian, and my husband Paul only had 30 minutes before he had to go home, and then couldn’t see us for two days.

“But I can’t fault the hospital. They know we’re in there on our own and they look after us.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.