Pregnancy and early motherhood are one of the most vulnerable periods in any woman’s life, and the time when we need to lean on others in our community the most – something that it’s not very easy to do during a lockdown when we are all practicing social distancing.

While in-person antenatal classes and maternity clinics have been called off for the foreseeable future, maternity care companies have shifted their services online, to offer a range of advisory and support services for mothers and expectant women at this difficult time.

“The online consultations are working really well so far,” says Jasmine Collin of Love Parenting UAE, who is offering her five-week Hypnobirthing courses virtually for small groups or privately, as well as giving away a free relaxation hypnotherapy meditation for pregnant women. “The material translates quite well through the screen. The couples actually like the practice sessions being in their own homes as this is where they will be during labour. We still do all of the practice we would normally do, and I’ve made videos of the techniques.”

Here are some of the places you can get virtual support from the experts without leaving your sofa.

Malaak Mama & Baby Care

The experts at Malaak are offering all of their services online, including private prenatal classes, weaning and feeding help and toddler behaviour support, as well as online group sleep workshops and regular free Instagram Lives with their resident sleep expert, midwife Cecile De Scally, and Virtual Mama Morning Q&As with their sleep and behaviour experts. Contact workshops@malaak.me

Love Parenting UAE

Jasmine Collin is offering her Hypnobirthing course in small online groups or privately, so that you can learn all of the techniques you need for a calm and empowered birth, despite the chaos of the current situation, while in the comfort of your own home (contact jasmine@loveparentinguae.com). Co-founder and IBCLC qualified lactation constultant and ex midwife Amy Vogelaar is also offering some of her breastfeeding support services online. Amy@loveparentingUAE.com

The Fit Midwife

Practicing Dubai-based midwife and postnatal fitness expert Nikki Oliver is offering all of her services online, including antenatal education classes, breastfeeding support and postnatal support for new mums, as well pre- and postnatal personal training. She is also offering free prenatal and postnatal workouts via her whatsapp support groups, as well as a free weekly Zoom workout class.

Babies and Beyond

Maternity care service Babies and Beyond is offering a calendar of pre and postnatal support online, including a free weekly drop-in clinic every Thursday 10am to 12pm, where you can book your own 15-minute slot with DHA licensed midwife Hazel, who will give you general postpartum advice and answer any questions you have about your newborn’s health. Plus, free live-stream classes, as well as a series of paid-for workshops on everything from newborn care to weaning and preparing for labour and birth.

Thrive Wellbeing Centre by Dr Sarah Rasmi
Thrive Wellbeing Centre has recently opened the UAE’s first specialist maternal mental health unit, and it has taken all of its services online via a confidential video link. From postnatal issues to family adjustment, infant loss, infertility issues and more, the centres licensed psychologists are available at the tip of your fingers.

Rainbow Parenting
Certified Lactation Consultant IBCLC and positive discipline coach Soulaf Mansour is offering her breastfeeding support services in English, Arabic or French online.   info@rainbow-parenting.com

The Midwives at Healthbay
This well-known polyclinic is offering virtual versions of its usual breastfeeding and antenatal support. Contact Midwives@healthbayclinic.com