The ‘virtual village’ connecting pregnant women during lockdown

Freya Owen and Christy Hopwood are the brains behind Mama You''ve Got This. 203896_02 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Danielle Galvin

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it hasn’t been an easy time for anyone, let alone pregnant women, navigating an already stressful time.

That’s why an incredibly novel idea from two local mums has become a virtual lifeline for many Melbourne mums.

In the height of the lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne, Freya Owen and Christy Hopwood have developed a new way for mums to connect, to get some expert advice and feel prepared for their parenting journey.

Their business ‘Mama You’ve Got This’ offers virtual classes to prepare for parenthood – from sleep, breastfeeding, and tackling the toddler years.

“During the first lockdown we heard the outcry from our ‘Mama Community’ that their mothers groups were cancelled – that all of their normal support systems were cancelled, they were not getting their babies weighed by their child health nurse and their birthing classes were cancelled,” Christy and Freya explained.

“They could not get help from their family or friends as they had to be isolated and they were worried that they could give the virus to their parents (which meant many new mums could not let their new baby meet their parents).

“We couldn’t sit back and do nothing so we quickly pivoted our business to help.”

Over the course of a weekend, they worked tirelessly to change their business model to offer a virtual village to help connect women.

“We put out a call out to all Mamas that we would hold virtual mothers groups.

“Very quickly we enrolled over 750 mamas from right across Australia and put them into Virtual Mothers Groups held over zoom (Mamas Groups) based on their demographic and stage of their parenting journey, for example pregnancy, newborn, infant, toddler, young child.

“We held these for free giving up our evening and weekends to host the groups.

“All whilst home-schooling our own little ones (we have 7 children between us).”

They also offered live meet-ups with different experts each Tuesday night at 8pm, on a range of different topics including sleep, the latest advice from an OB regarding COVID-19, a psychologist to give parents coping strategies, as well as a lactation expert to help with breastfeeding support.

“This lockdown we have launched a brand new product which we hope we monumentally help new parents navigate the parenting journey from conception through to Toddlerhood – Experts On Demand.

“Experts on Demand is our brand new online video program which will prepare parents for pregnancy, birth, and the first two years of their baby’s life

“It’s what you need to know by the experts in the know – all housed in the one place.”

They’ve teamed up with 12 health and wellbeing experts, and there’s different packages available and expert videos with advice and guidance.

“The videos cover all subjects, preparing for birth, birth, breastfeeding, sleep and settling, parenthood transition, starting solids just to name a few as well as demonstrations with a newborn baby – how to bathe a baby, nappy change, swaddle and how to spoon feed an infant,” Christy and Freya explained.

“We really hope our new offer will transform parents’ lives, having one destination to get all the advice they need by a trusted source of experts the very best in the business.

“We hope it allows everyone the opportunity to have the very best expert advice for their child and themselves as a new parent.”

For more information visit:

Mums create a modern village