Guest Blog/Blog Gwadd: Birth Partner Project

April 3, 2024

This month’s guest blog is from Lizzie of Birth Partner Project. Keep reading to find out more about the work she does and who the Birth Partner Project are…

Daw blog gwadd y mis hwn gan Lizzie o'r Birth Partner Project. Daliwch ati i ddarllen i ddarganfod mwy am y gwaith mae hi’n ei wneud a phwy yw’r Birth Partner Project…

Hello! I’m Lizzie, I started working for The Birth Partner Project (TBPP) as their drop-in coordinator at the beginning of January 2024, so I’m still a newbie!
I originally trained as a midwife before joining the charity sector. My experience in maternity settings gave me an awareness of maternal health inequalities, and a desire to help women most impacted by these inequalities. Over the past few years I’ve worked with sanctuary seekers as a caseworker and in the area of Refugee family reunion. I hoped that someday I’d be able to combine my maternity experience with my passion for helping sanctuary seekers, and so now I have the great privilege and joy of doing a job which feels like it’s been made just for me!

TBPP is a charity with a mission to ensure that no sanctuary seeking mother-to-be has to face pregnancy, birth and early motherhood alone. This is mostly through our wonderful army of volunteers who give so much love and round-the-clock support to our mums. Each mum is allocated a team of volunteers to make sure she will always have someone by her side during labour and birth, and to visit her both antenatally and 8-weekspostpartum.
Sanctuary seeking mums face huge challenges. Inadequate housing, language barriers, mental health issues, difficulty accessing the support they need plus a lack of family and social support. Consistent companionship during this period had been shown to significantly improve outcomes for both mother and baby, this is why we believe the work of TBPP is so vital.

One of our mums said ‘The Birth Partner Project are like my family and friends because here I know no one.’

The weekly drop-in has been running for over a year at Trinity Centre. It’s a warm and welcoming space where the mums who are part of the project (mum’s can keep attending after their official postpartum support has ended) can share with and support each other. We usually have someone coming into run informal sessions such as craft, baby massage, yoga, fitness, baby care, anything that the mums might find helpful, fun or supportive. Many mums really struggle to afford nappies and wipes, so when we can, we do our best to provide our mums with these things, plus other things they might need. We don’t provide casework but we do our best to help out our mums in their various struggles, whether that’s signposting them to another organisation, or trying to source something that they need.
It’s wonderful to be able to provide a place where mums can come, someone else can hold their baby for a while, they can eat, laugh, be themselves and be understood. It’s a really special thing to be apart of.
Since starting with the project and being at the Trinity Centre (Parkminster), I’ve loved getting to know the other groups there. The amazing thing is that the groups try to support each other as much as possible, whether that’s the WRC toddler group offering our mum’s toddlers a space in their session if they can, or sharing knowledge to try and help out the sanctuary seekers we work with as much as possible. I’m grateful to be part of a group of organisations who work so well together!
If you’d like to know more, support us in any way, or become a volunteer, we’d love to hear from you. Here’s what one of our volunteers said, “It’s been a wonderful experience in sharing such a significant, important process in a woman’s life. I know how important it is to have some really intimate, secure support at a time like that, and what a difference it makes to mother and baby. To be part of this project, knowing that, is a wonderful thing. It has enriched my life a lot.”


If you’d like to know more, visit their website below: