I am always looking out for new projects. I believe that everyone has unique talents and gifts to bring to a table. We just need to be ourselves, have passion and want to make a difference.
Here are the projects I am currently involved in.
Unfold Your Wings
Unfold your Wings is a place of information and support for families and healthcare professionals. It’s aim is to raise awareness of Birth Trauma and Perinatal PTSD, reduce stigma, help to educate others by sharing stories and give sufferers hope. I run a website, facebook and twitter page and co-host #BirthTraumaChat on Mondays with Maternity Matters.
Birth Trauma Trust aims to raise awareness of Birth Trauma, its link to perinatal wellbeing and mental health, but also how the care women receive in pregnancy, during birth and postnatally can dramatically reduce the impact that a difficult birth experience can have. The Birth Trauma Trust believes that regardless of how or where a woman gives birth she should be treated with kindness, her choices listened to and respected, that she is treated as an individual with individual needs, and that the care she receives should support her, protect her and make her feel safe.
#MatExp is a change platform using the power of social media to bring together doctors, midwives, health visitors, doula’s, managers and service users from all walks of life to share good practice and look at ways to improve maternity services.
#MatExp aims to put families at the heart of care given by all.
The overall theme is kind and compassionate care, informed choice, dignity, respect and everyone working together. We have been working with the national maternity review body and other organisations to make a difference to families everywhere. For me #Matexp is personally important because it has given me hope that by working together we can prevent the sometimes awful experiences that happen in maternity that can affect families for many years.
Perinatal Mental Health Network
My battle to get a diagnosis, support and treatment for my experience of perinatal mental health has made me want to set up a network that would bring together everyone who is working hard in this field. There are so many wonderful people with passion, lived experience and the desire to improve services for people for whom perinatal mental health is a daily battle.
So if you too desire to be part of a wonderful, diverse group that is looking to improve perinatal mental health support please join the Perinatal Mental Health Network. Lets all work together with the voices of women and their families to make sure we improve services and the lives of those suffering.
Growing families is a wonderful conference I’m helping to organise on Thursday 6th October 2016 that will talk about the realities of parenting. So if you are expecting a baby? New to parenting or wanting to explore more about what you know? About to become a grandparent? Supporting new families? Then this conference is for you! Come and discover what makes YOU tick, what will affect your parenting style, what baby expects and how you can maintain the relationships that matter to you. Learn about the latest evidence on baby care and find out more about the choices new parents face. Hear about experiences of different parenting journeys and what kinds of support can make the difference to your growing family. Follow us on Twitter @GrowFamiliesUK and on Facebook.
Reducing admissions of full term babies to Neonatal units – NHS England
Having a baby in neonatal is a very difficult journey. It means being separated from your baby, it can complicate feeding and of course means stress and worry for families. Im so happy to be part of this project with NHS England looking at ways to support parents, babies and staff so that more babies are able to stay with their mother instead of being admitted to the neonatal unit. I am helping with the hypoglycemic group and helping to produce a parent leaflet to help families under how to prevent hypoglycemia and ways to support the health of their baby.
Click here for the finished report.
Neonatal Peer support Training – BFN
I love my work as an Infant Feeding Support Worker for the NHS and as a BFN breastfeeding supporter. A lot of my role is in Neonatal, which provides many challenges when it comes to feeding. Peer support is so important for families. So I feel privileged to be part of a project with the BFN to develop training to help develop peer supports to give much needed help to families at this very vulnerable time.
NHS Perinatal Mental Health Pathway and training – multi-agency
I have been assisting in the setting up of a perinatal pathway that will enable families to receive the support they need in the quickest way. This is with health visitors, midwives, commissioning, child services, family nurse partnership and mental health services. Without such pathways families find it hard to get help and treatment. Part of this project is also looking at transitioning to parenthood and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy. I will also be training the multi-agencies in my local area around perinatal mental health awareness.
Mental health campaign/information videos – Best beginnings
Best beginnings are helping to raise awareness of perinatal mental health with a project called ‘Out of the blue’. I am privileged to be working along with them to produce a video on PTSD and my experience of birth trauma. These have been released on the baby buddy app for parents to view. There will also be videos to help train health care professionals on perinatal mental health. It was privilege to attend the launch where I got to meet HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.
Butterflies Birth Reflection Service
Supporting women that have suffered birth trauma is very important to me. Often they feel alone, little understood and are left struggling with feelings they don’t know how to deal with. I run a Birth Reflections Service which offers sessions to provide a safe place for women to come and be heard, to know that they matter and are not alone. It enables signposting for families to places for support and help.
Redevelopment of my local Neonatal and maternity unit
I have a deep love for my local maternity unit and neonatal. It is where I work and also the place that I had my birth trauma. It took me so much work to be able to return there and then work there. I will always continue to help it to be a place that women are given care that is compassionate and respectful. I have been very fortunate to be part of the board that has been formed to redevelop the maternity unit and also expand the neonatal unit. I have been able to raise the needs of families, especially those who suffer bereavement. This resulted in the plans including being changed to include a completely new bereavement suit to support families at such a devastating time.
Black Country Perinatal Mental Health Network
I currently support the Black Country Perinatal Mental Health Network as a patient lead. This provides me the opportunity to use my lived experience to help make changes and in the delivering of services. It also enables me to help others be heard and share their thoughts on accessing support and what can make a difference to them personally.
We are currently working on a bid for funding