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. The aim is to raise awareness of Birth Trauma and Perinatal PTSD, reduce stigma, help to educate others by sharing stories and give those affected by birth trauma a voice and hope .
Beyond Birth Trauma
Beyond Birth Trauma offers hope and supports families to heal from birth trauma. I have developed the B.E.Y.O.N.D steps which can be used to help those affected to heal. My hope is to help those who are suffering see that it is possible to live again beyond birth trauma and to give support for future pregnancies and births.
#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 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.
#MatExp – #MindNBody
#MatExp project: #MindNBody – a holistic approach to perinatal mental health. The launch took place on 31 January 2018 at the London perinatal mental health conference (#LondonperinatalMH), hosted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The formal partnership is across 3 regions: London, West Midlands and the South West, but there is opportunity for everyone to get involved.
Perinatal Mental Health Network Discussion Group
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 on Facebook. Let’s all work together with the voices of women and their families to make sure we improve services and the lives of those suffering.
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 mum’s and babies be able to stay together instead of being admitted to the neonatal unit. I supported the hypoglycemic group and helping to produce a parent leaflet to help families understand 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 loved my work as an Infant Feeding Support Worker for the NHS which I did for over six years and as a BFN breastfeeding supporter. A lot of my role was 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 provide training to help develop peer support workers to give much needed help to families at this very vulnerable time.
NHS Perinatal Mental Health Pathway and Training – Multi-Agency
I have assisted in the setting up of a perinatal pathway that will enable families to receive the support they need. This was in partnership with health visitors, midwives, commissioning, child services, family nurse partnership, public health 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 also trained the multi-agencies in my local area on 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 was privileged to work along with them to produce a video on PTSD and my experience of birth trauma. These have been released on the baby buddy app and website 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.
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.
Re-development 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. 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 for the group. This provides me the opportunity to use my lived experience to help make changes and support 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.
Better Breastfeeding campaigns for better support, better understanding and a better environment for breastfeeding in the UK. I am passionate that families are able to access the support they need to feed their babies. This campaign highlights that while many wish to breastfeed they often lack the support to do so. You can read more about the campaign here.
Make Birth Better Network
This is a network for those working in services, or who support women, partners and families who have been affected by birth trauma.
It’s a place to talk, share ideas, research, events or articles about birth trauma. It’s also a place to support each other and give encouragement.
The group is to provide wonderful examples of what is happening nationally but also on a local level. It helps us to look at ways to reduce birth trauma and support the mental and emotional wellbeing of families.
You can join us here.
Tokophobia – Best Practice Toolkit
I have been able to use my lived experience to support the development of a toolkit to help women who suffer from tokophobia or have had a previous traumatic birth. This was with the Pan-London Perinatal Mental Health Network.
The toolkit offers best practice guidance about identifying and treating tokophobia. It draws on the current evidence and recommendations of a group of experts in the field.
You can find the toolkit here.