Supporting pregnant refugee and asylum seeker women
“This project made a huge change in my life. I was stuck inside staring at four walls. Since being involved, the project has changed how I view my life and wanting to do things. This project has given me things to do and look forward to.”
The Birth Partner Project provides volunteer birth partners to support refugee and asylum seeker women who would otherwise face giving birth alone.
During the pandemic, the Birth Partner Project had to find a way to adapt their service that traditionally relied on face-to-face support in a way that was meaningful, safe and within Welsh Government guidelines.
Digital inclusion has been key in keeping connected to the women they help and continuing to provide them with essential support and information.
The grant from the Wales Coronavirus Resilience Fund enabled the Birth Partner Project to run a digital inclusion programme with a focus on improving wellbeing in late pregnancy and early motherhood. This included offering a range of creative, informative and wellbeing classes.
The funding also helped them to distribute 15 digital packs which included tablets, data and headphones and allowed them to bring in interpreters to ensure that all classes and information sessions were accessible to everyone.
Since running the digital inclusion project, the Birth Partner Project has seen increased confidence in the women they support, with one regular attendee of the English classes saying:
“Previously I wasn’t very confident with speaking English. Now even if I’m not correct I like to try.”
Involvement in classes has also helped the women they support to better integrate into the Cardiff community. One woman commented:
“My involvement in the project has helped me understand life in this country.”
Their classes and digital packs have been key in providing valuable information for first-time parents, with one mother stating:
“I’m always alone with the baby so since having the tablet I’ve been able to research and look things up relating to her.”