Learning that you have lost your baby / pregnancy at any stage can be frightening, heart-breaking and lonely. Often, whether there has been the need for medical intervention or not, women / couples are left with many questions and concerns for the future as well as feeling unsure of how to process their grief. For many, regardless of the stage of pregnancy, the loss is not only of their baby but of their hopes, dreams and aspirations of becoming parents.
We at Roots Community Enhancement, believe that by using our lived experiences, we can support others experiencing the loss of a pregnancy. We would like women / couples to self refer to us and we will then visit them at home 2-3 times (depending on need), for an hour in order to offer face to face support. We will listen to their story, explore the heartbreak and frustration and let them know that they are not alone. We are led by a Registered Mental Health Nurse and volunteers, all with lived experience of pregnancy / baby loss at various stages. We would also be able to signpost to statutory services should that be needed. Ideally, at the first home visit appointment, we would like to deliver a small 'pamper hamper' to the Mother / couple in order to establish a rapport and build a nurturing style therapeutic relationship.
We recently carried out a survey in Dawlish and Teignmouth, the results of which showed that the majority of women did not feel that there was any support out there for them. They felt others could never understand their pain and loss. They reported difficulty in their marital relationships following the loss also. We asked if people would have considered using a face to face service in their homes, led by others who had miscarriage experiences and 86% said they would. This service may also provide a community group in the future, should this be needed. We also run a support group for Mums which service users could access when ready, should this be appropriate.
Some anonymous feedback from our survey results;
"I needed someone to ask if I was ok, nobody did"
"It's a silent loss you bear and scream on the inside"
"Nothing locally available"
"I was alone"
"I feared being dismissed"
"Sometimes you just want to talk to someone who is not involved, to make sense of it all"
We are looking for £3,600 to run this project for a year. This includes insurance, admin, volunteer expenses (such as petrol), the cost of pamper hampers and paying a small wage to the Mental Health Nurse who would run the service, oversee visits and supervise volunteers.