Bromley Mindful Mums Befriending service provides pregnant women and new mums with regular practical, social and listening support on a one-to-one basis.
"I always came away from our sessions feeling calmer"Anon
“I was paired with the perfect Befriender for me. She made such a difference by providing a kind and compassionate ear. She helped me find new ways to play with my baby, which was great as I had never interacted with babies before. She helped give me the confidence to go out in the car with my baby, which had been a huge worry, and also the confidence to use the sling, which was a cause of huge anxiety after having a fall. The practical help was great, but her kind, listening ear was more important. I always came away from our sessions feeling calmer and with more perspective.”
"Having a befriender changed my life"Anon
“Having a befriender changed my life from being up and down emotionally to being active. I suffer with anxiety issues and needed a push in the right direction. I would say the whole time being with her made me feel amazing more and more and motivated me to do more. That's why I have chosen to be a befriender myself and give back to people like others have done.”
"I highly recommend this service to any new mums"Anon
“I am a mum with two very young boys living in Beckenham. I suffered from quite bad mental health issues after I had my second baby. I benefited from the befriender programme tremendously. It is often very difficult for a mum to find someone they can trust to talk about some sensitive issues. Through this programme, I found I have a regular one to one attention from a local lady who has quite similar challenges. It was very nice to share things and get a lot of practical help at the same time. I feel more calm each time I spoke to my befriender. I highly recommend this service to any new mums who is struggling in her daily life.”
Having a baby isn’t easy at the best of times, especially with the modern day demands of work, health and relationships, and traditional family support networks not always being an option. Challenges and struggles are normal during pregnancy and after birth.
To support women through this period and help them to stay well, Mindful Mums Befriending matches a pregnant woman or new mother with a trained volunteer Befriender to help with things such as:
- Accompanying the mum to a local group or out and about in the community
- Providing non-judgemental space for them to talk about the highs and lows of pregnancy, giving birth and motherhood
- Assisting with tasks in the home
- Finding out about and using other local services that can help.
All volunteer Befrienders are interviewed, background checked and trained, and have experience of the pressures and emotional difficulties that pregnant women and new mums can go through. Volunteers receive ongoing training and support as part of their role.
Example of support
Jackie recently had her third child with her husband and the family lived in a third floor flat, in a building with no lift. Jackie’s husband worked long days during the week, and Jackie literally could not get out of the home until her husband was free at the weekend. Getting herself, two toddlers, a baby, their pushchairs and vital accessories down three flights of stairs, without assistance, was impossible. Jackie started to feel increasingly upset, stressed and depressed, and this was affecting her health and ability to look after her family.
A Mindful Mums Befriender helped Jackie get out of the flat more regularly and found groups for the toddlers to attend, giving Jackie some time to care for herself and her newborn baby.
What a mum said about Bromley Mindful Mums Befriending:
"My Befriender had her own previous personal experience of battling mental health. She visited me on Fridays and we quickly developed a good friendship. We planned to try and get out into the community which was something I was really struggling with outside of my routine of taking my daughter to school or visiting my parents. When we did, she constantly reassured me and was very understanding about my feelings and concerns. She always offered a reassuring ear and a sense of warmth in what at times felt very difficult, and was easy to talk to and friendly towards my household members.
"I always looked forward to our visits and after she left I felt a sense of positivity. I would recommend the Befriender scheme to other mums who are struggling.”
Who can use this service?
Bromley Mindful Mums Befriending is for pregnant women and new mothers (with babies under one-year-old) who are registered with a Bromley GP and may be experiencing stress, emotional difficulties or low to moderate level mental health problems. This service helps pregnant women and new mothers stay well and look after themselves.
How to access the service
Pregnant women and new mothers need to be referred to Bromley Mindful Mums Befriending by a health visitor, midwife or Oxleas NHS professional.
If you are pregnant or a new mum, you can ask your health visitor or midwife to refer you to this service for support.
Professionals will need a referral form that can be requested using the contact details below.
Mindful Mums Befriending will then assess a woman’s particular needs and match them with a Befriender, if the service is a good fit.
Find out more about Bromley Mindful Mums.