Lewisham Mindful Mums Befriending

Two female friends

Our Mindful Mums Befriending service provides pregnant women and mums with babies up to a year old with practical and social support on a one-to-one basis.

If you are registered with a Lewisham GP and experiencing stress, emotional difficulties or low to moderate level mental health problems, we can help.

Priority will be given to women of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds who are pregnant or have with babies aged 0-12 months.

"I always came away from our sessions feeling calmer"

“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.”

Anon

"Having a befriender changed my life"

“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.”

Anon

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 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.

Who is the service for?

Mindful Mums Befriending is for pregnant women and new mothers (with babies under one-year-old) who are registered with a Lewisham GP and may be experiencing stress, emotional difficulties or low to moderate level mental health problems.

Two women and a babyWho are the Befrienders?

The Befrienders are volunteers who have been interviewed, background checked and trained, and have experience of the pressures and emotional difficulties that pregnant women and new mums can go through. All of our Befrienders receive ongoing training and support as part of their role.

Once somebody has been referred to the service, Mindful Mums will assess the woman’s particular needs and match them with a Befriender, if the service is a good fit.

How to access the service

Pregnant women and new mums need to be referred to this service by a health visitor, midwife or South London and Maudsley NHS Trust professional. Please speak to your health visitor or midwife if you would like to be referred. Priority will be given to women of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds who are pregnant or have babies aged 0-12 months.

Refer someone

Healthcare and support professionals can refer someone to this service.

Please email Mindful Mums for a referral form.

Email us

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 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.”

Contact

If you would like to speak to someone about this service, please contact Selina Stewart on 07704 536424 or Tuginder Kaur on 07513 706826, email mindfulmums@blgmind.org.uk or use the ‘Contact us’ button below.

Contact us

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