During lockdown there was increased fear and anxiety around COVID-19, with some mums and mums-to-be with depression, anxiety and low mood feeling more isolated.
As the Perinatal Support Service is a volunteer-led service, they have been very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers continuing to provide emotional support and a listening ear to mums over the phone or via video calls. In this blog we hear from Marcia who is currently supporting a mum during COVID-19.
I have been volunteering with the Perinatal Support Service for 18 months. My support usually takes place on a face-to-face basis in the family home.
I previously met the mum that I am currently supporting in the office for our pairing meeting. We had arranged that I was going to deliver one-to-one play sessions to support her around attachment and bonding with her baby daughter. Then COVID-19 evolved rapidly, and the country went into lockdown. I then had to adapt my approach with support from the Perinatal Support Service to be able to continue to support the family through these challenging times.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, I have had weekly contact with the mum
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, I have been having weekly contact with the mum over the phone. We talk about how she is feeling emotionally, how she is coping with her physical health and well-being, to support with play activities to help with attachment or to simply listen while she talks freely.
While the mum is very eager for things to return to normal, she is coping well under the circumstances. She is having medication to help with her depression and is really appreciating having me to talk to about how she is feeling, she says it is helping her a great deal. Face-to-face work is better because you can build a relationship more easily, but we must do what we can in these times and our calls are going really well.
I am finding the support I provide is a distraction from my own situation.
I have really enjoyed providing the support as I am finding that it is a distraction from my own current situation in lockdown. My youngest daughter recently moved out and I also have a six-week old granddaughter that I have not been able to hold since lockdown began. This is an emotionally testing time for everyone, especially new parents’ and parents with young children. I have good days and bad days like everyone else but knowing that I am helping someone else makes life a little easier.
How to become a volunteer with the Perinatal Support Service
About the Perinatal Support Service
The Perinatal Support Service provides emotional support to families where a parent is struggling with their emotional health or well-being during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
The Perinatal Support Service is aimed at pregnant women who have, or are at risk of developing, mild to moderate mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
The project provides support to parents through a dedicated trained volunteer ‘befriender’ who will offer emotional support and support to access other services in the community. It helps women through their pregnancy and up until their baby’s first birthday, and can work with their partners too.
During COVID-19 the Perinatal Support Service co-ordinators and volunteers are supporting families over the phone or via video calls, and referrals are still being accepted via the contact details below. They are continuing to accept applications from potential volunteers.
For urgent queries ring: 01274 505034 / For non-urgent queries e-mail: [email protected]