The Devon MNVP Let’s Talk programme is delivered in partnership with Action for Children at South Hams Children’s Centre. It’s a four-week programme, where women and birthing people (and children under five) can meet and socialise, get information and advice, reflect, and share their maternity experiences and feedback, good and bad.
Hard to reach communities
Nine families joined the first programme in August 2022, referred to us by the Children’s Centre. Some were part of a targeted intervention from South Hams Children’s Centre and many of the families represented a demographic that we do not currently reach. None of those who attended knew about Devon MVP but they all had a story to tell and valuable insight to share.
A much-needed space for socialising and support
In Totnes the number of baby groups or new mum support groups can be counted on one hand. So, this programme has provided a much needed safe space for families to socialise, share their experiences and receive support each week.
Talking and creating family journals
During the first week of the programme we used a family journaling exercise to explore people’s expectations versus reality around pregnancy, birth, welcoming a new child and maternity care. In week two we talked about the things we are thankful for added this to the family journals, and this led to some deeper discussions around maternity care. In the third week we worked with families to think about next steps and to discuss postnatal support, with more collage and journal work. And, in the fourth and final week, we created family hand and footprints in the journals, shared information about further services, and we celebrated completing the programme together.
Through connecting and listening to these families, we have been able to obtain valuable insight about their experiences and this has helped us to identify common themes and how these impact on families from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
We hope to roll out the programme across different areas of Devon beginning with our most geographically deprived areas. We are currently working to secure additional funding so that we can continue and expanding these sessions.
“The sessions gave me a routine, something to do with my baby and a chance to reflect and help make a change to maternity services.”
“Being pregnant in the group…reassures me that even when people have negative experiences of maternity care they are able to move past them and enjoy their new baby.”
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