Mindful Mums, Bromley & Lewisham Mind’s project supporting the wellbeing of pregnant women and new mothers, has been shortlisted for the Locality Award at this year’s Infant Mental Health Awards. The awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday 14th June at New Scotland Yard in Westminster and coincides with Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (12th to 16th June).
200 organisations have come together for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week to raise awareness of the importance of giving every child the best possible start in life. ‘Begin before birth’ is the theme of the week to highlight the importance of a healthy pregnancy experience for expectant parents and improving life opportunities for the next generation.
Professor Vivette Glover from Imperial College London says, “We now know that the environment of the womb and during the first two years of life can alter the development of the brain. Infant mental health can set the trajectory for the rest of life. Although it is never too late to help, it is best to get things right from the beginning.”
Researchers at King’s College London, led by Professor Carmine Pariante, have shown that depression in pregnancy increases the risk of newborn babies being more sensitive to stress, more likely to experience stressful life events in childhood, and more prone to depression in adolescence and early adulthood.
Through the Mindful Mums project, Bromley & Lewisham Mind has been supporting pregnant women and new mothers in the London borough of Bromley to look after themselves during a phase of significant change in their lives. Evaluation of the project has shown that 99% of women learnt skills they could take away and use, 97% said the Mindful Mums groups improved their confidence and 89% felt better able to cope with the changes associated with pregnancy and parenthood.
Ben Taylor, Chief Executive of Bromley & Lewisham Mind, said, “We have been delighted with the success of Mindful Mums which is clearly meeting an important need. Feedback from women attending Mindful Mums groups has highlighted how valuable they have found the groups in helping to develop social connections, skills, tools and techniques to positively manage the changes that pregnancy and birth bring. Nominations such as this one for the Infant Mental Health Awards, are a great acknowledgement of the work Mindful Mums staff and our fantastic volunteers do.”
Mindful Mums Groups are delivered by volunteers with experience of pregnancy and parenthood, whilst looking after their own mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The Mindful Mums project is now being developed further in Bromley to reach more women and is also expanding to deliver support in the London borough of Lewisham in 2017.
Update 19/6/17: Mindful Mums were Runners Up in the Locality Award at this year’s Infant Mental Health Awards.