The WAAS are delighted to have been awarded funding for a new series of Baby Makers sessions in 2023-2024 by the National Lottery Community Fund. This is our program featuring a series of workshops for people who have recently given birth. It offers supported creative practice in a group, as a way to address connection, emotional health & wellbeing for health professionals and people with new babies.
As part of this round we are also offering a wellbeing session for the perinatal mental health team at Gloucestershire Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Listen in to Sarah & Sharon talking about The Baby Makers on BBC Radio Gloucestershire with Kate Clark:
BABY MAKERS REPORT: 2021-2022
We ran a series of 8 sessions in late 2021, for women and people in pregnancy. In spring 2022 we offered a series of sessions for new mothers in the first year after giving birth. A doula and other support workers joined the group to give support and also as creative participants. We offered stipends to all participants to ensure there are no financial barriers to taking part.
Our Report is available here:
BABY MAKERS: MAKING HISTORY
We have also created a new piece of collective artwork for Stroud’s Museum in the Park to share maternal histories. Some of the stories were shared on BBC Radio Gloucestershire on the Anna King show and the collective Bunting artwork is now part of the Museum collection.
We are looking for community partners to work with us on building a bigger reproductive histories project in Stroud. This is an innovative and much-needed activity to address historic gender imbalances in the telling of who we are and what matters to us.
About the Baby Makers
Focusing on the positive effect that making and crafting has on mental health and wellbeing, the sessions create an intimate space where birthing women and those who support them, can come together to make something and form a mutually supportive community.
This combats isolation and loneliness that is often experienced by vulnerable mothers. It also provides midwives with time for their own wellbeing.
Parental mental health issues around the time of childbirth are known to have continuing impacts on children into adulthood, which has implications for everyone.
“Pregnancy and the post partum are times of increased vulnerability for the onset or relapse of a mental illness (Smith et al., 2011). Depression and anxiety are the most common psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the post partum (Alipour et al., 2012) and the symptoms can range from mild to severe.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4879174/#bib138
The project was piloted in the Stonehouse area in Gloucestershire.
The pilot was possible thanks to funding by the Midcounties Cooperative Fund. Our report is now available (PDF) and we are open to partners as we continue this project. We are very grateful to midwives in the Stroud District for supporting and participating in the sessions.
Email email@example.com if you would like to work with us.