Whether you were part of this year’s Mother’s Day Connect, read our post about it here or haven’t ever heard of Embrace and what they do, this opportunity may very well be for you – because as a woman you’ve got what it takes to become part of a sisterhood serving mothers who need help. From simple encouragement and affirmation right through to signing up to give loving touch to premature babies whose moms can’t always be there, Come Away is exploring how we can support motherhood in South Africa.
Some ideas so far…
Embrace currently runs a programme where participants commit to encouraging one mom with one check-in each Tuesday. As they describe it on their site:
“When the daily grind of motherhood feels overwhelming or isolating, a simple message of ‘I see you’ or ‘you’re doing a great job and I’m thinking of you’ goes a long way.”
Getting started involves three steps:
Step 1: Think of a mom you would like to start regularly encouraging.
Step 2: Take the pledge below.
Step 3: Follow Embrace’s weekly reminders and inspirations to check in with the mom either digitally or in person.
Read more and sign up here.
Online book club
If you are a mother and feel you could support other moms out there, as well as receiving encouragement, Embrace’s virtual book club offers the opportunity to build connections and explore the expectations and challenges of motherhood, all without having to leave the comfort of your own home!
Sign up to let Embrace know you’re interested and they’ll send you details about their next available book club dates and the book of choice. You will be sent a hard copy of the book and grouped with no more than 10 other moms, together with an experienced group leader. Over a period of several weeks, your group will meet via a WhatsApp chat group to share thoughts, reflections and questions from one chapter of the book.
Birth companion programme
Embrace is currently doing some focused work on improving the birth experience for women in South Africa, understanding the on-going benefits of an empowered and supported birth for both mother and child. They’re working on a wide-scale strategy for this work, but do plan on offering birth companion support training for women who would like to step up in supporting new mothers in the birth and post-partum space. If you’re interested in receiving updates on this emerging project, please make sure you’re subscribed as an Embrace movement member via their website. You can also send them an email via firstname.lastname@example.org if you currently work in the antenatal, birth and postnatal environment and would like to assist them in supporting new mothers on a national scale.
Touch roster at New Somerset Hospital
The Come Away team were deeply moved by a visit to the High Care Unit at Cape Town’s New Somerset Hospital on Mother’s Day as part of the Mother’s Day Connect initiative. They saw minute babies lying restlessly in incubators, desperate to experience human touch. The Sister explained that many moms were stuck for 12 weeks at a time as they waited for their babies to gain weight. Many couldn’t afford the R40 daily transport, hence the “My mommy is at home” signs on the incubators.
We are looking to create a formal connection with the hospital to set up a touch roster, to facilitate the Kangaroo Mother Care that is essential to these babies’ growth and development. We would also like to brainstorm and implement creative pursuits for mothers who have lengthy hospital stays – knitting, DVDs, exercise, magazines…simple activities that we so often take for granted and yet which are valuable diversions.
We do not yet have specific details around how our outreach will look, but if you are keen to become a part of this vision to draw alongside these moms and their babies, do let us know by emailing us at email@example.com. We’d love to have a core group of individuals committed to doing what we can to ease their burden.