Being admitted to hospital is a worrying and scary experience and can be very upsetting for young children, as this might be the first time they have to be away from their parents.
When a family members has been admitted to hospital for some time it is often difficult for the rest of the family to be with them regularly, due to cost implications, such as paying for hotel rooms and travel.
Since 2012 Mothers' Union in Wakefield have provided over 1200 emergency toiletry bags for the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) at Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) for people admitted to hospital at short notice.
We all know that having a baby is not always straight forward.
It can be a bewildering time, with unbalanced hormones, many visitors, disrupted sleep and a change of routine, all adding to the confusing situation that new mothers and their partners can find themselves.
For some time now, members from the Diocese of Worcester have been assisting the Chaplaincy team at Wordsley Hospital by comforting or rejoicing with new parents. A listening ear, encouragement, and prayerful is brought by Mothers’ Union members, all trained and supported themselves by the chaplaincy team.
Somerset Health Authority (and others) use knitted breasts to help teach new mothers how to breastfeed their babies.
A member of Mothers’ Union liaises with their local Health Authority or hospital, to see if they need knitted breasts. They are given guidance on colour, shape and size required. Members then get knitting!
We are grateful to members in Coventry diocese for signposting us to the knitting pattern for these breasts, see Knitted Breast Pattern.
For anyone, being admitted to hospital, especially if at short notice, is worrying, and can be especially upsetting for patients who are children – this might be the first time they have spent much time away from their parents.
Back in 2004, the hospital chaplain contacted Mothers’ Union to ask if they would be prepared to offer coffee, cake and conversation to the parents who are living at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in order to be near their children. These parents needed people outside of the medical profession to offer them some friendly care.
This initiative is now well established, with a team of 40 members working on a rota basis; the key skill needed is being a good listener. A member shares just one of the many occasions when they have been able to offer comfort: