Babies in bedsits
In January 2021, 20+ asylum-seeking women with or expecting babies—including many supported by Amma—were moved to a new mother and baby unit in Glasgow run by Home Office accommodation provider, Mears Group. Many of these new and expectant mothers were forced out of settled accommodation into cramped, one-room bedsits.
Now, everyday life for these mothers and babies is confined to one small room, with the cot just steps away from the cooker and a window that barely opens.
The impact of Covid-19
Life with a newborn can be isolating at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic. This is why Covid-19 regulations in Scotland permit anyone with a child under one to receive support from friends and family.
But residents of the mother and baby unit are deprived of this right. It is not possible to socially distance within the unit and the risk of spreading Covid-19 is high. As a result, all but essential support workers are permitted inside the unit. Mums need to sign in and out of the building and are not allowed to spend more than a few hours outside the unit, even to see partners.
Thankfully, Amma is still allowed to provide in-person support—but the need is far greater than what our volunteers can provide.
Help us build a village
The experience of living in the unit has been highly distressing for many of the mothers we support. They are not only disconnected from wider support services, but also struggling to recover from birth within the space.
In response, Amma is providing intensive postnatal support to mothers in the unit. Our postnatal specialist will spend around 14 hours a week offering practical, emotional and physical support to help mothers adjust to life with a newborn.
With your help, we can build the village of support these new parents deserve.
A donation of £25 will provide one hour of specialist postnatal care and guidance.
Setting up the space – making the best safe use of a very small room
Nourishment – ensuring mothers can access nutritious food on a limited budget with basic cooking facilities
Body or bottle-feeding – establishing safe and simple routines and practice
Interpreter support - providing information in resources to women in a language they can understand
Baby-wearing – advice on how to safely wear babies
Newborn care – supporting parents to understand and respond to their baby's needs
Sleep education – helping mothers and babies to establish a natural rhythm
Healing education – caring for Caesarean wounds and other postnatal recovery
Bonding with baby – empowering parents to build a secure relationship with their baby
Advice, reassurance, encouragement, a sympathetic ear, moral support
Referrals and signposting to mental health support if required
Help to build resilience and confidence, adapting to the changes of life as a new parent