Maternity Mates Program

 Volunteer Role Description

Length of task: Minimum 12 months commitment (training + supporting at least 4 mums)

Background: Sister Circle and the Maternity Mates service recognises and supports the rights of all women to have a positive experience throughout pregnancy and childbirth. The aim of this pioneering and exciting project is to provide one-to-one practical and emotional support to expectant mothers throughout the latter stages of pregnancy, childbirth, and the first few weeks of family life.

It is hard to comprehend how difficult it is to be unsupported during pregnancy and childbirth. The experience of these months influence and stay with the family for a lifetime. The Maternity Mates project aims to help to make this positive and life enhancing experience.

Benefits:
  • Develop your coaching, communication, and relationship-building skills.
  • 9 credits at Level 3 with the Open College Network (OCN).
  • Gain experience of supporting vulnerable people.
  • Certificates of recognition and references to support your professional development.
Tasks:
  • To give the mother-to-be practical and emotional support, before, during and after the baby is born, including:
    • Calling, Video-calling or texting her on regular basis as mutually agreed.
    • Jointly attend antenatal classes and appointments, if required.
    • Provide information on birth planning and pain relief options.
    • Act as birth partner if appropriate – support throughout the labour and birth.
    • Information and support around breastfeeding.
    • Active listening.
    • Advocate for her if necessary or appropriate.
    • Give encouragement and motivation.
    • Respect her wishes;
    • Signpost and/or enable her to access appropriate services and/or specialist groups.
  • To be able to develop positive relationships with:
    • The mum-to-be
    • The Maternity Mates team, Sister Circle staff, and other volunteer Maternity Mates.
    • The community midwives
    • Hospital staff and other health professionals
    • Other expectant mothers.
  • Keep all information confidential and all records up-to date.
  • Keep in touch with Maternity Mates staff including:
    • Informing Maternity Mates of scheduled visits with mums and following procedures in line with lone working policy
    • Recording feedback after each visit to mums using the electronic links provided
    • Seeking advice whenever needed
  • Attend supervision sessions with the Project Coordinator.
  • Attend Reflective Practice & Emotional Wellbeing (group supervision) and Peer support group sessions.
  • Follow Sister Circle’s policies, procedures, boundaries, and report any safeguarding issue to the Maternity Mates team.
  • Attend organisational mandatory training (Personal Safety/Lone working and Safeguarding)

 

Maternity Mates cannot offer:

  • Any clinical advice or perform any medial tasks.
  • Domestic cleaning, shopping or cooking.
  • Babysitting services.
  • Any legal, immigration or financial advice.
  • To undertake any financial transactions or offer financial assistance.
  • Meet the mums or accompany them outside the local borough.
  • Drive mums to and from appointments.
Required skills:

No formal qualifications are required as it is important to have the personal attributes outlined below:

  • Flexible and non-judgmental.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of people of different backgrounds.
  • Mature outlook and commitment to personal development.
  • Commitment to completing training and coursework at OCN Level 3.
  • Caring, sensitive, and good listener.
  • Approachable.
  • Reliable and committed.
  • A genuine interest in women’s health and the vision and values of Sister Circle.

Desirable Skills:

  • Ability to speak another language.
Support:
  • Supervision session with the Programme Coordinator.
  • Reflective Practice & Emotional Wellbeing sessions (group supervisions with a clinical professional)
  • Peer support group sessions.
  • Volunteer expenses will be reimbursed in line with our expenses policy.
  • Use of mobile phone when supporting a mother.

All candidates are expected to follow the volunteer recruitment process- fill in application form using online link, interview, provide references, undertake an enhanced criminal record check (DBS), and to complete the coursework involved with the training in order to become a volunteer Maternity Mate.

 

Please note the volunteer Maternity Mate role falls with the Privacy and Decency section of the Sex discrimination Act 1975 and is only available to women.

Last updated: 29/02/2024

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