Date of release: 23 September 2022
A new maternity drop-in support group for pregnant Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women is to be launched in Wolverhampton next week.
Called the Sahara Maternity Support Group – Sahara means ‘support’ in Punjabi, Hindi, Bangladeshi and Pakistani – the group will provide antenatal and postnatal education to pregnant women.
In a joint initiative between The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Positive Participation Mental Health Services, women can also access mental health support during pregnancy up until four weeks postnatal.
Sunita Banga, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Lead Midwife at New Cross Hospital and Gurbax Kaur, Practitioner Manager from Positive Participation Mental Health Services, are launching the service on Monday, September 26. It will be available at the Bob Jones Community Hub, Bromley Street, Wolverhampton WV2 3AS from 12 noon to 2pm.
“This service will address those who might be new to the country, those who don’t speak English and those who have difficulty accessing digital services,” said Sunita.
“I speak Punjabi, which is the top non-English language spoken here, so I will be able to conduct the classes for Punjabi-speaking women.
“But as we get to know more women and they are referred to us, we can employ interpreters in the top five other languages spoken – Urdu, Romanian, Polish and Kurdish. Other midwives speak those languages too.”
As not all the women will be known to the service following its launch, sessions will be drop-in initially, but women can also be referred to it by community midwives and self referral.
Some of the pregnant women will be from different cultural backgrounds and sessions will help them become more aware of things to look out for.
These are during their pregnancy and beyond, such as not smoking, how to try to avoid cot death, how to look after themselves and their baby during pregnancy, and when to go to hospital.
“Some mums think their babies are quiet or have reduced movements when actually, they should be seeking immediate medical attention,” added Sunita.
Positive Participation will provide specialist mental health support both ante and postnatal pregnancy.
At the launch, Sunita and Gurbax will deliver a presentation on the new service before invited staff, management from the EDI leads within Wolverhampton and other professionals. Snacks will also be provided.
Sessions for pregnant women start on Monday, October 3 at Bob Jones Community Hub at the above address, from 10am to 12 noon.