A new programme to support mothers from preconception, during and after childbirth to early years (up to 2.5years) in the Birmingham area.
This new initiative has come about after a report revealed infant mortality rates in the city are nearly twice the national average, with families from Pakistani backgrounds disproportionately affected.
The infant mortality rate in Birmingham is seven deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with 3.9 deaths in England as a whole, and numbers have not declined in recent years as they have done nationally.
Death rates are highest in the areas of the city with the worst deprivation, a key issue in Birmingham where 28.1% of children live in low-income families compared with 17% nationally. Research has shown women living in the most deprived areas had an 80% higher risk of stillbirth and neonatal deaths compared to women living in the least deprived areas. The report said a fifth of infant deaths in Birmingham were caused by abnormalities at birth, the risk of which is doubled by consanguineous marriage (marriage between couples related as second cousins or closer), a study has shown.
Here at ACP our wellbeing team has put together a programme to help and support women in the Sparkbrook and neighbouring areas to access services to help support them through pre-conception, their pregnancy and beyond. We recognise women find it difficult to talk and share their worries because of a culture of not speaking out, and they can feel very isolated and lonely. Our project has been designed to give new mums and mums to be, the knowledge to support themselves and their babies well-being. The programme is supported by the NHS, and delivered by health and nutritional coaches who speak community languages.
The programme covers nutritional health and well-being and consists of;
- Nutritional advice and support workshops
- Appropriate exercises for staying active and mobile
- Health Information and Advice sessions
- 121 sessions with nutritionists and health coaches
- Counselling and Well-being sessions to support mental health
If you are a GP, Health Services provider, or an organisation working with women from pregnant women and new mums, or a women’s group that would benefit from the services or you know of someone who needs some support and intervention then get in touch with us and we can give you all the relevant information. We are really keen to support women who come from Pakistani backgrounds or are from an ethnic minority background.
Call our office 0121 687 6767 and ask for Shabana or Vinita.
ACP’s Wellbeing Manager Shabana Qureshi has been in the local and national news recently talking about this new programme and is part of the taskforce who are making a difference to the lives of women in the local community and enabling Pakistani women to come forward and access the services. You can read about the impact she is making in the following newspaper articles.