A new, innovative peer support service for birthing families
By Stefanie Poole
Built on the values of community, camaraderie and connection, Mumma Bees™ aim is to provide every birthing person access to a Mumma Bees Peer Ambassador who has walked a similar mental health journey and can provide guidance, empathy, support and hope to other birthing people.
Mumma Bees™ is revolutionising peer support by creating and sustaining a well-trained and well supported international Mumma Bees workforce that is accessible for birthing families and their communities.
- Use our collective wisdom, knowledge, and experience of mental health challenges in motherhood/parenthood to support other birthing families on their journey.
- Create an innovative program that fills a gap in maternal mental health care by forming a peer-based hive for birthing people and their families to thrive.
- Provide access to peer ambassadors who offer guidance, empathy, support and hope while delivering mental health education and resources to health professionals and the local community.
What is Peer Support and How Can It Help?
Peer support involves people drawing on lived experience or shared characteristics to provide knowledge, experience, emotional assistance, practical help and social interactions to help each other. It’s different from other types of support because the source of support is a person with lived experience. Peer support is one way that individuals, families and communities can manage their own health and wellbeing. (NESTA, 2016).
Peer support is an evidence based practice which has proven positive results for individuals and communities.
Peer support can help people to:
- Feel accepted and validated
- Better understand their experiences
- Find coping strategies and tools to manage their mental and emotional health
- Increase their knowledge and awareness of their experiences
- Improve social skills
- Increase their self-esteem
- Find a sense of connection and belonging
- Access resources and support
- Feel a sense of hope and optimism
- Find, and use, their voice
- Create mutual understanding, shared identity and experiences
Why Mumma Bees are needed in our community.
- Suicide: suicide is the second leading cause of death for birthing people with 1 in 5 women having thoughts to harm themselves. (Seleni.org)
- Birth Trauma : research shows that 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced birth trauma and 1 in 10 women emerge with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Isolation and Loneliness: Loneliness and isolation are reported as a major factor in new motherhood. This can lead to other problems such as; anxiety and depression.
- Gaps in the System: Many birthing people are falling through the gaps with inadequate follow up, screening and assessment from care providers. More awareness, support and timely identification and treatment is needed to improve the mental health of birthing families.
Common Questions About the Mumma Bees™ program:
What is a Peer Ambassador?
A Mumma Bees Peer Ambassador uses their personal lived experience of parenting with mental and emotional health challenges to support other birthing families travelling a similar journey.
Are Mumma Bees trained to offer support?
Yes. All Mumma Bees Ambassadors are certified and have completed the comprehensive Mumma Bees Peer Training which prepares us with the knowledge, confidence and skills to support you on your parenting journey.
What are some reasons someone would reach out to a Mumma Bees Ambassador?
- Feeling overwhelmed, stressed or depleted.
- Struggling mentally and emotionally.
- Experiencing mental health issues.
- Infertility or pregnancy loss.
- Feeling isolated and alone in their parenting journey.
- Searching for a safe non-judgemental space to feel held, validated and supported.
- Looking to expand their community and social supports.
- To proactively create and maintain mental wellness and a positive mindset for pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
I have support from family and friends, why would I need a Mumma Bees Ambassador?
Support from family and friends is important but may not always be enough. Mumma Bees are there to provide a non-judgemental, safe space for you to share. Our lived experience of mental and emotional health challenges, puts us in the unique position to understand and support you where you’re at.
What type of support can a Mumma Bees Ambassador provide me?
- One on one support via phone, zoom or online.
- Face to face emotional and practical support (if convenient for both people).
- Group support and education.
- Resources and referral pathways.
Is there a fee to access a Mumma Bees Ambassador?
Many of our Ambassadors offer their support for free, however this is at the discretion of each Mumma Bee. We offer a variety of workshops and events such as our free virtual monthly Bee-Connected meet up. To stay updated, please sign up to our mailing list www.stefaniepoole.com
I would like to become a Mumma Bees Ambassador. How do I get involved?
The next Mumma Bees Training will be Saturday, October 23rd and Sunday, October 24th. If you’d like more information, or to register, please email email@example.com
Can a Mumma Bees Peer Ambassador speak at my organisation or event?
Yes! Part of the Mumma Bees mission is to raise mental health awareness and education in the community. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
If you’re interested in support from one of our Mumma Bees, would like to become a Mumma Bees Peer Ambassador or would like more information, we’d love to hear from you.
Join The Hive – Mumma Bees™ – Your Hive To Thrive Peer Support For Birthing Families