Aliyah was working as a waitress and pregnant with her first child, when her boss told her the business could no longer afford her wages. Suddenly, she found herself unemployed and unable to pay rent. She had no choice but to give up her flat and move into a hostel, where living conditions weren’t safe for children. Aliyah had been excited about becoming a mum but now, without any income or family around to support her, the thought of her baby’s arrival was causing her severe anxiety.
~ Due to poor living conditions, lack of access to vital resources and uncertainty about the future, homelessness can seriously impact the mental and physical health of pregnant women. ~
Thankfully, Aliyah was referred to Anawim. During her first visit, we contacted one of our trusted partner agencies, Elayos – they immediately provided a doula and began drawing up a support plan for pregnancy, birth and raising the baby. In the months up to, during and after baby’s arrival, Elayos supported Aliyah with advice around pain relief, breastfeeding and managing anxiety and motherhood.
Author: Martha W (Volunteer)
Aliyah also enrolled on several courses at Anawim, including Parenting, Confidence and Mindfulness. Our Family Support Worker helped her access benefits and suitable accommodation – somewhere safe and secure for both mother and baby.
~ Research shows that women who receive practical and emotional support during pregnancy and labour are more likely to have a positive childbirth experience and are less likely to suffer with postnatal depression. ~
18 months on, Aliyah and her little daughter are settled into their new home. Aliyah continues to receive support through Anawim with parenting skills, accessing grants for buying furniture and help looking after the baby. She has joined our art therapy groups and is making friends through our courses. Aliyah is also learning various new skills, including how to sew – so far she has made a blanket and two dresses for her daughter. Both her confidence and her support network have grown significantly since her first visit to Anawim, empowering Aliyah to begin actively looking for work again. The future now looks so much brighter, for Aliyah and her baby girl.