Enabling perinatal volunteering
Quality peer support has an important contribution to make to the ‘Better Births’ agenda. Celia Suppiah, CEO of Parents 1st UK, explains the reason
There is overwhelming evidence that volunteering and peer support has a unique and valuable contribution to make to ‘Better Births’ outcomes (Spiby et al, 2015; Parents 1st and Institute for Voluntary Action Research, 2016; Renaisi, 2016; McLeish and Redshaw, 2017a; 2017b). Across the country, there are excellent examples of quality peer support initiatives working alongside professionals. Through referring vulnerable women to trusted and well-managed programmes, midwives have a valuable resource at hand to enable a smooth transition through pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Quality peer support initiatives are making real improvements to personalised care. It furhte enhances the value that professionals bring. We know that when these initiatives are managed, resourced and delivered well, there are huge benefits not only to mothers, fathers, partners and babies but also to professionals involved in their care. Volunteers also get a deep sense of personal satisfaction from supporting women during this critical life change.
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