The For Baby’s Sake Trust is launching a tool, called an Emotional Safety Plan, which expectant parents (and family, friends and birth companions) can use to record what they need to feel emotionally safe before, during and after birth. We created this in partnership with Safer Beginnings, a programme of work to enable, educate and support people on birth journeys.
Safer Beginnings, led by Best Beginnings and White Ribbon Alliance UK and supported by The For Baby’s Sake Trust and 17 other delivery partners, aims to enable healthcare workers to deliver trauma-informed care and to educate and empower expectant parents to have self-agency and receive the support they want and need.
Judith Rees, Director of Operations at The For Baby’s Sake Trust, said
“The For Baby’s Sake Trust is delighted to have played a major role within Safer Beginnings and to have worked closely with Best Beginnings, White Ribbon Alliance UK and the other partners in the creation of new trauma-informed materials, including films.”
One of the films is an animation explaining the Emotional Safety Plan. Judith Rees, Director of Operations at the For Baby’s Sake Trust, said:
‘The Emotional Safety Plan tool is for anyone preparing for the birth of a baby. You can use it to record what you may need to feel safe emotionally and how midwives and other professionals can be supportive by their words, actions and making sure you feel heard. It is especially useful for those who have had difficult or traumatic experiences in the past, or on the way to becoming a parent.’
A further suite of Safer Beginnings films encourage expectant and new parents to reach out for support if they are experiencing domestic abuse or using abusive behaviour.
As the domestic abuse lead partner in Safer Beginnings, The For Baby’s Sake Trust has played a major role in these films. They include Nicole Thangarajah, For Baby’s Sake Practitioner, alongside Judith Rees, explaining the signs of domestic abuse, the motivations for mothers and fathers to seek support and how services can respond to help them make changes for themselves and their baby and keep everyone safe.
The films are especially powerful through the contributions of parents who have reached out for support. Judith Rees said:
“We are grateful to the parents who have shared their inspirational personal stories of reaching out to For Baby’s Sake, in order to encourage other expectant parents to seek support if they are experiencing domestic abuse or using abusive behaviours.”
One mother who had experienced controlling behaviours through domestic abuse describes how she felt empowered and in control in her birth journey through the support she received.
One father describes how he broke an entrenched intergenerational cycle of abusive behaviour and childhood trauma, built strong bonds with his babies and rebuilt a positive co-parenting relationship with his ex-partner through him and his co-parent both being supported by For Baby’s Sake.
The Emotional Safety Plan tool and the domestic abuse films can be accessed through the ‘tools and resources that can support you’ section of our website. They are also available through the Baby Buddy app and the The Safer Beginnings section of the Best Beginnings website has more information about initiative. This includes further resources and information about events in March for people on maternity journeys, charities, health care professionals and educators.