Names from L-R: Chris Kiddle Morris (Knowle and Dorridge Lions), Ryan Jackson and Amy Jackson (Founders of The Lily Mae Foundation), Louise Wilde (Community Midwifery Matron), Nicola Hopkins (Antenatal Lead), Clare Beesley (Bereavement Midwife Heartlands Hospital).
The Lily Mae Foundation has generously donated 10,000 MAMA Wellbeing Wallets to maternity units across the Heart of England Foundation Trust for pregnant ladies, and they are not stopping there with a further 15,000 Wallets set to be donated to Birmingham Women’s Hospital and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.
The Foundation have teamed up with MAMA Academy, a stillbirth prevention charity working alongside The Royal College of Midwives with the aim of helping babies arrive safely.
The wallets will be given to pregnant mums when they first come to hospital. The wallets are a robust plastic zip-lock pouch in which mums can keep their handheld antenatal notes, which they are expected to keep with them as their pregnancy progresses. The wallets ensure the notes are kept protected, but they are also colourfully printed with important advice regarding mum’s health, and that of her baby. This ensures that key messages such as monitoring babies’ movements become second nature to the woman as she carries the wallet with her. The information contained on the wallets complements the work of NHS England’s Saving Babies’ Lives care bundle currently in development, and is in line with the new safer pregnancy messaging by the Department of Health. The wallets are also supported by The Royal College of Midwives.
Ryan and Amy Jackson started their charity in 2010 after their daughter, Lily Mae was stillborn. Their main focus is to provide Memory Boxes to eight local hospitals, including Heartlands and Good Hope, to help parents create precious memories of their babies. Without these boxes, such memories would be hard to capture.
The Foundation also supports bereaved parents and families through face to face meetings, counselling days, informal support group meetings and baby remembrance services.
The money for the wallets was raised by Knowle and Dorridge Lions through fundraising events in 2015/16 and together with the Lily Mae Foundation, they decided to donate the money to promoting health and wellbeing.
The Foundation has decided to work with MAMA Academy as part of the national stillbirth initiative work. They act as great conversation starters for midwives to empower mums with knowledge about possible pregnancy conditions.
A recent pilot generously funded by NHS England, saw 80,000 Wellbeing Wallets distributed within 15 NHS Trusts across the country. Nearly all of the trusts reported a significant decrease in stillbirth rates whist the wallets were in use. Midwives noticed that women regularly read the information printed on their wallet whilst waiting for appointments and they made women act on concerns rather than ignore them, citing three cases where, acting on the information had undoubtedly saved babies lives.
Louise Wilde, community matron, said: “We are so grateful to Amy and Ryan and everyone who has supported the Lily Mae Foundation charity to donate these wonderful wallets. Being able to keep all their antenatal information in one place, as well as providing vital information to promote the health and wellbeing of mums and babies will be both reassuring and helpful to parents.”
Clare Beesley, Bereavement Midwife, said “Providing information to parents on promoting health and wellbeing in pregnancy for mum and baby is part of the work the Trust is doing towards implementing key messages from NHS England Saving Babies Lives care bundle’.
Ryan Jackson said: “By providing the wellbeing wallets to pregnant ladies, we hope to improve theirs and their babies wellbeing. At the Lily Mae Foundation, we are passionate about improving health outcomes for mums and babies and we are very grateful to the Knowle and Dorridge Lions for raising the money that’s allowed us to help. We are now in the process of providing 15,000 more wallets to Birmingham Women’s Hospital and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire to continue to promote the health and wellbeing of mums and their unborn babies with the ultimate aim of helping to reduce the incidence of Stillbirth and Neonatal Death”.
MAMA Academy Chief Executive, Heidi Eldridge, has been delighted with the impact that the wallets are already having on stillbirth numbers. She said: “The UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates in the developed world and we are therefore thrilled that Heartlands Hospital are working with us to change this. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of The Lily Mae Foundation, enabling more babies the best chance of arriving safely”.