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Most of the 8 women arrived early and had travelled fair distances to be with us- for some it was over an hour trip. This clearly illustrated not only how they were enthusiastic to have their voices heard via the project, but also (and perhaps mainly) it was the perfect opportunity to return (often about 1 year on from their last visit) to a place which they felt safe, reassured and supported. Arine - one of the project peer researchers came from Liverpool to support the workshop, alongside 2 Birth Companion staff – Kate and Katherine, and 2 volunteers – Sheila and Emma to help with childcare for the four little people who had come with their Mums. After everyone introduced themselves to the group over cups of tea, we explained and then began our co-design activities:

1.     Ideas Map

This activity used collage to look at the design of postnatal information to make it appealing and accessible to busy new mums. Each woman took a slightly different approach- illustrating how their experiences have informed the messages and ideas they wanted to share. In the second group, women seemed to want to work more as a collective, finding cohesion in their decisions, within wider conversations about their experiences in parenthood.

Over a fantastic lunch, we invited the women to share where they call home by putting stars on a map. This often led to discussions of where they and their close family (partners or parents) had been brought up, and their journeys to where we stood today. It was a beautiful illustration of some of the different experiences and perspectives that they brought to the session.


2.     Circle of Trust

This activity asked women where they usually get health information (location/person). They were asked to position that source in relation to a picture of a group of women. The circle the women were in was for most trusted source with outer circles representing less trusted sources. This generated lots of discussion and mapping of places, groups and people.

Reflections from our Peer Researcher

My name is Arine Chinyere Caza, I am an Expert by Experience member at Refugee Women Connect and a Creative Influencer with Best for Baby Too Revolution, now currently working as a peer Researcher on the BEAM Project with Oxford University and Refugee Women Connect.

My first workshop with the group in London was an interesting one as I had the opportunity of listening and interacting with some amazing women from different ethnic backgrounds who shared with us their experienced during pregnancy and childbirth.

Attending this workshop that focused on women’s experience during pregnancy and childbirth in the UK was incredibly, insightful and empowering. The workshop provides the platform for sharing stories, discussing various challenges faced during pregnancies and childbirth and also addresses concerns.