Expecting a baby and starting your motherhood journey may sometimes be daunting. What more if the pregnancy is unsupported? For women in this situation, there are organisations like Safe Place – a Hegen-selected beneficiary – that provide a safe haven for displaced mums with a support system to help them through their pregnancies.
As we honour the accomplishments of women on International Women’s Day (IWD), let’s not forget about the achievements of mothers all over the world. This year’s theme – #EachForEqual – is one that is close to our hearts because it is all about encouraging people to actively choose to "challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements."
To commemorate IWD and honour the women of Safe Place, our founder and CEO, Yvon Bock paid a visit to the group home to conduct a breastfeeding workshop for a select group of mummy-to-be beneficiaries on 6 March 2020.
Launched in 2018, the non-profit organisation provides lodging for pregnant women with challenging circumstances, and empowers them to take personal responsibility of their situations, equipping them with the necessary skills to care for their child.
In line with Hegen’s mission to champion breastfeeding, empower mothers and celebrate life, the two-hour talk covered everything from the benefits of breastfeeding to prepping your body for breastfeeding, dealing with engorgement, bathing a newborn and assessing baby poop!
Yvon also shared with everyone the inspiration behind Hegen’s award-winning milk bottles: “I’m a working mother and my work has always required me to travel a lot, but I was determined to give my children exclusive breastmilk. Since I was absent all the time, I had to build up a stash by pumping, and gave the bottles colour codes, dates and times. Giving my children breastmilk was a way to stay connected and bonded to them,” she elaborated.
“No matter how tough your breastfeeding journey is, do not give up. Every mother produces just the right amount of milk for her baby."
As you can imagine the class started off a little awkward, given that many were first-time mummies. But by the end of it, the room was filled with lots of loud gasps, plenty of laughter and non-stop questions. Besides being empowered with the know-how to nurture their newborns, all the attending mums-to-be were also equipped with a complimentary set of Hegen’s basic starter kit and manual pump to kickstart their breastfeeding journey.
We asked one of the mums-to-be what Safe Place meant to her: “I’m grateful for this organisation because it’s given me a roof over my head. It provides plenty of assistance right up to your delivery, and all the way till your baby is one. There are confinement volunteers for mummies in the first month, numerous classes and programmes, and plenty of emotional support from the staff and case workers. This place really gives me the assurance that I’m not alone.”
Another pregnant mummy, who doesn’t stay in Safe House, enjoys attending bi-weekly activities at the centre which include social gatherings like lunches, dinners and festive parties. “Even if you are not a resident here, the staff do their best to support you in other ways, whether it’s your emotional needs or just baby necessities,” she said.
If you are faced with an unsupported pregnancy and are in need of help in any form, please contact Safe Place at 6817-4202, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit safeplace.org.sg.