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SHINE helps a new mum feel confident welcoming her newborn to the world

When mum-to-be Sara* was incarcerated, she was terrified about what it would mean to be not only a new mum but a mum in custody.

Luckily, she was soon connected with the SHINE for Kids team and started attending our playgroup to get used to being around children and to learn from other mums in custody.

During the weekly playgroup, Sara also formed a lovely, trusting relationship with Jess, one of the SHINE for Kids team members.

Jess was there with her every playgroup to talk with her about how she was feeling and discuss what she would need, both practically and emotionally, to make the birth and return to the centre with her new baby as smooth as possible.

The first days after a newborn arrives are incredibly stressful under the best of circumstances, so making sure that Sara, a mum in custody and without the support of family and friends, felt secure was vital to ensuring her and her newborn’s wellbeing.

Jess also went above and beyond to arrange essential baby items for Sara, including baby clothes, bottles, dummies and nappies.

It’s a testament to how important SHINE’s support and the relationship with Jess was to Sara that she asked for Jess to be added to her birth plan.

“It really moved me to know that [Sara] requested me personally to be part of such an important day of her and her baby’s life. It feels great to know she trusts me and is comfortable with me supporting her.”

While Jess was unfortunately unable to visit Sara in the hospital due to reasons outside her control, she made an appointment to visit her as soon as she returned to the centre.

“[Sara] was so happy to see me and introduce me to her new baby,” Jess said, “At first, I could see she was overwhelmed with emotions and needed someone to talk and debrief with after the birth. I was able to give her advice and support her with her questions.”

SHINE for Kids has also been able to collect items to support the new mum and bub when she is released in the near future, making sure they’ll be set up to succeed and build a life together as a new little family.

Until that happy day arrives, Sara and the thriving little bub attend playgroup every week, and she’s becoming a competent and confident mum.

Sara has also completed our Bringing Up Great Kids program and expressed that what she learned during it has really helped her feel ready for the future.

We look forward to continuing to be there for Sara and her baby for as long as she needs.

Thank you to the staff at Townsville Correctional Centre who supported our team to work with Sara. 

Please donate today and support programs that give children and parents the best chance of success. 

SHINE helps a new mum feel confident welcoming her newborn to the world

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