We helped a mum who has been struggling with anxiety and depression, stemming from a very difficult past life. She was referred by social and housing services. Her newest baby is living with her and we gave her a stretchy wrap (donated by the Sheffield Sling Surgery) so she can bond with her baby and become a more confident parent.
Carriers can make a real difference to families in difficult situations in a very practical way. The Building Bonds Project team were asked to come to the Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Charity to help this family. Their little boy Blake who was previously very well only a few months ago, is now unable to walk or talk, due to a brain condition. He is getting intensive rehab from the physiotherapy and occupational therapy teams and his family wanted something to help them hold him close: he needs to feel loved and they want to be able to express their love for him. That’s what the power of a hug and being cuddled close can do.
We gave his family this Beco Toddler carrier (donated by Sling Spot) and you can see how it is helping to hold him against his mother’s body. The close all round contact with her familiar shape and scent helps him to relax. She is able to walk around with him nestled into her which makes it very practical for getting on with things.
His arms can be wrapped around her waist and the occupational therapists can be seen working on his stiff fingers and wrists from this place of relaxation.
He smiled and made happy sounds at his father from this position… it was very therapeutic for everyone amidst the sadness of it all.
We hope the carrier proves useful and therapeutic to them all.
How gorgeous are J and her little girl M? They’ve been loving this Ergobaby carrier they have had from the Building Bonds Project (referred by City Hearts, a charity that works to fight modern slavery and trafficking). We taught her how to back carry the last time she came in to see us. It’s given her the freedom to get around easily and do her daily work while little M is safe and calm.
It’s a privilege to meet and be able to help a wide range of people through the Building Bonds Project: making life easier and keeping families close.
We recently helped a lady originally from Ethiopia, who had tragically lost her husband while pregnant. She was understandably suffering from depression and anxiety. The midwife team referred her to us to see if a carrier could help. She visited us with support from the Volunteer Doula Project run by Sheffield City Council. We fitted her and her daughter with a Soul Slings Anoona, courtesy of Sheffield Sling Surgery. She is now coping much better and has a wonderful bond with her daughter.
We helped Tracy and Noah to be close during their prolonged hospital stay. Noah was born prematurely and has some ongoing health concerns, needing tube feeding and oxygen.
She walks with a crutch, so holding her baby is even harder work. We went to see her in the hospital and showed her how to use a few carriers. She really liked the Izmi Baby (donated by Sling Spot) and the Close Caboo (from the Sheffield Sling Surgery).
The slings allow her to carry her son hands free and walk around safely, while helping to build their relationship. Prolonged time in intensive care can reduce the amount of soft touch available to tiny babies. Families of premature infants find the opportunities to hold their babies very helpful.
Nertila was referred to us by the Snowdrop Project, who work with survivors of trafficking and modern slavery. She has three children aged 9 months, 2 years and 4 years old, so life is pretty hectic! The Building Bonds Project helped her to find a sling that will allow her to carry either her nine month old or her two year old and make life a bit easier for her. (The carrier was a Beco Soleil, donated by the Sheffield Sling Surgery).
She said: “Building Bonds were fantastic. They helped me find the right sling and showed me how to use it with my youngest daughters. We are having a fun and exciting time, all together. When I arrived home after the fitting, my second one wanted to sleep, so I used the sling to help her get to sleep, while I was making some lunch for my older girl. Building Bonds, thank you very much for your help and your support. I love it now I have less back pain because I can carry my girls comfortably.”
“Since she has had the sling, our client has been able to carry her 9month old baby. This means she has her hands free to be able to support her 3 year old so he can practice his walking, and now he can walk to nursery. There has been a huge improvement in his walking and this is in part thanks to the Building Bonds Project. You’re making a difference to some of the most vulnerable and we are truly grateful.” Helen Jones, volunteer at the Snowdrop Project for survivors of trafficking and modern slavery.