My friend shared a Facebook post about a local group that provides women who give birth at my local hospital with a welcome hamper. Some of these women have nothing and the group Early Essentials Stockport collect, pack and distribute the hampers. It is a great idea and but made me sad to think that some mums have zero support when they have a baby. I decided to make a few things for the hampers, I set my self a target of five items and started with a blanket & bottle holder. During the process I started think about the support and traditions available to new Mums globally.
Making the donations gave me the opportunity to use up some cowboy teddy scraps as I wanted to make something gender neutral.
My next challenge was to use some strange fluff wormy fabric that was part of a lucky dip from Abakhans. It’s really soft and a bit like the bed spreads my Gran had on her beds.
After much speculation I decided to make wash mits that could be used for the baby or the mum, I also made burp cloths.
Sewing up some small items is quick so it allows time for a bit of embellishment providing me an opportunity to try out new stitches and use up scraps: everyone’s a winner! A blanket stitch to attach some embroidered ribbon made a simple burp cloth a bit special.
Newborn babies and new Mums need a lot of stuff but they also need to know that people care.
When I was pregnant , with my handsome first-born, corduroy prams were ‘all the rage’ but very expensive. My Blackpool Gran was visiting, her and Ma Juliie, my eternally youthful Mum, surprised me with one. It was second-hand but like new: I lined it myself and even gave it a trim of white Rick rack! My Aunt Kate and Ma Julie also bought me a Moses basket for my second strapping son. They bought it from the local market and we all visited each Friday (they paid a bit each week). Ma Julie helped me paint a Flower Fairies wall mural when I knew I was having the Beaty. These gifts reflected the love and support I received with my children from my family. In the the poor quality photos below you can just about see the pram & part of Beauty’s bedroom.
I hoped that the few small details would bring a smile to the Mums faces and help them feel happy & loved. All the good karma from the people who make the donations has got to have a positive effect.
Early Essentials Stockport do have fantastic job and go along way in providing some vital equipment & showing that some cares.
In Finland every baby relieves a maternity Package from the government containing everything a newborn needs and the box doubles as a crib. The cardboard box says ‘Every child matters. Every family matters.’ the philosophy of the Finnish government. These boxes have been provided for over 70 years & the infant mortality rate has decreased making it one of the lowest in the world.
New mums in Holland get a very special gift from the government in the form of 50 hours from a kraamverzurgster, My daughter in law is Dutch and had two beautiful flower fairies in Holland, each time care & advice was provided by the kraamverzurgster. The type of support ranges from helping with the baby, looking after existing children or cleaning. The mum decides what help she would like to reflect her specific needs. This service is available at a cost in lots of countries from commercial companies. Often known as doulas they are provide more general help than a Nanny.
- in Trinidad & Tobago money is put in the babies hand at their welcoming ceremony.
- In China traditionally red eggs were given 30 days after the baby is born at a full moon ceremony. Nowadays gifts of useful things, cash, gold and silver are given but wrapped in red paper.
- The mums in Brazil have to provide gifts for people who visit the babies!
- Any baby born this year in Singapore relieves a Golden Jubilee welcome pack!
The government support and national traditions vary globally but all babies need love and support as do their mums. The Wolf kindly adopted his ‘driving Miss Lazy’ role and ferried me to Knitters in Romiley (one of the drop off points for donations). As I plan to make one item a week I am sure that I will be buying some of the beautiful fabric & yarn they have!
To reward the Wolf for services I made him some nifty covers for his baking bowls as he has been organising his kitchen. He can store them on top of the cupboards and they won’t get dusty. I call them my jam pot hats and they fit with my toadstool kitchenalia, not so sure he is keen on the jaunty bow!