17 August 2011
A mother with newborn triplets is among the many mums that Wellington-based Pregnancy Assistance has helped in the past six months. The service was able to provide her with three new bassinets on short-term loan. Others assisted include a number of women needing suitably small-sized clothing for their babies born premature.
Recent renovations at the Pregnancy Assistance premises have made it a welcoming place. Based above the St Vincent de Paul shop in Newtown, it now has new walls and shelving, varnished floors, a fresh coat of paint and a dedicated work space for coordinator Frances O’Brien and a team of volunteers.
Since the service began in 2005, Pregnancy Assistance has helped 110 pregnant women and new mothers each year, and spent some $225,000.
‘A typical layette of second-hand and sometimes new items includes everything an expectant or new mother might need from booties to hats to baby gros and cute little cardigans,’ Ms O’Brien says. The layettes vary depending on whether the baby is born in summer or winter, and there are also specific sets for parents who already know if they are expecting a boy or girl. ‘Each layette given to a mother is worth $60 and if these had to be bought new, would cost much more.’
The service also provides pregnant women and new mothers in the Wellington area with a free bassinet on loan for a four-month period.
Ms O’Brien says their clients vary. ‘We assist young single mums with a first baby to older women who had thought their family was complete, got rid of all their baby gear and now find they have another baby on the way. We’ve also helped mothers expecting multiple births.’
The service is advertised through fliers given to GPs, midwives, social workers, and agencies like Wellington City Mission, Salvation Army and Work and Income. Notices are also sent out regularly to primary schools in the Wellington region, for inclusion in their newsletters, both to let people know about the service and to seek donations of clothing and bedding.
Pregnancy Assistance is always in need of clothing (up to age six months), cloth nappies, bedding and bibs as well as wool, ribbon and buttons. Donations can be labelled Pregnancy Assistance and dropped off at any St Vincent de Paul shop in Wellington.