I Am a Mom in Poland – Jestem Mamą w Polsce
Warsaw, Wólka Kosowska, Raszyn
Type of Information
Polskie Forum Migracyjne, Instytut Spraw Publicznych, Fundacja Rodzić Po Ludzku
Karolina Czerwińska (Identifiez-vous pour envoyer un courriel)
Contact Person Function
The project ‘I am a mom in Poland’ reaches out to migrant women who are expecting or have recently had a baby in Poland. Through classes and meetings with various specialists, they learn about pregnancy and delivery, giving birth in a new country, the Polish standard of care for expecting mothers and newborns, legal aspects related to the residency status of the newborn and cultural differences that may affect the well-being of a migrant mother in Poland. They also learn how to take care of a child following delivery.
Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption
The aim of the project is to help migrant women prepare for delivery and care for a baby in Poland, as well as to provide young migrant mothers and their children with psychological help and other forms of specialist support.
The first edition of the project, which lasted from 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2015, also sought to prepare medical staff for work with migrant patients.
How does it work
All services of the project are free of charge. Actions undertaken by the project include:
- Establishment and operation of Multicultural Schools of Birth, which are run by a midwife and an intercultural psychologist and involve a hospital visit. Classes are translated into the languages spoken by the participating migrant women.
- Organisation of support groups for migrant women
- Meetings with specialists (dietician, speech therapist, paediatrician, etc.) for pregnant women and young mothers
- Psychological consultations
- In the first edition of the project, Polish midwives participated in two-day, multicultural workshops.
The classes at the Multicultural Schools of Birth focus on the following questions, which are common among young mothers:
- What do I need to pack for my stay at the hospital?
- What are my rights and the rights of my family?
- What are the stages of labour?
- How do I take care of a newborn and its health?
- Should I breastfeed or bottle feed?
- How do I recover after delivering a baby?
At the support groups, topics of discussion include:
- Tiredness during the first weeks of motherhood
- What has changed in your mind, heart and body following birth?
- Mother, baby, father – Attachment, expectations, desires and communication
- Facts and myths about nursing; problems with lactation
- Coming back to work – How to prepare myself and my baby for this change?
- Supporting a child who is experiencing fears and difficult situations
- Strengthening bonds with a child
- Children in a multilingual and multicultural family
- Shantala message training (infant massage)
During the first two editions of the project, about 100 women of Ukrainian, Vietnamese and other nationalities attended Multicultural Schools of Birth. About 40 midwives participated in multicultural workshops during the first edition of the project.
The project created two publications for migrant parents. The publications are available in Polish, English, Russian, Arabic and Vietnamese.
- I Am a Mom in Poland. Information Booklet for Migrant Expectant Mothers in Poland
- We Are Parents in Poland. Information Booklet for Migrant Parents Raising Children in Poland
It also created a publication for midwives and doctors on how to work with migrant women expecting in Poland (in Polish), called Kobiety świata – wielokulturowość w opiece okołoporodowej (Women of the World - Multiculturalism in Perinatal Care).
Results from the third edition of the project, which is part of a larger initiative, are not yet available as the edition is ongoing.
The project was evaluated by migrant women attending classes at the Multicultural Schools of Birth via questionnaires. Their assessments have been positive and enthusiastic.
Who will benefit?
The main beneficiaries are young migrant and asylum-seeker women who are expecting to have a baby in Poland, as well as young migrant/asylum-seeker mothers after delivery. The first edition of the project also developed the skills of Polish midwives with respect to working with migrant women.
Source of funding and Resources used
Funding for the project came from the European Integration Fund for Third Country Nationals; the Polish state budget; the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF); the budget of the Bureau of Education of the City Hall of Warsaw; and donations from private individuals and institutions.
The regular project staff were comprised of a project coordinator, midwife, intercultural psychologist and project administrator. Other staff on the project included a dietician, speech therapist, paediatrician, physiotherapist, etc.