Harrison’s Little Wings wants to partner with you, as a health professional, to support women and their families who are going through a horrific pregnancy journey.
We believe that each family deserves a fantastic clinical team, but some families lack a support network and may need a little extra support outside the clinical environment.
If the family does have a support network, they may need guidance with preparation for a poor outcome and Harrison’s Little Wings can help to facilitate this.
Harrison’s Little Wings supports women who have extreme complex medical health issues during pregnancy. Some examples of the pregnancy related health issues Harrison’s Little Wings supports are
Congenital Anomaly; i.e congenital heart Disease, Down Syndrome, congenital malformations, gastroschisis, neural tube, skeletal dysplasia, brain anomaly, genetic diagnosis etc
Extremely high risk of preterm birth; i.e. early onset FGR, unstable cervical incompetence, unstable placenta praevia
Grade 3/4 , Placenta accrete, congenital infection , early onset pre-eclampsia
Maternal Medical Condition requiring ongoing hospitalisation or intense care; i.e. unstable medical conditions; neurological, renal, affects activities of daily living; oncology diagnosis, unstable cardiac condition etc
If you have a mother who fits our criteria and you would like to make a referral please download and complete the referral form.
With consent from the family, you are welcome to make a direct referral or alternatively send their details and we can make the initial contact.
OUR SUPPORT SERVICES
We provide a variety of support services.
Our packs are an information source to give to mothers and their families – something tangible to read when they are at home in their safe space. It can be hard to process difficult news at medical appointments.
We do recommend a short meeting to discuss the best way to communicate with families when giving them a Precious Pregnancy Pack.
Here is a summary of our Precious Pregnancy Pack in one document.
You may find it helpful to print it off for your patient, or direct them to the pack online.
We provide a safe, supportive environment where women can talk about their experiences and share their stories in a relaxed informal format. This is an important support system for families during their pregnancy but extends to after the delivery of their baby. This service is Brisbane based and is dependent on the number of women we are supporting in the Brisbane area at one time.
Harrison’s Little Wings has a closed private Facebook page that we invite women to join if they think this would be of benefit to them. This closes the gap of location, and is another avenue for them to chat to other women who are on a similar journey in the comfort of their own home.
Providing practical services to families relieves the everyday pressures so the family can concentrate on what is important which is being there emotional, mentally and physically as a family.
Harrison’s Little Wings assists with the costs of practical services such as house cleaning, meal supply, yard maintenance, transport and/or parking fees. We can also help to create memories for families of their pregnancy and baby.
CREATING A SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT WHEN GIVING BAD NEWS
We understand as a Health Professional, it can be very difficult to tell a family about a poor or fatal diagnosis in Pregnancy. We do have some recommendations that may assist you to create a supportive environment.
- Try to provide the mother with a continuity of care model, where she has one known care provider who provides the care. This care provider should attend all appointments where possible. This helps to form an important, trusting relationship.
- Try to make the room where you tell the family, as comfortable as possible. If available, go into a room that has comfortable chairs and ensure that everyone in the room is sitting as an equal.
- Ensure the mother has not come alone and has a support person with her. It is best that she has come with her support person so that she does not have to drive after receiving difficult news.
- Make sure you have extra time available to allow the family to process what you have said and to be able to answer any questions.
- Give bad news in simple lay terms. Try not to use complicated medical language.
- Use language that does not ‘woman blame’. Often doctors will use language that blames the woman, or insinuates the woman has done something wrong and it is her fault.
- Keep all information simple and rely on the mother and her family to navigate the language you use. Allow the mother and her family to absorb the information, especially if the appointment becomes emotional. It may be appropriate that you give the family some private time for them to process what has been said and to support each other.
- Encourage a follow up appointment so the mother and her family can ask questions that may have arisen since her initial ‘bad’ news appointment.
- Encourage additional testing.
- Be compassionate, this baby is loved and wanted.
- If the diagnosis is a poor or fatal one, grief starts from diagnosis.
- If possible, touch base with the family, especially if the family has been referred on.