Wellbeing support to reduce anxiety among pregnant staff and new mums
Research Institute Partnership
A biomedical research institute approached us to support their maternity returners through the motherhood transition, with targeted 1:1 maternity coaching
All pregnant mums are offered a programme of four 1:1 coaching sessions, each lasting up to 90 minutes. The programme is flexible, with participants deciding whether to take part and when. They also choose what they want to use the sessions for.
The Institute is partnering with Emma Waltham because the EDI Lead was concerned for the wellbeing of their returning mums, particularly during the time of the pandemic. This had led to many changes in the workplace and also women feeling more isolated and vulnerable during their pregnancy and maternity leave. The EDI Lead wanted to provide targeted support to women going through the maternity transition, to help them feel more confident about returning to work and to reduce anxiety.
There was a high take up of 1:1 maternity coaching, with 8 women electing to join the programme in the first six months. The Institute normally has around 10 women falling pregnant among its staff annually. The majority of participants were pregnant or on maternity leave, however women who had recently gone back to work also asked to participate.
Feedback has been extremely positive, with coachees reporting that the sessions allow them to put aside dedicated time to help prepare and plan for maternity leave, enabling them to enjoy maternity leave and feel positive about the return to work.
One coachee commented: “After every session, I left feeling empowered. I think the time with Emma allowed me to have the time to think and clarify my ideas. Emma is an excellent listener and instead of giving direct advice, she guides the conversation so I can use my own tools to solve the issues I wanted to discuss.”
What the Client Says
The Institute and the coachees have all reported that the programme is providing the support they hoped for, positively impacting on wellbeing as well as confidence, productivity and career progression.
The Institute’s EDI Manager said: “The coaching has benefited our returning mums, helping them cope during this particularly challenging time of the pandemic. They feel a lot of pressure due to the competitive environment and aren't always able to take time out from their research during maternity leave. Supporting the mental health of our post docs is important to us.”