- DEMI LYNCH -
‘Birth for Humankind’ is a Melbourne charity that helps pregnant women that are experiencing financial hardship.
Many of these women are homeless, have a history of trauma and abuse, or are from refugee and asylum backgrounds.
The charity has partnered up with ride-share service Shebah to provide free transport for pregnant women experiencing socio-economic disadvantages.
CEO of Birth for Humankind Ruth Dearnley said this initiative is a response to the barriers pregnant women are facing when accessing maternal health care services during the pandemic.
She said because of Covid-19 many people now fear using public transport.
But for pregnant women experiencing financial hardship they have very limited transport options if they don't use buses and trains.
"We discovered there were many pregnant clients or new mothers in the outer suburbs that didn't have access to neither public or private transport," Ruth said.
"There were reports of many having to cancel their appointments because just they physically couldn't get to the doctors."
Ruth said this collaboration has "ensured these women get the support and healthcare they need during and after pregnancy."
"There was a woman who had only been in Australia for a year and her partner lived overseas."
"She was an asylum seeker; she had a 2 week old baby and had to go to the hospital."
"She used one of the car services provided by Birth of Humankind and Shebah to get to her appointment."
"The driver waited for her while she was at her appointment and took her to a pharmacy afterwards."
"That level of care and support when someone has been isolated just makes an absolute huge difference."
Sadly, at the moment there is only enough funding for this project up until July.
Ruth said she hopes this partnership will continue past next month so there can be ongoing transport for women in need.
For more information visit the website birthforhumankind.org