Have you ever heard a song and had no idea how much it would resonate with you until it did?

Clutching my belly feeling overwhelmed was the lyrics that Lauren Hill sang when she was expecting her first child and I guess it wasn’t until years later, that I realised she was singing the truth of nearly every expectant mother.

I remember going for my first official midwife appointment after a 10-year gap from the birth of my son and I sat there thinking “wow there is such a disconnect with what is meant to be such a natural process of having a baby, to what really happens from a medical point of view”.

At one point I felt like I was back at school as I sat listening to my midwife talk at me for 20 minutes whilst making various stereotypical racial slurs.

But It wasn’t until she handed me my pack and said see you at 28 weeks after reading off list of hospital numbers that I realised, how little interaction there is between mum to be and midwife.

In fact, I just remembered laying in bed one night going through my pack, trying to decide my options but just feeling anxious and not really knowing what was best for me or my baby.

Don’t get me wrong we need to know the do’s and don’ts but there was very little about how we help ourselves to feel apart of our pregnancy emotionally, rather than the incubators holding the baby.

On average It is recorded that 1 in 7 mothers are affected by perinatal mental health issues and I just can’t help but wonder if the clinical way in which pregnancy is treated like a health condition, could it be a contributing factor?

I mean we treat giving birth, which is the most natural thing in the world, like a medical emergency.

We plan what drugs are available, which really suggests, we will need them.

We are usually offered very few choices of where or how to deliver our babies, its either c -section, vaginal birth or if your lucky water birth.

And the thing I find to be a little too confusing to actually articulate, is that most health care practitioners imply that the life of our babies starts outside the womb, which suggests that what happens inside the womb is irrelevant or perhaps not much of a focus.

Just makes me think, could this approach be building more fear and anxiety rather providing informative, supportive help for new mothers to be?
I definitely felt there was an element missing that focused on the emotional wellbeing of the mother.


  • Leonie

    Motherhood Journey consultant

    The empowerment of mothers has never been more important than it is now, we are slowly starting to wake up to the fact that mothers are often the dominant parental figure in a child's life, therefore is shaping the future of society with her ability to lead and nurture her children. Giving mothers the right tools to do so has never been more critical to the outlook on how our next generations leaders will look  and  what they will stand for. Thousands of mothers each year struggle with knowing their worth as it's not commonly celebrated the importance of mothers and their motherhood journey. Beyond mothers day mothers are expected to shrink and to fit into this stereotypical perception that the world has on mothers. We only have to look at the struggles mothers have accessing genuine and fulfiling careers or how they are still being shamed into "bouning back" quickly after child birth as if that is the most important aspect of motherhood.