It's taken me a day to really think about what the documentary on Sunday night was showing. I really wanted to watch it with the hope it would use its platform to not only explore the complexity around maternal mental health, but to also portray a deeper look into the reasons why women have temporary and longer term mental health conditions during and post pregnancy.
We saw a collection of women sharing their stories of how they came to be in the care of the amazing mother and baby inpatient units; all of whom suffering from mental health conditions. All women followed were very open about their experiences. Some looked more uncomfortable than others when reflecting and re-living, but it’s fair to say all were incredibly brave.
All had varying levels of conditions that were clear triggering factors to their state; one had suffered previous trauma through abuse; one had suffered baby loss before this pregnancy. The common thread between all four women was the transparency of their vulnera...
The Mother Hut has something special (not that f***er Mr Tumble...) for you. I’m digging into the emotional pockets of writer Jamie Day, the brains behind Insta account ‘A Day In The Life Dad’, the podcast, ‘Man Talk’ and writer for Vogue and GQ. Mental health for both men and women needs more support and stigmas breaking, so it is a real treat to have Jamie discuss some of his experiences and wisdom around paternal mental health.
Who is the ‘real Jamie Day’?
I’d love to say I have live a glamorous second life, but the real Jamie Day is pretty much what’s on display through Instagram’s squares. I spend a lot of time with the kids, climbing trees, being silly and dancing along to the Sing soundtrack at least 141 times a day. When I’m not cutting shapes to Ash, Johnny and co, I’ll escape to my office (a corner in the spare room) and write for various magazines and websites about parenthood and mental health, create social media campaigns with/for brands and when time allows (often the earl...
Words don't instantly come into thought at the time a baby is taken; only gut wrenching pain and confusion can fill a mouth with cries of raw, inexplicable heartbreak. What so many people start to wonder once the initial shock subsides is, 'I don't know what to say'. It comes with any loss, but there is something that hits hard when it is a baby or child that is taken. It isn't normal. It isn't what the cycle of life is about. Why out of all the millions of children born, mine?
Finding any words to even acknowledge this feels an impossible task, because lets face it, what the hell can you say that will remotely take away that wrench? Words of comfort can't touch the emotional pain a parent is feeling, but in fact whatever you feel like saying from the heart, a simple communication of comfort can build trust and stabi...
I have worked with many IVF couples this summer. Below is Leanne and Matt's inspiring story...
'Hello Aimee, this is long overdue but I wanted to share my birth story/review with you.
Having gone through a successful IVF cycle I really wanted to give Hypnobirthing a go. I chose to go with The Mother Hut simply because I liked the website and the way you came across regarding Hypnobirthing.
You were really helpful during the booking process and provided me with the information we needed to have the right knowledge before the course. My husband was quite reluctant to do the course but went along with it anyway as it was something I wanted to do, he knew it was important for my pregnancy journey so he supported me.
One thing that was really concerning me is I was planned to be induced. I wasn't provided with any reason as to why, other than it was due to being an IVF pregnancy, although the extra scans were really nice to have so I could see my baby.
Being induced was alw...
Three and a half years ago and it was an experience I don’t ever think I’ll ever fully come to terms with. How can you when what happened is so cruel, unexplained and completely out of your control? October is tainted a cruel month.
It was two weeks to go until I turned 30 and I was on top of the world. We had planned a holiday to Disneyland in the Easter because I would be due late summer/ early autumn. I had told my mum I would need a larger bridesmaid dress, much to her horror that I wouldn't match my sister and I'd been out to pick up an isofix base because it was an absolute steal on a Facebook selling site. My maternity exempt card was through, and I started planning as much free dental treatment as I could get away with! But Thursday morning, I woke up and had a feeling. I went to work, still not quite right. Maybe morning sickness is finally kicking in, I'd had nothing up to that point. My friend said I look pasty. Bloody hell I felt it. I had started teaching year 13 and...
And this is the story that makes me do what I do! I love all birth stories but this one sits with me quite heavily for reasons you'll see when you read it. Janine, you are amazing xxx
'So on Wednesday I started to feel some more intense pains, after feeling them since Saturday, and by the afternoon they were joint with tightening. My friends and sister came to visit me and I was just in a very happy place and felt relaxed. I asked my partner if he could set off from work earlier just in case cause it’s quite a long way to get home when rush hour hits. He arrived at 4:30pm and I asked him to put my tense machine on as the tightening's were picking up. I rang the maternity unit for advise and they wanted me to be seen as from what I had described they thought baby might have passed meconium, turns out it was my ‘show’. I was then assessed on the birth suite and she offered to examine me which I agreed to (because I’m too nosey and wanted to know how close I was to meeting my baby).
Second births after a tricky first one are always faced with that extra hurdle of preparation, when you hear stories like this it just shows how different things can be. Congratulations to Claire on overcoming that challenge!
Hi Aimee. My husband and I attended your hypnobirthing class in August and we just wanted to send you some feedback :).
Our second son, Nathaniel, was born on Tuesday and provided me with a totally different birth experience to the one I had with our first child.
From start to finish, labour was 5 hours and one of my fears was that the surges would be too strong for me to manage.
Writing my birth preferences down really helped me plan how I wanted the birth to proceed, and what my key concerns were.
My first 'sign' was my waters releasing, so we went to hospital to confirm. I was assessed as not yet being in active labour, and the midwife explained that I could remain MAC or return later, which ever would make me more comfortable.
A huge congratulations to Toni and Chris! What a fab story of determination and trusting your instinct.
Henry James Wayman born weighing 7lb6.5 at just 37weeks.
After waters going at 6.30am we went to the birth centre at our local hospital. Only feeling a dull period type cramp.
I had no regular tightening so we were sent home. We went to the shop to get some snacks and then my contractions started to pick up! I kept breathing through them though. It felt like I had a bad tummy and needed ‘the toilet’. We went back to hospital around 12 as my contractions were 4 minutes apart and lasting 50 seconds. I had started to reach my limit of pain. I was just about to ask for something to help me, and the Midwife didn’t seem convinced I was contracting regularly, but we decided to do an examination. Hearing the words 'you are fully dilated, you can go ahead and push' gave me such a wave of wow - I have done this, and I no longer needed anything!
My lovely couple in Leeds have an incredible story of induction! Names have been removed as requested.
I wanted to let you know that we had a little baby boy, on Wednesday 18th. Thank you so much for the training in hypnobirthing you provided. We had such a positive birth experience thanks to you. The birth was incredible and the techniques we learned really helped me to get through all the stages, especially the ones that were emotionally challenging.
The course helped me get over my worries of being induced and I surprised myself by not wanting any pain relief at any stage, even though I was on a drip.
We went into the hospital (Leeds General Infermery) on Sunday and started the induction process with a propess pessary. With help from my partner I used visualisation of hot air balloons ascending over Bristol to ease off the discomfort from the initial tightening. We used to live in Bristol and both loved the annual balloon fiesta there. This worked well and after 24 hours, we were ready...
What do you see your role as in the birth room? Has the image of the day stemmed from the horrors of One Born Every Minute, with dads’ blowing up latex gloves and pissing off mum? Maybe you’ve seen them faint, in the corner on a mobile phone or just bored and looking a spare part. The reality for the birth partner is far from the TV perception; there is so much for you to do and know that will make the experience positive, make you feel prepared and that you have a role to play other than, ‘the back rubber’.
I’ve been teaching something called Hypnobirthing to couples for a year. The name is truly crap, but actually my courses come from a place of preparing couples to positively approach their birth using relaxation techniques, knowing what actually happens to the body in labour and loads of practical advice, so you feel confident and ready for birth. I’ve put together some key things you can do help your partner prepare for a calmer birth that are so simple. Some you’ll probably think,...