Pregnancy comes in all shapes and sizes: Talking Complications
Pregnancy comes in different shapes and sizes, just like we do.
As a midwife I’ve seen many many pregnant women and their families. Families from varying backgrounds, families with no complications and families with complex problems. I’ve seen extremely happy families and I’ve seen them struggle to cope.
Largely though, pregnancy is a normal life event with normal worries about becoming parents, uncomplicated and is NOT an illness. Most women are fit, well and happy to be pregnant and will go on to have a ‘normal’ birth and go home with a healthy baby ready to start their new life as a family.
However this is not always the case. Types of pregnancies and awareness of the issues that surround pregnancy has developed greatly since the start of the recognised midwifery profession. The average age when women become mothers has generally increased since 1975, women with medical complications are now having babies where years ago they would have been advised against getting pregnant or in the past may have died as a result of getting pregnant, IVF exists, the lifestyle of women and their families has changed and the mental health of mothers is now recognised as being as important as it should be. So you see pregnancy is so much more complex than just the physical pregnancy itself.
Whilst largely a positive experience, it can be scary and worrying at times. For such a common life event, Motherhood can be incredibly lonely. Even the Duchess of Cambridge has recently talked about this loneliness. When pregnancy is complicated I can imagine it feels harder to find someone / people to relate to. This is one of the reasons I wanted to start this series.
Since I started blogging I have seen what a fabulous community the blogging community are. They have so much to offer the wider community. I want families (not just the mothers) to know about the many and varied stories that cover pregnancy and everything that goes with it. I want them to know they are not alone when they experience crazy emotions and problems that may seem ‘wrong’ but are actually pretty normal.
A recent survey by the RCOG highlighted that the mental health of mothers should be considered when a physical complication is suffered. What has been clear to me over my career though is the lack of resources the NHS has. One of the most valuable resources of all is time and time is scarce in the NHS. Often what a family need most is to be listened too and that takes time. Now I’m on a career break I have some time. So how do I spend it apart from the usual day to day goings on of a SAHM? By writing and sharing blogs.
Eventually I would like to have a birth series with stories of uncomplicated pregnancies to show women that largely pregnancy is positive and uncomplicated. But for now I wanted to have a series sharing stories from women who have experienced complicated pregnancies and birth. How they felt about their pregnancy, the support they did or didn’t receive and advice they would give mothers beginning their journey through pregnancy with a complication.
With the #HeadsTogether campaign running strong and next week being UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week I though what better way to start the series with the actual issue of maternal mental health.
Over the next few months I hope to cover the following:
Pregnancy Loss and stillbirth
SPD / Pelvic Girdle Pain
Post Partum Haemorrhage
If you (mum’s and dad’s) have any stories you would like to share that cover any of the above or have any suggestions, then please get involved and email me on [email protected] for the details.