workingmums.co.uk speaks to Anna Ceesay, founder of a new website, Motherdom, which is dedicated to maternal mental health and well being.
Anna Ceesay is founder of a new website, Motherdom, the UK’s first media platform dedicated to maternal mental health and wellbeing. She spoke to workingmums.co.uk about how she came to set it up and what its aims to achieve.
Anna Ceesay: I set up Motherdom after going through low mood and anxiety in my second pregnancy. I felt completely alone and really scared. I wanted to see other mum’s stories of their mental health journeys and was shocked that a media platform like this didn’t already exist. After receiving CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) through the NHS, I wanted to help other mums who might be in the same boat as me. I’m a journalist so I used those skills to make it happen. Although the website is new, we published a print magazine in 2019 so a lot of the groundwork was already there. But it was definitely a challenge to balance having the kids at home (my daughter is nearly eight and my son is four now) while working on it!
AC: We hope that our stories will let parents know that they’re not alone. Our content is designed to educate, uplift and empower our readers in as safe a way as possible. All of the original articles on the website are reviewed by a member of our Editorial Board, which is made up of 16 amazing women who are all experts in different areas of maternal health and wellbeing. We also ask our contributors whether they have already accessed professional support in order to safeguard them. In addition, we have a growing directory of maternal health and wellness practitioners who work in areas such as birthing, coaching, psychology and yoga.
AC: Sharing personal stories about maternal mental ill-health can reassure others that they’re not alone. We would love our content to help readers feel they can be more honest with themselves and others about how they’re feeling, be more likely to seek effective and supportive help and advice and have a greater sense of belonging to a supportive community of parents who are openly discussing their mental health. We also want to increase awareness of maternal mental ill-health: the breadth of conditions, improving knowledge of the recovery process, reducing stigmatisation, as well as deepening professionals’ understanding of the lived experiences of parents.
AC: Motherdom is a member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and we fully support their vision to see all women across the UK get consistent, accessible and quality care and support for their mental health during pregnancy and in the year after giving birth.
AC: As an additional service of Motherdom, I am offering creative coaching (primarily) to women who have a creative business or idea. As a woman who runs her own creative business, I understand the unique challenges that you can face: whether it’s a lack of confidence in your idea, imposter syndrome or time management issues. I’m a graduate of the Pure Coaching Academy and am working towards gaining my accreditation with the International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentors (IAPC&M). To find out more about my coaching service, please check out https://annaceesay.co.uk
AC: It’s been well reported that the pandemic has put unequal pressure on mums. According to the TUC, who surveyed 50,000 working mums in January 2021, nine out of 10 said that their mental health had been negatively impacted. More recently, the UK government has said that they will be making the offer of flexible working standard. So it’s been a really tough time for mums having to juggle the demands of childcare and work, but perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope in this promise from the government.
AC: Absolutely – everyone should be doing more to address maternal mental health!