It’s great to be an NW8-mum.
My daughter was born in April 2009 after a traumatic and extremely difficult pregnancy. I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) which saw me seriously ill, admitted to hospital on multiple occasions hooked up onto an IV-drip from 5,5 weeks and on a cocktail of drugs until I gave birth to her.
Shortly after her birth I developed severe postnatal depression (PND) and anxiety which included suicidal thoughts. Unbeknownst to my husband and I, I had also suffered from severe pregnancy depression. In 2014, my son was born after another horrific HG pregnancy which included hospitalisation, pregnancy depression and postnatal depression again.
Back in 2009 when I had my daughter, there were no parenting groups running in St John’s Wood itself and there was also very little available in terms of classes and meet-ups for new parents. This was also years before social media and smartphones were part of our daily existence.
Despite struggling to leave the house with my newborn baby because of how badly I was suffering from PND, I started organising meet-ups in one of our local family friendly restaurants. I used to see mothers all around me and I thought they all looked perfect and like they had it all together. Slowly, I started realising that everyone was winging it and that everyone was experiencing different levels of doubt, anxiety and loneliness.
Being a performer and a person who wears my heart on my sleeve, I felt that I had to share the ups and downs of motherhood including the places locally where you could take your baby. I started sending out emails to those who came along to our Friday morning meet-ups about things to do in our area, classes to go to, products to use and much more. Over time, as our little group grew from around 20 or so people, the original members of NW8-mums suggested that I create a website to include all the information I had shared with them.
That first website version of NW8-mums was launched in March 2013 and was revamped again in 2017. I had never allowed advertising, because trust, integrity and true support had always been the most important aspects as to why I set up NW8-mums.
However, by spring of 2021, our little group had become a group of thousands and it no longer was possible to run NW8-mums on a voluntary basis and with me as the one-woman-band. I had reached my personal breaking point where helping everyone else around me started having a negative impact on my own private life as a mother, wife and friend.
I got to the moment when I had two options: to close NW8-mums down altogether or to find a way of turning NW8-mums into something commercial and sustainable, but with the community at heart. In early May 2021, 12 years after the birth of my daughter, through whom it was all started, the new NW8-mums was born.
Having no family or support in the U.K., like so many other new parents, from the very beginning, I have felt compelled to create a welcoming, safe and nurturing space for everyone in the group, and I always hoped that by me being open and honest about my own struggles, worries and day-to-day issues I could help others feel less isolated and alone; that I could help create that village and community of support to all parents regardless of where or who they are in this roller-coaster journey of being a parent. The ethos and philosophy remains the same and will continue for as long as I am around and involved.
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional, nor am I pretending to be one. The information on NW8-mums is based on my own experiences, and in cases of experiences of others there will be a note to say so. Always speak to your GP, health practitioner or other professional if you have questions or concerns about something.
NW8-mums cannot be held liable or responsible for anyone who has an experience that doesn’t meet up to their standards. The website is here purely to provide information and support and is in NO way meant to replace medical care.
If you run a business and would like to advertise or collaborate, please email email@example.com.
I was deeply honoured to have been awarded a Certificate of Merit from the British Citizenship Awards for the work I do with NW8-Mums after having been nominated by my mums.
The first NW8-mums.com website was launched in March 2013. It is constantly being updated, however things change and I don’t always get notified so please let me know if there is anything you spot that is not working or out of date.