Confinement is an ancient tradition that is still widely practiced in China today. Dating back to the Xihan dynasty some 2000 years ago, confinement literally means in Mandarin "sitting out the month". In practice, it's a set of very complex rules for women to care for themselves during the first month after giving birth.
Seriously, who are the people who do this stuff? Is it women who haven't had babies yet? Is it men who have never watched their partner be consumed by the pressure and anxiety that goes with 'getting her baby body back'?
It is estimated that 60,000 women a year are pushed out of their jobs from the moment they get pregnant and this doesn't account for the thousands of women who suffer harassment, are demoted or don't get the promotions they deserve.
On my last working day, my mentor warned me, "Everyone says that taking more than six months off won't affect your career but it really will." I was struck by his honesty yet appreciated his candour. It certainly was not what I wanted to hear before waddling off on maternity leave.
Women understand what it means to be pregnant. They understand what it means to end a pregnancy. But whether they have already given birth or have yet to do so, women also understand what it means to have a child - and to be a mother.
Three days after the wedding the miscarriage started. It began as a pain in the stomach. She knew it was happening, so we called for our fifth emergency appointment. The bleeding was constant and she had continuous pain. What could I do to make it better? The helpless feeling of inadequacy was fraught and very real.
As I got up from the sofa when she had finished, she noticed that my abdomen went into a cone shape and told me that I probably had a diastasis recti and I would need to get proper treatment for it after the birth of my baby if I wanted it to heal.
Nine months of pregnancy can really take its toll on your body. Your hair, your skin, your nails, even your teeth can be effected by the new hormones circulating your body and it's rarely for the better!
My first gig when I was over the advised 12 weeks safe period in which to tell people (although be warned if you have an elderly mother like me - she had me at 43 - then they just write it in every Christmas card they send at three weeks anyway) I didn't mention it on stage and it just felt wrong.
Do we really want that bodycon dress, that we'd never have even looked at pre-bump because it's hot maternity fashion property thanks to Abbey Clancey, or go dotty for Kate Middleton's polka dots because the media went mad for their maternity style?
One of the most commonly cited recommendations for women experiencing PND is exercise. This is because exercise is known to maintain and even improve feelings of wellbeing by causing chemical changes in our brains.
You can prepare for nearly everything these days. You can revise, plan, organise, the lot. Only, annoyingly, one of the things you can't prepare for is, oh... just one of the biggest moments of your life.
Now my poor second daughter is, almost literally, banging on the door and ready to come into this world, and the billions of worldwide examples just can't stem my growing anxiety that I simply don't have enough love.
In the first few months of my pregnancy I became almost convinced that I wasn't actually pregnant with a human baby...
I have been told some horrific labour stories. Tales of three days worth of pain, mystery medical problems, blood, guts and gore. Women love to share, particularly when it comes to sharing their birthing stories. So far I have found two camps.
Many women will need to fly when they are pregnant, whether for a wedding, business trip or a well- deserved relaxing 'baby-moon'. It could be your last opportunity to eat an airplane meal and watch an in-flight movie uninterrupted!