Look, there was no chance I was ever going to be small. Not after carrying twins, and another not long after. Does anyone even realise how big your body has to get to carry two babies at one time. I doubt it. A twin pregnancy is no NCT group, daisy-smelling, hardly showing, slip the baby out in the birthing pool affair, and any pregnancy there after is destined to not be either.
I was working with lots of women before my son was born, almost two years ago. And being pregnant brought up lots of issues for the vast majority of these women. Hidden issues. I had been working with some of these women for many years, and these issues had never been discussed.
In 11 years working a pre and post natal exercise expert throughout London and West Essex I've seen a lot of pregnant and post natal mums. Probably close to the 500 pregnancies now. And what's the most common question? When will I get 'me' back again?
Aileen Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Belly Armor. When she was pregnant with her first child, she researched into the potential health impact of r...
I lost a baby. My second pregnancy did not go well and I miscarried at seven weeks. I know that is not as traumatic as some pregnancies that make it further down the line but each loss breaks you.
She survived Ebola, and she survived childbirth. That makes her one of the lucky ones. Sierra Leone was already the most dangerous country in the world to give birth even before the scourge of Ebola came to pass.
The whole incident underscores an ongoing cultural challenge women face in a variety of ways during their child-bearing years. The notion that a woman changes from the point of pregnancy is inherent in our society.
My bump didn't carry a sign announcing my baby's probable fate to the world. I was still subjected to the usual barrage of questions and comments from well-meaning strangers. Strangers who were blissfully unaware of how hurtful their musings on and queries about my pregnancy were.
We've all heard those awful, painful stories of birth, of big babies and bulging bottoms, but does it really have to be like that? Programmes like One Born Every Minute might like you to think so, and those horror stories from your step-mother's best friend serve to only continue what has become in our culture The Thrill Surrounding The Fear of Birth.
The clinic scanned me weekly and I had to go in for blood tests every two days to monitor my pregnancy levels. It was like living on a knife edge, taking the test in the morning then waiting for a call to say my baby was okay.
As part of the Tommy's #misCOURAGE campaign to encourage people to speak up, I am sharing my experience in the hope that it might make at least one other woman feel less isolated, and to show my support for others who have lost a pregnancy.
No amount of parenting books or NCT classes can give the slightest insight into what you are really letting yourself in for. The only people who truly know are those who have been there, done that and got the milk-stained T-shirt.
I am a tortured woman. I adore clothes, I love fashion and I look forward to updating my wardrobe with a few choice items every season. Autumn/Winter is my favourite! Not this year though. Nope, I am with child. Up the duffaroo.
Most of my conversations now revolve around being a dad, occasionally unusual topics such as is it OK to have a sit down wee if you're tired pop into conversation, but ultimately everything ends up circling back to parenting as if every road leads there. 'I love the new Ferrari......' 'its amazing, I wonder if you can get a buggy in?'
What I do know, is that when me and my tiny offspring needed them, they were there for us. Yes, there were times I was kept waiting. There were times I was told someone would be there in the morning and I didn't see them until the evening. But when we needed them, they were there.
Baby Loss Awareness week was about commemorating those who were taken too soon. I'd now like to talk about the steps we can take to prevent some of those deaths. Specifically, how we can prevent deaths caused by one of the most common birth defects - congenital heart defects (CHD).