Maggie set up Mothers Uncovered in 2008, based on her own experiences of isolation and loneliness when she became a mother. We have supported over 1000 women with creative support groups focused on the mother, rather than the baby.
There are other mothers around the country desperate for help, wishing Mothers Uncovered existed in their area because no-one understands what they are going through. Maggie wants to help those women by promoting peer support for matrescence (the process of becoming a mother).
Post-natal illness affects 1 in 5 women, with many suffering in silence. It also costs the UK £8bn every year.
Women know how lucky they are to be mothers. They often deny any of their own needs until they are in a desperate state. Sometimes if they speak out to ask for help, they are told by people or the media to stop moaning.
So they stop asking.
Mothers Uncovered provides preventative peer support to mostly new, isolated mothers to highlight the importance of and address post-natal mental health. Our workshops are shaped and led by former participants who share the challenges brought by motherhood. We encourage facilitated discussion (narrative therapy) that makes sense of experiences through art, writing, singing and mindfulness.
We want to support more mothers to improve their mental health and wellbeing and to fill the gap between informal, drop in groups and the stigma attached to the formality and medical scrutiny of other publicly funded services. Maggie campaigns frequently to improve the support available to address post-natal depression: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/08/health-system-failing-new-mothers-postnatal-depression-nhs and has initiated a petition ‘Let Mum Speak’ at www.change.org/SupportMatrescence requesting a national database of maternal peer support services.
To raise awareness of PND issues, Maggie launched a book ‘The Secret Life of Mothers'. Written by past participants, it details their lives and experiences and contains a foreword by Caroline Lucas, MP, who has supported Mothers Uncovered since its inception.
Women who have attended our groups start to take ownership of their lives and want to give back to the community that has helped them. They look to the facilitators for support, but it helps that those running the sessions are not present as experts or providing advice. One participant who became a facilitator wrote: If this group didn’t exist, I would have lost my marriage. I would have had my child taken away from me and been suicidal. I’m now very happily married with three beautiful children and have my whole life in front of me.’