23 episodes

The Postnatal Podcast with Maisie Nicholls is a show for pregnant and new mums. I talk to real mums who are in the mamahood trenches; mums who have been there, done it and want to share their experiences so other mums can learn from them.



I also talk to bump, birth and baby professionals to find out their best advice, hints and tips for pregnant and new mums.



In the podcast we cover topics such as:-



- Postnatal depression, postnatal anxiety and how to recover from both.

- Getting more sleep and resting more during those early days of motherhood.

- Self care for mums.

- Mummy guilt, worry and anxiety and how to reduce these feelings.

- How to ask for help, even when you really don't want to.

- Making a postnatal plan.

- Gathering a support network to help you when times are tough.



Nothing can entirely prepare you for motherhood but I hope to arm you with enough information to make the first few days, weeks and months after birth as amazing as possible.

The Postnatal Podcast Maisie Nicholls

    • Parenting

The Postnatal Podcast with Maisie Nicholls is a show for pregnant and new mums. I talk to real mums who are in the mamahood trenches; mums who have been there, done it and want to share their experiences so other mums can learn from them.



I also talk to bump, birth and baby professionals to find out their best advice, hints and tips for pregnant and new mums.



In the podcast we cover topics such as:-



- Postnatal depression, postnatal anxiety and how to recover from both.

- Getting more sleep and resting more during those early days of motherhood.

- Self care for mums.

- Mummy guilt, worry and anxiety and how to reduce these feelings.

- How to ask for help, even when you really don't want to.

- Making a postnatal plan.

- Gathering a support network to help you when times are tough.



Nothing can entirely prepare you for motherhood but I hope to arm you with enough information to make the first few days, weeks and months after birth as amazing as possible.

    15: Annie Broadbent: Dark side of the mum; shame, fear, shadow and negative thoughts about motherhood.

    15: Annie Broadbent: Dark side of the mum; shame, fear, shadow and negative thoughts about motherhood.

    This week I’m chatting with Annie Broadbent. Annie is a psychotherapist, a mum of 2, has written a book about grief and bereavement and she also works with perinatal mental health. Annie is also the woman behind the Instagram account ‘Dark side of the mum’.



    This episode comes with a trigger warning as Annie and I discuss dark thoughts that can come with motherhood including thoughts of women wanting to harm their babies.



    There’s also a bit of background noise. You’ll hear a friendly bird chirping away and also my one year old having a tantrum – don’t worry. She wasn’t abandoned while I was recording the episode, her dad was there trying to keep everything under control….



    In this episode we chat about:-



           -        The ‘shadow work’ that comes with motherhood. This can include denying our less acceptable thoughts                    and feelings and finding it difficult to accept and own negative thoughts and feelings we have about                              motherhood and our children.

    -        The cultural expectations of motherhood being ‘natural and instinctive’ when this is often not the lived experience of women.

    -        We talked about women who don’t meet the criteria for diagnosis of postnatal mental health issues; these are often the women who miss out on help and support and then end up feeling like failures.

    -        How the culture of motherhood makes it more difficult than it should be. There’s so much focus on the baby. Women are idolised during pregnancy and then are forgotten about once the baby is born.

    -        Most other on western cultures have some away of marking becoming a mother. E.g special food for new mums, 40 days of rest, ritual baths, sacred fires etc. Annie is of the view we need a way in our culture of honouring becoming a mother.

    -        The rush to get back to normal

    -        Annie shared the research of Donald Winnicot who talked about the hate a mother feels for her baby. This was back in 1974 yet talking about this is still a taboo today.

    -        We talked about the balance between conscious parenting and perfectionism and the pressure that women put on themselves nowadays.

    -        We also talked about the reasons women fear sharing their true thoughts about their feelings towards their children.

    -        Annie shared that if women are struggling with dark thoughts. They need to be shared and spoken about so women can receive support and make sense of how they feel.

    Find out more about Annie.

    -        Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/dark_side_of_the_mum/

    -        Website  -  https://anniebroadbent.com/

    Grab a copy of my self care toolkit for mums here. 



    Click here

    • 40 min
    14. Sara Fernandes: Postpartum psychosis | Recovery from postnatal depression | Therapy for mums

    14. Sara Fernandes: Postpartum psychosis | Recovery from postnatal depression | Therapy for mums

    This week I’m chatting to Sara Fernandes from only human therapy. This episode comes with a trigger warning as Sara talks in depth about her experience of postpartum psychosis and admission to a mother and baby unit.



    I also wanted to mention a conversation we have towards the end of the episode where Sara talks about weaning herself off her medication herself. Sara felt this was he right approach and it worked for her. However, I wanted to share that I’d always recommend for you to reduce any medication with the support of a doctor.



    One final warning; we had some connectivity issues and there is a bit of distortion on the audio during the episode but I hope you can sit with it as this episode is well worth a listen!



    Before we start I wanted to share with you about my new self care toolkit for mums. It’s designed for mums who are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed with motherhood and there are techniques and tools to help you take care of your needs.



    The toolkit includes a self care audit so you can get an idea of where you currently are with your self care and where you may need to make changes. It’s got suggestions for quick self care activities you can carry out each day, a weekly self care planner, links to self care resources and there’s also a Facebook group included to help keep you accountable. All this for £4.99. Grab a copy here.  





    Give it to me now!





    Find out more about Sara



    Website - https://www.onlyhumantherapy.com/



    Instagram -  https://www.instagram.com/onlyhumantherapy/

    • 53 min
    13. Sarah, Mum Muddling Through: Pregnancy after loss | Alcohol, sobriety and motherhood | Recovering from maternal mental health issues.

    13. Sarah, Mum Muddling Through: Pregnancy after loss | Alcohol, sobriety and motherhood | Recovering from maternal mental health issues.

    **Trigger warning, pregnancy loss**



    This week I’m chatting with Sarah. Sarah is the writer behind the blog ‘mum muddling through’ where she has written about her experiences of motherhood for the past five years.



    In this episode we cover loads of topics and Sarah is really open and honest about some very difficult experiences she has had. I need to share that Sarah talks about the loss of her second daughter when she was 24 weeks pregnant so this episode comes with a trigger warning in relation to that.



    Sarah talks about her postnatal experience with her first daughter; she talks about feeling quite overwhelmed with all the visitors she had and we had a discussion about it sometimes being hard to balance wanting family members to meet the baby and also wanting to have time to rest and recover.



    Sarah talks about the loss of her second daughter and how this impacted on her. Sarah became pregnant with her third daughter a few months after her loss and she shared how she felt very anxious during that pregnancy and didn’t really believe she would be having another baby until she had her in her arms.



    We also talk a lot about Sarah’s relationship with alcohol. Sarah has been sober for just over 18 months and she shares how her identity used to be closely intertwined with drinking culture and wanting to still be ‘fun’ and not boring (I think this is something lots of mums struggle with – I did!) Sarah talks about there being a time that she wouldn’t be able to comprehend not drinking again. However, her relationship with alcohol became more tricky after her birth of her third daughter and started to have a negative impact on her relationship with her husband and her children which led to her quitting alcohol completely.



    We also discussed how stopping drinking led to Sarah realising she had depression and anxiety and had been using alcohol to mask this. Sarah sought support from her GP and has found ways to recover from this; we talked about some of the self care techniques Sarah has used to recover from her mental health difficulties.



    This is an information packed episode with loads of different topics covered. I really love the way Sarah is so frank when she’s talking about some of the difficult experiences she’s had and I think this is a must listen for anyone.



    I really hope you enjoy the episode; if you do then please head over to iTunes and lave me a review as this really helps the podcast be found by other new mums.



    I also wanted to share with you about a new self care toolkit I’ve put together for new mums. This toolkit has a self care audit so you can assess how well you’re currently looking after yourself and where you could benefit from making some changes. There’s a really simple activity to help you reconnect with what you used to love doing before you were a mum. There’s a weekly self care planner you can print off to keep you accountable and there are also lots of quick and easy self care ideas and resources to get you started.



    I realise how busy mums can be so I’ve made the toolkit really simple to use with activities that take only a few minutes a day so you can start to look after yourself without feeling overwhelmed.



    The toolkit is only £4.99 (a bargain for what you get) and you can grab it here. 





    Give it to me now!





    Find out more about Sarah



    Mum muddling through website - https://mummuddlingthrough.com/



    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/mummuddlingthrough/

    • 1 hr
    12. Tasha D’Cruz: Postnatal nutrition | Malaysian cultural postnatal practices | Rest more and clean less!

    12. Tasha D’Cruz: Postnatal nutrition | Malaysian cultural postnatal practices | Rest more and clean less!

    This week I’m chatting with Tasha D’Cruz. Tasha is a nutritionist, specialising in maternal health. Tasha also has a 15 month old baby.



    We talked about how Tasha prepared for the time postnatally. Tasha did a La Leche League three day course during pregnancy. She also did an NCT course as a way of creating a network of mum friends.  Tasha also did a hypnobirthing course to prepare for birth



    We talked about postnatal doulas – with retrospect Tasha thinks it would have been helpful to have had one, particularly a few months in when her dad had gone home and she needed some practical and emotional support.



    Tasha talks about her experience of those early days of motherhood. She said for the first month she felt like she was in a bubble, everything was in soft focus and she wasn’t really aware of anything else that was going on around her.



    Tasha had three days to herself without visitors, she thinks this helped with getting used to one another and adjusting to parenthood.



    Tasha is Malaysian, her dad came over from Malaysia three days after Tasha gave birth, with a suitcase full of Chinese confinement herbs for him to cook confinement recipes for her. Tasha talks about eating a strict menu in those early stages postnatally to help her body to recover.



    Tasha says she felt her dad wasn’t really strict about this, he was doing it in a supportive way to help her to heal. Tasha talked about this being commonplace in Malaysian culture.



    Tasha wishes she had prepared for the emotional changes she would experience postnatally. Particularly regarding her relationship with her partner.



    Tasha also talked about coping mechanisms. She described a behaviour where she found herself often counting to 4 when she was patting her baby or doing other things. She recently read about maternal OCD and felt what she was doing was compulsive counting. Tasha said she thinks she was using this as a technique of avoiding thinking about the massive responsibility of parenthood.



    I asked Tasha if there is anything she would have done differently; she said she would rest more. Tasha describes having a quick recovery after birth so sprang back into action quite quickly. Tasha wishes she had done a week in bed, week on the sofa and a week in the house.



    Top tip - get a cleaner if you can afford it.



    Where to find Tasha 



    Website - https://tashadcruz.com/



    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/tashadcruz/

    • 44 min
    11. Falling through the gaps of postnatal mental health services | The spectrum of maternal mental wellbeing.

    11. Falling through the gaps of postnatal mental health services | The spectrum of maternal mental wellbeing.

    I wanted to record an episode on my own as I’ve spoken to a few women lately who experienced postpartum psychosis and spent time in mother and baby units (awesome episodes that are coming up by the way, I can’t wait to share them with you!)



    It got me thinking about the spectrum of maternal mental health and wellbeing and the different experiences women have postnatally.



     I recently chatted to someone about the 2015 report by the maternal mental health alliance called ‘falling through the gaps’. This report highlights the fact that lots of women are not receiving the mental health support and treatment they deserve and need in those early stages of motherhood.



    I realise that there is also a lot of great work going on out there to support women who are experiencing postnatal mental health issues, but for women who don’t receive the support they need during this vulnerable time it’s not good enough and there are still more changes required to improve services that are available.



    However, I am also aware of a group of women who haven’t fallen through the gap. They wouldn’t necessarily meet the criteria for postnatal mental health support or diagnosis.



    There are a multitude of women who find motherhood hard, who struggle to get through the day and feel as though they are doing it wrong. These are the women that are likely to internalise what’s going on. To feel like failures and blame themselves for not being a good enough mum.



    These are the women I want to reach with the work I do and support and share the message with them that you don’t have to continue to feel this way.



    There are things you can do to start to feel better and I chat in more detail about these things in the episode. These are:-

    -        Self care.

    -        Talking to people you trust about how you feel.

    -        Peer support groups.

    -        Asking for help when you need it.  

    -        Self help/ meditation/ relaxation.





    I also wanted to let you know that I’ve created a ‘surviving mental health’ guide eBook for mums. It’s packed full of tools and techniques that mums can use to take care of their mental health and emotional wellbeing. It’s coming out on Monday 15th June but is available for pre-order NOW for only £4.99.



    Grab yourself a copy now!





    Grab yourself a copy now!

    • 25 min
    10. Claire Kidd: Positive birth and postnatal stories | Struggling with breastfeeding | Mum guilt and becoming a mum of two

    10. Claire Kidd: Positive birth and postnatal stories | Struggling with breastfeeding | Mum guilt and becoming a mum of two

    This week I’m chatting with Claire Kidd. Claire is a mum of two and she lives in Australia.



    We talk about Claire’s preparation for birth which involved hiring a doula and doing a hypnobirthing course. Claire is of the view that the hypnobirthing prep paved the way for her to have the birth experience she had hoped for and went on to have a positive impact on her postnatal experience.



    Claire’s doula sounds absolutely fantastic and she spent some time helping Claire and her husband to prepare for becoming parents by talking about what would change, what they would miss when they became parents and how their relationship with one another. It makes me so happy to hear that there are others doing this work with parents as I’m majorly passionate about helping women and their partners prepare for the emotional aspects of becoming parents as well as the practical so I loved listening to this part of Claire’s story.



    We chatted about Claire’s positive experience first time round and she describes the time postnatally as joyful and blissful which is lovely to hear.



    We also talk about Claire’s experience of going from being a mum of one to having her second daughter. Claire talks about the conflict that women go through when they are struggling to balance the needs of two children. It can be tough so we chat a bit about how Claire has adjusted to that.



    This is a really lovely episode with lots to take away about the possibility of women having positive experiences during birth and postnatally – this is equally important to share and talk about as much as talking about some of the more difficult experiences women have.



    I hope you enjoy the episode. If you do then please leave me a review and subscribe on iTunes as this helps to spread the word about the podcast. Also please share with any mums who may find the podcast useful.



    I’ve also created a free wellbeing for mums download. It’s packed full of hints and tips to help you take better care of yourself and your emotional wellbeing. Grab it at maisienicholls.com/wellbeing.

    • 1 hr 3 min

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