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This piece lists Mandy’s services which are paid for, but if you’d like to find out what’s available for you through the NHS, please contact your GP. PANDAS Foundation provide free signposting and if you’re in the Birmingham area, you can also contact Acacia Family Support.
Like so many pregnancy and parenting related businesses, Mother for Life grew from Birmingham-based founder Mandy Rees’ personal experience. She had postnatal depression after the birth of her first daughter, and didn’t feel that the support networks she needed to navigate that difficult time were there.
‘We just don’t have the finances within our health system to support mums in the way they need to be supported,’ she says. She hopes Mother for Life fills that gap, supporting mothers from pre-conception and for as long as they want to stay with the community. The support comes in different forms, from one-to-one sessions, groups classes known as “Circles,” baby massage and yoga classes and outdoor mindfulness wellbeing groups for mums and babies. Prices for these classes vary, and can be found on the Mother for Life website. You can book the classes in blocks.
At the postnatal wellbeing Circles, mums come together to talk about their experiences, emotional health and mental wellbeing. ‘It provides that sense of community that mums really need’, Mandy says. It’s this growing community of mums that she believes is at the heart of Mother for Life. ‘It’s all about safe spaces where you can be honest and authentic and you don’t have to pretend that you’re holding it all together,’ she explains. ‘You can just laugh, and cry, and share, and talk very openly and honestly, and seek advice if you want it.’
The feedback from mums has been hugely positive, and Mandy sees for herself in the Circles how much they’re benefiting. ‘I can see a mum come into a Circle or a class and she’s anxious, and clearly stressed, and isn’t able to relax, and even just within an hour I can actually see her let go of some stuff,’ she says. ‘By the end of the session she’s completely different to when she first arrived. It’s lovely to see and I think we need that. As humans we need connection, that’s what makes us function.’
As well as joining the thriving Mother for Life community, there’s a business opportunity for any mums looking for a career change. Mandy trains other women to run their own Mother Circles through her Mother Circle Foundation Course. ‘It’s really a course about connection and holding space, and I give mums a structure to run their own Circles if they want to,’ she explains. At the next launch, the Mother Circle training will be £799. It is a self-learning course so it can be completed as soon as all of the modules are finished and the coursework has been submitted and assessed. There are 6 Zoom calls over a 12-week period. Most people wait until the Zoom calls have finished before completing the course but they don’t have to.
Ultimately, Mandy’s vision is a global one: ‘Mother for Life Circles all over the world, with mums helping other mums to heal, rediscover joy and enjoy motherhood.’
But her ambition doesn’t end there. She has an even bigger picture in her sight: changing the culture she believes ‘pits women against women from a very early age…I think it’s almost a relief when you become a mum, that you can let go of that battlefield, that we’re not all fighting against each other, and we’re not all trying to prove a point, and when we let our barriers down, and we open up and are vulnerable, there are other women there to catch you, rather than compete with you.’