You don't need to have living children to consider yourself a mother

Tommy’s Midwife Alicia lost her son in 2018 and had a heartbreaking ectopic pregnancy a year later. Her daughter was born in 2021.

My first pregnancies

My name is Alicia. I’m a Tommy’s Midwife, the founder of Black Baby Loss Awareness Week, and a mother.  

Before I knew what I wanted to do education or career wise, I always knew I wanted to be a mum. So when I got pregnant for the first time, I was excited and looking forward to starting a family.

My first pregnancy ended in loss in 2018. I lost my son, which was heartbreaking. A year later, I got pregnant again, but this time I had an ectopic pregnancy.  

Dealing with grief  

The grief that comes with loss is awful. But I found having the freedom to talk about my son whenever I wanted to very helpful.  

His death impacted my entire family and it meant so much to be able to talk about what he meant to everyone that knew him. I don't think any of us have been the same since he came into our lives.    

Being a mother

Since my losses, I've welcomed a daughter, who was born in 2021. I couldn’t love her more.

Honestly, becoming a parent has really shaped the person I am today. It makes me consider how my actions will impact the world that will be inhabited by future generations.  

The campaigning I do to improve maternal and infant outcomes for Black and mixed Black heritage communities may not have an impact for my siblings, but I am hopeful that things will be better for our children.

I've been celebrating Mother's Day since my late son made me a mother for the first time 7 years ago. I strongly believe that you don't need to have living children to consider yourself a mother, it also doesn't matter when your loss occurred.    

Mother’s Day

It can be really upsetting for bereaved mothers when friends and loved ones fail to acknowledge you around Mother's Day. It can make you feel like your baby or babies have been forgotten about, or that your loss means you're not entitled to consider yourself a mother.

It isn't always the case that people are just forgetful, they might also be worried that sending you a text, card or flowers on or in the run up to Mother's Day might be upsetting for you.

So, my advice to others would be: if you feel up to it - mark Mother's Day in a way that feels right to you: visit somewhere meaningful, send yourself flowers or just have the day to yourself. It is also ok not to mark Mother's Day at all if it doesn't feel right to you. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to be guided how you feel at the time rather than societal expectations.