Earlier this week we announced that blogzine and fashion house Selfish Mother have launched a new range of iconic leopard print Mother t-shirts and sweaters, with all profits coming to Tommy's! Since then we have scrolled through Instagram, taking in all of the (fashion) statements against baby loss.
Selfish Mother was created by mother and all round good person Molly Gunn and her #GoodTees were created with the simple idea that selling clothes shouldn't just be about profit - they should do good, too!
Today, we were struck by Dear Orla blogger Michelle Cottle’s raw and candid post as she wears her Mother print tee. Writing in memory of her daughter Orla, who was born asleep on the 3rd of May 2016, she describes how the excitement and anticipation of her pregnancy ended in heart-break. Most of all, her confusion over whether she could call herself a mother when she couldn't bring her baby home.
I had lusted over the Selfish Mother tops and Tiba and Marl changing bags all pregnancy but thought I should wait until our baby arrived until I ordered them. Not really sure why, but maybe I didn’t feel that I deserved to call myself a mother until I had a baby in my arms. Our beautiful daughter Orla arrived in May at 37+2 weeks - but tragically she was born asleep. It’s hard to know what to call yourself when you lose your child and whether or not you even have the right to say that you are a mother.
We think it’s amazing that Michelle has been able to express so well the confusion and pain that surrounds stillbirth. When mums lose their babies, they often feel as though they have lost a part of themselves and begin to question their own identities. It is so important that mums support other mums during this period. Not only does this bring support and solace to so many, but it makes sure that the problem of stillbirth can't be ignored. Over 3,500 babies are stillborn every year in the UK and to this day many of these deaths remain unexplained.
...when I saw that the new Selfish Mother x Tiba and Marl tops were donating to Tommy’s, I knew I had to get one. @tommys_thebabycharity do some fantastic research into stillbirth and pregnancy loss, which is so needed as the UK has one of the worst rates of stillbirth in the developed world. So I will wear this with pride, in honour of our beautiful Orla, and knowing that I have supported a charity that aim to reduce the number of families suffering as we are now.
The more mums share, the more support there will be. We are here to help you: Tommy’s midwives are trained in bereavement support and can be contacted on our phone line. You can also read all of our support posts in our Stillbirth section on this site.
If you’d like to read more Dear Orla posts, Michelle bogs at https://dear-orla.com/blog/about.
If you'd like a leopard Mother tee of your very own, take a look at Selfish Mother's site.
In the meantime, keep sharing those Selfish Mother selfies with pride. It’s a selfless act of solidarity!
A recently published article, co-authored by Professor Catherine Williamson from Tommy’s Research Centre at King’s College London, suggests that certain pregnancy complications can indicate future health issues for women.
Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.
Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, scientists at Tommy’s Research Centres across the UK are still hard at work, supporting women and families in our specialist clinics and sharing their latest studies with academic journals.
The day before Mother’s Day, and two days before the UK officially went into coronavirus lockdown, Zara Dawson found out she was having a miscarriage. Her third consecutive miscarriage in less than a year, and fourth consecutive loss, after losing her second son Jesse in 2018 to termination for medical reasons.
The Lupus in Pregnancy (LIPS) Clinic is part of the Tommy's Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital. This specialist antenatal clinic is for pregnant women with Lupus Spectrum disorders and connective tissue disorders.
The Manchester VELOCITY Clinic is part of the Tommy's Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital. The clinic provides multidisciplinary care for women who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
The Manchester Antenatal Vascular Service (MAViS) is part of the Tommy's Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital. The clinic supports women who have a high risk of hypertension in pregnancy, by monitoring women closely, giving them extra scans and specialist support.