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!
After a heart-breaking missed miscarriage, Clare shares the reality of pregnancy after loss and what it’s really like to bring your baby home.
Kings College London published a new study today, which found that more women suffer with mental health during pregnancy than previously thought.
Tommy's own Professor Andrew Shennan has been recognised with an OBE for his work in maternity services.
We have received a huge amount of coverage for our #SleepOnSide campaign this week. These are some of the commonly asked questions about the research and the campaign, and our responses.
The Tommy's Rainbow Clinic is part of the Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. It provides specialist care for women who have suffered a previous stillbirth or neonatal death.
The Placenta Clinic, run as part of the Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester, is the largest placenta-focused research group in the world.
Tommy’s research centre at St Mary’s Hospital opened in 2001 and is now home to around 100 clinicians and scientists researching the causes of stillbirth.