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May is Maternal Mental Health Month. This time of year is so important in raising awareness of not only the joys but also the challenges faced by maternal guardians the world over. Here at Centre of Excellence, the whole team is consistently so inspired by the students who juggle caregiving, motherhood and their passion for lifelong learning. The hard work and determination demonstrated by CoE mums in creating the most beautiful lives possible for their children never cease to amaze us. Likewise, their openness about the challenges mothers and maternal guardians face helps to keep us grounded.

We know it takes a village. So, we thought we’d hand it over to the experts in maternal mental health. These CoE students and mothers share their real, honest, authentic experiences in the hopes that they might help you through the journey we call motherhood.

Natalie-Helen English-Cook on Maternal Mental Health and Miscarriage

Mum Natalie shares her thoughts on maternal mental health with Centre of Excellence.

“After five miscarriages I became a mother to a little girl in 2017. In 2020 she was diagnosed with autism. I have suffered from mental health issues since school and becoming a mother, especially to a disabled child, brought a whole set of new issues to the mix. Through online courses, I’ve been able to learn more about my daughter’s condition as well as understand new treatments and therapies. But I’ve also been able to study subjects I’m interested in. At the end of the day, when all the work is done and the little lady is in bed, I get to do something for myself. And it’s something that I hope, in the long run, will benefit my family as a whole. I don’t get through modules as quickly as someone else might but you have to remember that you are only human and the module will still be there tomorrow or next week or next month, when you’re ready.”

Sophie Kahl on Maternal Mental Health and Homeschooling

Mum of two daughters, Sophie shares her thoughts on maternal mental health with Centre of Excellence.

“Most of the courses I have taken so far I completed during lockdown, while homeschooling. It made me find time to do something for myself each day, alongside my calligraphy business. I also think seeing that mummy was still learning and studying helped motivate my daughter during what was obviously a confusing time.”

Helen O’Neill on Maternal Mental Health in Lockdown

“I had a child three years ago and during lockdown [I found I] lost a bit of myself. I decided to reassess my life and now have set up as a Reiki Master, psychic and medium. Although I had these skills before, doing the mindfulness course has enabled me to refocus and become me again. I have decided to do the teaching mindfulness course so I can incorporate it into my teachings. Thanks, COE.”

Anji Kolodziejczyk on Maternal Mental Health and Acceptance

Holistic healer, Anji shares her thoughts on maternal mental health with Centre of Excellence.

“As a second-time mum, I found this extremely difficult. My now 12-year-old is under SEN and my youngest – now three – suffered from food intolerance, low white blood cells and iron deficiency. I had to rescue him at four weeks old. Most of his first year was spent in the hospital. I was running my baby group business and trying to lose the 7.5st I had put on. This was on top of a condition I did not know I had that caused paralysis, mimics seizures and stroke. I ended up having a breakdown. I found COE and decided to study mindfulness as I knew something had to change. As I read through the course this keyword popped out: Acceptance. I couldn’t change my kids or my life and it was acceptance that helped me flip the negative into a positive. The family watched how I changed as a person and got back to being me. It changed the whole family. We started to meditate again, do yoga, walk more, and change the negative to a positive. I believe education is key, even if it’s not for the qualification. Now I offer holistic therapies. It’s not been easy but try and take that time out for yourself and stop putting so much pressure on yourself.”

Jade Kalbach on Maternal Mental Health with a Newborn

New mum Jade shares her thoughts on maternal mental health with Centre of Excellence.

“My son is 10-months-old and I’m in my second year of study. He’s a great study buddy in that he sleeps and lets me study! I’ve been studying aromatherapy and so far have been able to use it to help him and my husband with minor ailments like nappy rash and scratches. I find the courses so flexible and easy to do, I’m just so thankful for being able to do them in the little time I have. Thank you for helping me keep my brain active and more alert for my son.”

LJ Phoenix on Maternal Mental Health and Disability

LJ Phoenix, student and mother, shares her thoughts on maternal mental health with a disability with Centre of Excellence.

“Without your courses, as a disabled mum with an autistic 11-year-old, I think I would have gone mad! The lack of deadline pressure helps, so much so, that when life takes over you know there are no pressure emails from tutors demanding assignments. I love that I can keep my mind active and do something for myself, when I have time. Had I not got these courses to fall back on, I do believe that my mental health would be a lot worse than it is. It’s my time to stop and breathe. As I do a lot of holistic courses, I also find them amazing to use on my son to help with his quirks. If I can help his mind settle for a while, whilst learning myself, I cannot ask for more. I have done autism courses as well, which have helped me to understand his needs more. CoE has literally been a lifesaver for me.”

Leah Luna on Maternal Mental Health and Running a Business

Leah, a student and businesswoman, shares her thoughts on maternal mental and running a business from home with Centre of Excellence.

“I home educate my seven-year-old daughter and I also run my own business and work as a virtual secretary for three organizations. One thing I love about learning through CoE is that I can do it wherever and whenever I want to. I don’t need to wait for a teacher or be in a class at a set time. I try to do part of a module at a time, usually while making dinner or when my daughter is playing. It can seem daunting when you start a course and see 10+ modules ahead of you but if you just break it down into small parts – 15 minutes here and there – it’s manageable and enjoyable.”

Here’s to the maternal guardians — and good maternal mental health for all!

At the time of publishing, entering the code LEARNING in the checkout will reduce the price of our
Postnatal Depression Awareness Diploma Course to £29.

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