Maternal and wellness experts from Huddersfield are supporting mums at the town’s children’s hospice who are suffering the anguish of trauma and baby loss.

FLY Mama supports the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of women through pregnancy, trauma and loss and a trial project it has done at the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice has led to a programme of help for 50 women and their families who use the hospice’s services over the coming year.

FLY Mama was set up by Huddersfield mum Kelly Thistlethwaite who specialises in emotional regulation and trauma healing for mothers, along with Michelle Norton-Hughes, a chartered physiotherapist specialising in women’s pelvic and hormonal health.

The programme helps women from the time they have become pregnant up to a year after birth, especially those who have suffered trauma following a stillbirth and neonatal death or termination for medical reasons, support throughout their pregnancy and after birth with a child that has a life-limiting diagnosis and support during a rainbow baby which is pregnancy and birth of a baby born after loss. 

The hospice’s perinatal and bereavement midwife Sara Balmforth said: “From supporting bereaved families for over 20 years I believe there is a gap in support for families and FLY Mama helps to fill that gap.”

FLY Mama co-founder Kelly said: “Following my own experience of birth trauma, baby loss and rainbow pregnancy I know how much of a gap there is with the support provided for women and their families. There needs to be guidance that is sensitive and understanding.”

Co-founder Michelle added: “It was really our own experiences and listening to the mothers within our community share their stories that has inspired us. We have used our professional knowledge and network to create accessible, trusted and evidence-based content, addressing the holistic needs of all mothers.

“This partnership with the hospice aligns with our commitment to providing gentle and comprehensive support for women, fostering resilience and building a community where no mother feels alone.”

The programme is designed to help physical support and recovery, sleep quality, self-esteem and body confidence.

One mother helped by the programme said: “Thank you for acknowledging that pregnancy after loss can be a mixture of feelings like fear, anxiety and hope. No-one has ever said that to me before and I feel less alone.”