A creative guide to journaling through pregnancy, birth and beyond
Maternal Journal is filled to the brim with ideas, support and inspiration to create your very own journal through your pregnancy, birth and parenthood. This easy-to-use and beautifully illustrated book will help you explore your creative voice and develop a regular journaling practice using artistic tools and techniques that fit in with everyday parenting.
Inside, you will find more than 80 unique guided journal exercises created by leading artists, midwives, doulas and therapists to boost your creativity and wellbeing and help you reflect during this transformational stage of your life.
Write a list poem with poet Hollie McNish, build a self-care alphabet with writer Laura Dockrill, or make your journaling manifesto with writer and performer Bryony Kimmings. Be a revolutionary mother with artist Barby Asante and explore daily drawings with live artist Bobby Baker.
Based on the award-winning global community movement, led by artist and midwife Laura Godfrey-Isaacs and communications and content producer Samantha McGowan, Maternal Journal promotes the simple but radical concept of expressing thoughts, feelings and experiences creatively in a journal to promote positive mental health and wellbeing throughout your parenting journey.
"Maternal Journal book will help women and their babies and families to have a happy healthy start to life. It is a wonderful creative approach to health and wellbeing." Professor Lesley Page CBE, Kings College London, UTS Australia, Griffith University Australia, Honorary research fellow Oxford Brookes University
“Maternal Journal is a one of a kind, led by the creative and passionate Laura Godfrey-Isaacs. Finally here is a journal that is not all about the words but allows for the expression of feelings that so many women experience during pregnancy, birth and new parenthood. An image can capture more succinctly and deeply a complex emotion than any wordy thesis ever could.” Hannah Dahlen AM, Professor of Midwifery, Associate Dean School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University
"Watching Maternal Journal come to life and flourish whilst supporting and positively influencing lives has been a joy to my heart. A book on this important topic will create further opportunities to reach more individuals - maximising the potential for enhanced wellbeing. What a wonderful idea!" Sheena Byrom, midwife, OBE, Director of all4maternity
"This unique and powerful project offers a rich cultural resource for women going through childbirth and into motherhood that crucially supports their mental health and wellbeing." Baroness Deborah Bull, CBE, Vice President, Communities & National Engagement and Senior Advisory Fellow for Culture, King’s College London
"Becoming a mother is a leap of faith, so often we find it hard to express our emotions and feelings. Writing those thoughts down is an easy way to do this but Maternal Journal is so much more than this. Being with others who are creating their own expressive and hidden images of motherhood is liberating and can help to reduce the isolation and confusion that is so commonly described." Dr Kathryn Gutteridge, Consultant Midwife, President of Royal College of Midwives
"It’s a beautiful and useful book. It helps mothers connect to their feelings and creativity at a time when it’s easy to feel sucked dry by the demands of a baby. The activities are well laid out, not intimidating or patronising, even if you’ve never picked up a paint brush or written a poem you’ll be inspired. I’d love to have a go at all of the exercises." Henny Beaumont, Illustrator
"When I had my son I felt so lonely despite being around many people during that time. I felt like I had to pretend that it was no big deal to be a new mother, whilst it simultaneously felt like the hugest, most amazing but also most devastating thing that could have happened to me. I would have loved this book, just to feel I wasn't mad or alone. That it is a huge shift to be a mum and it takes a journal full of creativity and support to even begin to deal with it!" Bryony Kimmings, artist, writer and performer
"Maternal Journal opens a window to creativity and a way to express thoughts and feelings. Pregnancy and parenthood is such a big life experience, you are forever changed! Sometimes you fear aspects of your identity are lost too. Journalling is a very effective way to explore the challenges, experiences and new identities found along the way." Lizzy Humber, Mother/Producer (Mothers Who Make)
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Firstly you do not need to be an expert artist to use this book... in fact the exact opposite is true. It leads you to explore the experience of becoming a parent from pregnancy through to the postnatal period through a variety of mediums... poetry, notetaking, doodles, collaging the list goes on- with easy to follow instructions that arent too prescriptive but encourage you to explore each journaling activity in your own way. I just love some of the wonderful and thought provoking art shared within the book and has led me to seek out the art produced by mothers shared online, both those who have utilised the book and the amazing maternal journal groups set up around the country. I can't tell you how tempted I am to set up one myself, would be so lovely to provide the mums I am privileged to support with the time and resources to reflect and explore their creative sides! What a really beautifully presented book and such a thoughtful gift for any new mum.