Help make Manc Mamas even better in 2018

We had a ball in 2017 bringing you networking events and sharing news of what’s happening and what it’s like being a working mum in Manchester today. But we want to be EVEN BETTER in 2018, so we’d like to know what you think of what we do.

That’s why we’re launching our survey so that we can do more of what you like and less of what you don’t.

Please help us by spending a few moments telling us what you got out of being a Manc Mama last year:

Manc Mamas 2018 Survey

To thank you for helping us, we’ll be sending you some exclusive discounts from some of our favourite Manc Mama brands.

Gemma, Lisa and Lynda xxx

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Mamas Gang Up For Small Business Saturday!

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It’s Small Business Saturday on the 2nd December which aims to highlight small business success, encourage consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities! Last year British Shoppers spent an amazing £717m in independent and local businesses on this day, directly supporting real people and families and helping them to earn an honest crust!

With this in mind, and being a huge supporter of small businesses Manc Mamas have teamed up with some amazing Manchester based businesses for a fab competition on Instagram!  Not only are these Manc Mamasfabulous mums, but they’re working hard running their own businesses too to support their families! So, support your local girl gang and take part in our giveaway to win a HUGE prize bounty just in time for Christmas. Just head over to Instagram on Saturday at 10am and find one of the businesses listed below to find out the rules and enter the competition.

@burblebaby

@everythings_sweet_threads

@mamaknows_uk

@albieandsebastian

@ayearofdates

@angelcasts

@eleanorbowmer

@purcandles

@mancmamas

In the meantime, here’s a little bit about each of these amazing Mum bosses, the special offers they are running for Small Business Saturday and the prize you might be lucky enough to win in our competition! If you WIN, you WIN them all! Good luck x

Competition starts 10am Saturday 2nd December to midnight on Saturday 9th December. UK entries only.

It’s time to deck the halls, start boiling the sprouts and best of all, begin buying beautiful gifts for all those little burble babies in your life! Oh, and you of course! Burble Baby is a luxurious on line gift boutique for mum and baby created by mum of 3, Karen. The carefully curated range features leading mum and baby brands across changing bags, baby clothes, toys and mama merch! Sign up to their newsletter to receive 15% off your 1st order and all the latest news and offers. UK orders over £20 are delivered free of charge! Order by 12 noon Monday 18th December to guarantee pre Christmas delivery.
SMALL BIZ OFFER: All orders over £50 will automatically receive a FREE Sophie la Girafe Christmas Bauble throughout December – a cute addition to your tree decs!
INSTA PRIZE:  Follow @burblebaby to WIN A £30 voucher to spend on the site.

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Everything’s Sweet is a bootleg feminist t-shirt brand that was created after Gerry, Al & baby Cecily Sweet attended Manchester Women’s March and felt super empowered.  There are a lot of empowering tees out there at the moment which is absolutely brilliant!  Women supporting women, men supporting women, we’re all for that but we think our tees are a bit different.  They’re inspired by some of our favorite bands and they give back to a really important, local, woman’s charity. 10% from every sale goes directly to The Pankhurst Trust (incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid) who preserve the heritage of the suffragettes and protect women and children suffer abuse.

SMALL BIZ OFFER: Use code SMALLBIZ for FREE delivery

INSTA PRIZE: Follow @everythings_sweet_threads to WIN a SISTA HOOD T Shirt

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Mama Knows is a Mama led business that creates beautiful, contemporary jewellery that, when being worn by an adult, is safe for grabby little hands and teething mouths to pull, play and gnaw.  Say goodbye to broken necklaces and scratch marked chests – hurrah!

All of our necklaces are handmade, original designs with a focus on style – our necklaces look like stylish necklaces, not teethers!  Just because you have littlies in your life shouldn’t mean the end to wearing stylish jewellery.

SMALL BIZ OFFER: Get free postage on all orders with code SBSFREE

INSTA PRIZE: Follow @mamaknows_uk to WIN a necklace of your choice

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Albie & Sebastian is run by Amie and Carlie who believe that babies and toddlers should be able to look cool whilst still being comfortable. They launched in 2017 and have recently expanded their range to include long sleeved tops and t-shirts to match leggings, dribble bibs and organic wooden teethers. Sizes range from newborn to 4 years and have been designed to grow with your little one. With a range of unique prints that are truly unisex they will make your little one stand out from the crowd. All fabric is ethically sourced, and the ladies search high and low to find fabrics that are super soft and on trend! Everything is handmade in the UK with love!
SMALL BIZ OFFER: Use code SBS10 for 10% across the range

INSTA PRIZE: Follow @albieandsebastian to WIN a gift set with personalised star and penguin dribble bib

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A Year of Dates started in Sept 2016 with our date jars and boxes; we’re all busy this a fun way to bring some excitement and romance to your life. The rules are simple – choose an envelope to open every week and follow the instructions!
We have gifts for those BIG birthdays with our 30 and 40 boxes – the idea is to make memories and have adventures throughout the year with family and friends.
For families there is A Year of Play; aimed at children aged 5-12 the cards are to help find things you can all do together come rain or shine. Split between indoors and outdoors we hope they inspire.

SMALL BIZ OFFER: Use code SBS15 for 15% off all orders

INSTA PRIZE – Follow @ayearofdates to WIN A Year of Play

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Ami is a mum of two who created Angelcasts when she found out she was pregnant and could no longer work in film or TV making props with dangerous chemicals. Ami wanted to give everyone more choice over their castings and jewellery and bring a contemporary approach to a traditional art form. Angelcasts can stop a moment in time for you to always treasure and keep loved ones close to you. From the fingerprint and written word jewellery to the baby and adult body castings. You design every detail.

SMALL BIZ OFFER: Use code MANCMUM17 for 10% off

INSTA PRIZE: Follow @angelcasts to WIN either a fingerprint ring, a handprint bead or a paw print bead

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Eleanor Bowmer is a textile designer and illustrator based in Manchester. She’s worked in textile design for over 8 years and her passion lies with painting. She quit her job 3 years ago to create beautiful artwork and homeware for interiors which she sells both independently and on Not On The High Street. A lot of her designs can be personalised which makes them the perfect gift for any occasion!

SMALL BIZ OFFER: Use code SMALLBIZ20

INSTA PRIZE: Follow @eleanorbowmer  to WIN any print of your choice.

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PUR Candles is run by Laura Morris from her home workshop in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. A mum of 2 boys, Laura took her passion for natural candles and started experimenting with soy wax and essential oils in her kitchen and still makes the candles at home in small batches.Each candle is blended, poured and packaged by hand and is 100% natural and certified vegan. They are available in single wick candles, tea lights and more recently a 2 wick candle with a 50 hour burn time. With each candle serving an aromatherapy purpose, the range includes candles such as INVIGORATE (Lemongrass) & RELAX (Lavender & Orange).

SMALL BIZ OFFER: Use code SMALL for Free Delivery

INSTA PRIZE: Follow @purcandles to WIN a Single Wick WARM (Cinnamon, Ginger & Orange) Candle (35 hour burn time)

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Manc Mamas was formed last year by Gemma, Lynda and Lisa. We’re three Greater Manchester-based mums with three very different professions, but one shared interest… to make the return to the workplace after maternity leave easier for women.
Between us, we’ve found solace and support in the return to work journey and continue to do so in the ongoing battle for work/life balance. Out of all this, Manc Mamas, our sixth baby, was born.
We host meet-ups and events which include everything from talks from local working mothers who can share their successes and experiences, to workshops in association with the Business School at the University of Manchester to help women who want to start their own businesses, as well as the odd knees up and shopping event once a quarter (or so).
Photo credit @clairebrookesphotography

INSTA PRIZE: Follow @mancmamas  to WIN a pair of tickets to the next Manc Mamas event

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November Events for Mamas looking for friends and inspiration!

Just a quick post to let you know about lots of events coming up in November for mamas looking to meet other like-minded women for inspiration, fun and frolics. Here there is a mixture of business-focussed events and socials:

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Picture by Claire Brookes Photography

 

Reconnect by Northern Power Women and Vodafone: Thursday 9th November: FREE

Together, NPW and Vodafone (and Manc Mamas) want to ensure that businesses do not let talented people and future leaders slip through their fingers.

Join them and explore the opportunities that are available in organisations keen to support people who have taken a career break, build your network and skills and take your first steps back towards work.

The event is free, you just have to sign up here.

She’s The Business by Manchester Business School: Thursday 15th November: FREE

Manchester Business School are working with Soap and Glory for the second time this year to bring you a day celebrating female entrepreneurship and business.

Tickets are FREE, but you need to sign up here.

The Scummy Mummies Show by Mamas Collective: Thursday 16th November: £15

Molly is bringing another pair of instamum legends to Manchester, and will be welcoming The Scummy Mummies to Z-Arts Centre.

Comedians Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson cover a wide range of parenting topics, from pelvic floors and play-dates to farting and fish fingers.

Based on the UK’s No.1 Kids and Family Podcast, as recommended by The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and BBC’s Woman’s Hour.

Expect songs, sketches, stand-up and very scummy stories!

Tickets available here

Motherland.MCR Social: Thursday 23rd November: £15

Sometimes, mama just needs a drink and a chat. Thankfully, Sally has already thought of this and has arranged a get together for us all at Bakerie in the Northern Quarter. Apparently there’s a wine jukebox. Say no more…

Tickets available here

If you know of any other events happening for Mums in and around the Manchester area in the next month that you’d like us to feature, let us know and we’ll update the article.

Hope to see lots of you on the circuit 🙂

 

#TakeoverTuesday: Introducing Jenny from Kiddy Sticks

Hello…

I’m Jenny, the face behind Kiddy Sticks, busy Mum of one little boy with another on the way, wife and business partner to Mr H and carer of two little Cats!

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I hope you enjoy my #TakeoverTuesday over on the fantastic Manc Mamas Instagram account.

I spent 15 years working within the beauty industry working in salons. I was the manager for well known make-up and cosmetic brands, I worked as a technician in my local college, I then became an NVQ assessor and eventually teaching beauty therapy and working towards my teaching degree. My last job was in Manchester city centre working for a private beauty therapy college and to say I hated it would be an understatement.

At the same time of this my husband was running his own business: Capture Design and was feeling the strain of lone working – we needed another person in the business. I wanted that job but I couldn’t take the leap from a full time, well paid career into the family business… I was too scared and financially frightened to death of doing so.

Eventually I was made redundant in August 2012… I couldn’t contain my happiness at the news. Thankfully I was out of a workplace I despised with some redundancy pay, albeit not a massive amount by any means but enough to allow me to work alongside my husband for a few weeks to see how it went.

We gave ourselves 3 months of working together, that was back in 2012 and we’re still working together nearly 6 years later. It’s not for everyone working with their Husband but it works well for us and even more so since starting a family in 2104.

With our business Capture Design we mainly concentrate on working with businesses to create them a brand, build websites, design / print and also signage and vehicle graphics.

It’s the signage part that I enjoyed the most and realised we could turn into something I could concentre more on. So, with that I started my own business called Against The Wall Vinyl Stickers in 2013, I made lots of different kinds of wall stickers from business, vehicles, quotes and children stickers. But something wasn’t quite right.

It was after a meeting with a businesses adviser later that year I decided to concentrate on one area of the business which was the best selling one and I enjoyed the most which was children’s interior design. A couple of months later I re-branded as Kiddy Sticks and about 12 months after that my first son Harry was born.

A little bit bit about Kiddy Sticks: we are passionate about children’s interior design and décor. We found that there’s a real shortage of modern but child friendly interior design in the UK which had a cool and unique feel to it but was also age appropriate – not too babyish but not too grown up. We wanted something that was just right – a bit like Goldie locks you could say! So with this in mind and a background in design, Kiddy Sticks was born.

We want your mini-me’s to have a cool and modern interior style that will grow with them and for their individual personalities and interests to shine through in our quirky and fun wall stickers as apposed to having their bedroom covered from top to bottom in one pattern or their flavour of the month favourite cartoon character.

We all know how fickle children are and can change their minds about who they like best.. Peppa, Thomas or Mr Tumble.

We wanted a product that would fit in and alongside their interests but if they did change their minds you would only have to replace your duvet cover / accessories and not completely re-decorate!

With Kiddy Sticks you get a great quality product that has been lovingly designed and manufactured here in the UK. They are mess free and easy to apply, you could almost say child’s play!

Our designs are current, quirky and available in many colours and sizes to suit you. They are cheaper than a roll of wallpaper.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, if you want to keep up to date with our going ons you can follow us on:

www.kiddtsticks.co.uk

Instagram: Kiddy Sticks

facebook: Kiddy Sticks Uk

#TakeoverTuesday: March of the Mummies by Pregnant Then Screwed

Pregnant Then Screwed protects, supports and promotes the rights of mothers who suffer the effects of systemic, cultural, and institutional discrimination through our various schemes and activities, including: a free legal advice service, a website where women post their stories of discrimination anonymously, lobbying the Government for legislative change, and a mentor scheme that supports women who are considering legal action against their employer.

 

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In August 2017, Pregnant Then Screwed announced its demonstrations in cities across the UK, however, owing to its popularity and viral spread on social media, other cities and teams have put themselves forward. Therefore, the Manchester March of the Mummies, will be walking in solidarity with marches in London, Belfast, Newcastle, Cardiff and Glasgow. The march is supported by a number of MPs and celebrities.

The Manchester march will commence with a rally outside Central Library lead by: comedian Katie Mulgrew, singer Kirsty Almeida and suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst (being impersonated by Elaine De Fries from the Pankhurst Trust).  

Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said:

“March of the Mummies is our first demonstration, and we are encouraging those attending to dress up as mummies (the walking dead kind) to highlight the archaic behaviour of some employers today. Since founding Pregnant Then Screwed, after I experienced pregnancy discrimination in 2013, I have heard from thousands of women who have suffered similar experiences. Despite many advances in gender equality, maternal discrimination is rife and discussion remains taboo. Our protest is an opportunity for us to collectively come together, destigmatise the issue and have our voices heard.”

 

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‘March of the Mummies’ has five key demands which they will be presenting to Parliament:

  1. Increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from 3 months to (at least) 6 months
  2. Require companies to report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted
  3. Give both parents access to 6 weeks non-transferable parental leave paid at 90% of salary
  4. Give the self-employed access to statutory shared parental pay
  5. Subsidise childcare from 6 months old, rather than 3 years  

Gemma McCall, co-founder of Manc Mamas and Manchester’s Pregnant then Screwed lead adds, “Last year, the government in Westminster commissioned a report into pregnancy discrimination and its findings were alarming, however, since its publication efforts have stalled. We are therefore, standing with our sisters across the UK to demand change, and transform the landscape for women and families in Manchester”

Who will be there?
Well we just can’t say exactly but we hope lots of you! We have also heard from a couple of celebrities that they are likely to make an appearance on the day but we don’t want to spill the beans just yet. Fingers crossed we also have lots of press there so we can start really putting the pressure on the Government to address this very important issue.

The march is being supported by the Women’s Equality Party, Working Families, Fawcett Society, Digital Mums, Yess Law, Gorvins, The Lullaby Trust and many others.

You can hear our campaign song here: https://youtu.be/HJyKC-18W2Y

JOIN THE MARCH HERE

 

 

 

#TakeoverTuesday: Everything’s Sweet Threads

I haven’t always known what I wanted to do with my life but when I’ve had an idea I’ve not been afraid to go after it.  After finishing my law degree I went straight into practice and it didn’t take me long to realise it wasn’t the career for me.  Fast forward a few years and I had quit my job as a lawyer and decided on a career in the equally competitive and cut throat world of fashion buying.

I don’t know what made me so sure I could do it.  I had no experience and no education in that field, but I had drive.  I got that from MY MAMA!  She has instilled in me that I can do whatever I want as long as I’m willing to work for it and that is exactly what I did.

When I had my own daughter I was desperate to fill her with the same confidence that I got from my mum and on the 21st January 2017, at just 6 months old, I took her to Manchester Women’s March.  Being a part of that huge sistahood of likeminded women (and men) who believe in equality, smacked me right in the face – in a good way!

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After the march I told my husband I felt “shallow but empowered”.  I knew my job wasn’t changing the world in any way but I was passionate about gender equality and women’s issues and wanted to do something.  As a fashion designer and new father to a brilliant baby girl, he felt the same.  We decided we could use our shallow skills for good and design some cool tees, with important things to say and hopefully make some money to share with those who could really do with it.

There are a lot of empowering tees out there at the moment which is absolutely brilliant!  Women supporting women, men supporting women, we’re all for that!  We think our tees are a bit different.  They’re inspired by some of our favourite bands and we think they are pretty neat!  Bootleg feminist band tees.  They’re a thing.  We invented it.

We know not everything’s sweet for everyone and so the charity element is really important to us.  10% from every sale will go direct to The Pankhurst Trust (incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid).  They are an inspiring bunch, working to tackle gender inequalities and offering support to women suffering or at risk of abuse.  We also love Manchester, our tees are printed in an old manc mill and our daughter is a little worker bee.  We want to give something back to this city that we call home sweet home.

Juggling a full time job, a full time baby and a start up business is tough.  But with my mum and the sistahood behind me I feel like I can do anything.  Well I am doing it and I’m going to keep doing it.

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Check out our website www.everythingssweetthreads.com and join the sistahood over on social media:

@everythings_sweet_threads 

https://www.facebook.com/everythingssweetthreads/

#TakeoverTuesday: Elderflower & Delilah

Twin sisters Selina and Samantha (AKA Elderflower & Delilah) found themselves in a place of inspiration during their respective maternity leaves; it was a collaboration which resulted in the creation of an innovative 3-in-1 garment known as Feed®; a maternity top, accessible breastfeeding garment and baby car seat/carrier and universal buggy sun/windshield cover with SPF 50 sun protection. A new innovative design that not surprisingly has received positive feedback and Awards in the short time since it’s soft launch.

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Now joining the new wave of ‘Pramstarters & Mumpreneurs’, they are busily beavering away at both sides of the globe from their Liverpool, UK and Sydney, Australia bases connecting through their daily Skype calls, proving that distance doesn’t get in the way of a common dream. Selina McEntyre, tells her story….

“Like many new Mums, I felt that when I made the decision to breastfeed my baby I was forced to re-jig my wardrobe with clothes that screamed practicality over style. Suddenly my fitted tops and dresses were replaced with the obligatory nursing clothes, with cumbersome flaps and openings in muted colours with equally matching dull designs. To my horror, overnight I had become ‘mumsy-fied’. In a desperate need to have something that met my need to feed with ease and comfort whilst not compromising my style, I busily sat on the floor and cut out a design from a sheet of fabric. And it was this moment of inspiration that born Feed®.  It hasn’t been an easy journey developing a product for market,  with a totally unrealated career background I soon felt out of my depth. So it was a natural development to team up with my twin sister, who gave me the confidence to see the product come to life.

With inspiration from Sam’s Bondi Beach lifestyle, the range is simple in design as well as offering safety in the sun with an SPF factor 50 sun protective and breathable fabric. The development of the 3-in-1 use came from the feedback from the first wave of customers, mummies sharing images of their Feed® garments as maternity and sun/winshields on their babycarriers and buggies. “

As twins themselves, Elderflower & Delilah are delighted that Feed® enables the discreet feeding of tandem fed babies under the cleverly designed batwing sleeves. Mums of twins and multiples have shared their delight in having a garment that makes the task of feeding two out and about so much easier.

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Now, as a mother of two, Selina works from a home office and enjoys the benefits of her business fitting around the nursery and school runs, but says the struggle to stay focussed is always a battle when the dishwasher is calling to be filled and the washing hung out – but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the short time since it’s launch,  already Feed® has been awarded Mumsnet Best Award and BizzieBaby Awards – rated for it’s luxurious fabric and multi uses.

For demo videos of their garments visit www.elderfloweranddelilah.com

You can follow Elderflower & Delilah here:

Instagram

Facebook

 

#TakeoverTuesday: Leonie from Modern Little People

If you had asked me before I had my son how would you describe yourself I would have said “risk averse”. I was and still am an over-thinker, ball of anxiety, procrastinator and someone who doesn’t have the word “No” in their vocabulary.

I had been in my job as a Sales & Marketing Manager for a Small Domestic Appliance manufacturer for 4 years when I fell pregnant with my son. I loved my job at times and loathed it at others. While working there I started to gain more interest in other areas of business (although not so much finance – finance scares the bejesus out of me!). Not great when you’re running your own company, but all hail the accountant!

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Three weeks after I found out I was expecting my son my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Being with her through her journey of chemotherapy and radiation every step of the way I started to evaluate the meaning of life, and had a massive wake-up call about how precious it is and how quickly it can be taken away. 3 years later she has defied all odds and is still with us!

My mum’s illness and the arrival of Dexter is what really spurred me on, although it still took me 18 months before I actually did anything about starting Modern Little People. Fast forward 14 months, I returned to work but it just didn’t feel right. The company had changed, a lot of people I worked with had left, and the company was going through a period of uncertainty.

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My husband Lee – my biggest fan – convinced me to leave which coincided with being offered a couple of freelance jobs. With my mum’s cancer trial going well, I decided to go for it. Not before having a massive panic attack and thinking about it for 10,000 hours first. When I handed my notice in I was practically hyperventilating. I was massively stepping out my comfort zone.

Modern Little People is born from a love of interior design, children, and the desire for me to be a business owner for something I enjoy and the struggle as a mum to a boy looking for something alternative to tractors and trains. It’s early days but the aim is for Modern Little People is to become the shopping destination for cool and contemporary children’s interiors, clothing, baby essentials and gifting.  We work solely online at the moment but my dream would be to have my own shop. A girl can dream! I’ve learnt so much already, and one of the best things is the constant learning curve. This is just the beginning for MLP and we have a lot of new product being added every week.

In order to succeed you have to do something you’ve never done before. I realise I am very lucky and would encourage anyone to follow a dream or an idea. Not to be scared of failure, but also never under estimate the amount of work you’ll need to put in. It’s bloody hard work but every time I get an order I do a happy dance, doesn’t matter if it’s for £10 or £200 I dance my heart out, it’s confirmation that someone somewhere likes your brand, and your products and trusts you. There is no better feeling!

Check out Modern Little People here:

https://www.modernlittlepeople.com/

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

 

Manc Mamas’ 1st Birthday Party

DSC_0819One year ago, the three of us decided to take our private conversations about balancing motherhood and our career paths to the masses. Little did we know not only are there so many other Manchester based mums who want to have those conversations too, but that we could actually use our platform to create networking opportunities, inspire ideas, kick start local business collaborations and empower each other to thrive both at work and at home.

It’s been an incredible journey so far and many of you agreed that to mark it we should all have a night off and drink gin. Or better yet, Manchester Gin.

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The aptly named Mothers’ Ruin took place at The Refinery in Spinningfields. Sponsored by local businesses Manchester Gin and Hey Little Cupcake, as you can see from the gallery, the night summed up what Manc Mamas has flourished into over the last 12 months – a true sisterhood of likeminded, local women who respect and support each other. Long may it continue mamas!

Special thanks to Claire Brookes Photography for capturing the evening so beautifully. Follow Claire on Instagram @clairebrookesphotography.

P.S. Date for your diaries… The next Working Mums’ Club will take place on Tuesday 26th September at Banyan Bar in the Corn Exchange, Manchester city centre. Register your place here!

Gemma, Lynda and Lisa x

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Birth Trauma Awareness Week: Lisa’s Story

Each year, up to 20,000 women go through a traumatic birth experience and suffer the often long-lasting impact this has on their physical and mental health, their ability to bond with their baby and their relationships with their family and friends. Partners can also suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as aresult of witnessing a traumatic birth. Many women and their partners who have been through birth trauma are left feeling isolated, unable to share their experiences and talk openly about what has happened to them.

Birth Trauma Awareness Week aims to highlight the issue of traumatic birth and in particular postnatal PTSD. The BTA are asking women to share their stories in order to help raise awareness and so here, Lisa is bravely sharing hers. She didn’t have PTSD but as you’ll read she had an extremely distressing experience whilst giving birth to her second child. Thank you so much for sharing Lisa. 

“By the time my second child was about to be born I was feeling quite proud of myself. I’d handled contractions well at home for a few hours, had come into hospital at a good time with around an hour to go before the big moment. He came out with only three pushes and that couldn’t have been further from the situation with my first, when I pushed for 3 and half hours!! I had gas and air for the last half an hour and I remember being euphoric when he arrived. 

Very soon after he’d arrived, my husband knew there was something wrong. The midwife helped me out of the pool and I was woozy as I stood up. I was bleeding excessively – the alarm was called. The next half an hour was a complete whirlwind. I was rushed to the consultant-led side of the unit – my blood pressure plummeted and I told the anaesthetist that there was no chance of me sitting up, let alone getting into position for a spinal.. 

I was aware that my husband – brand new baby still in his arms – as sitting quietly in the corner watching it all. As I was wheeled out of that room, the questions that came into my head through the fog included “how will he bring up our 2 year old daughter without her mummy? How will he afford the mortgage?”

Another rush through cold corridors to theatre and I welcomed the oxygen mask and anaesthetic. Since leaving the pool room I had felt like I was going to black out over and over and I just wanted them to put me under and fix me. 

Coming round I felt like I’d been run over by a bus. I didn’t fully appreciate the gravity of it all until the anaesthetist came to see me the following morning and told me I’d lost a ridiculous amount of blood and I had been very ill. The extent of the blood loss caused me to feel pretty rubbish for weeks afterwards but with the thrill of our complete family, I mostly ignored it (my baby had become ill the day after he was born so I was too busy worrying about him for the first couple of weeks to think about how I was feeling). 

Thankfully I’ve not been to hospital many times since, but each time I have, along with the few times I have watched real-life hospital documentaries, I think of that night and how my husband’s, my children’s and the rest of my family’s lives could have been so very different and it upsets me. 

My husband doesn’t talk about it much, but I know he doesn’t want to risk losing me in childbirth again. I generally avoid sharing the story with anyone who hasn’t yet finished their baby-making for obvious reasons, but I’m sharing this today to show support for any other mamas that may have been through birth trauma. If helping my story helps just one person feel a little less isolated, I’ll be happy.”

For more information about postnatal PTSD or about Birth Trauma Awareness Week, visit:

Birth Trauma Association

PTSD UK

Illustration by Frances Cannon