Poems for New Mums

University College Hospital, London

Created in association with Guy Noble, Arts Curator: UCLH Arts and Heritage, UCLH Maternity Ward.

Poems for New Mums was a poetry anthology designed to support new mums through the first year of motherhood. Distributed exclusively for launch within the maternity ward, the project was fully supported by the Arts and Heritage team at UCLH Hospital, London. This ‘test and learn’ creative arts-in-health poetry output was my response to two things; firstly, the provision of ongoing mother mental health support, and secondly the sense of a mother-community and the importance of feeling part of something bigger, than just yourself and your baby when you get home, particularly in those first days, weeks and months. These can be lonely and overwhelming times.

Each poem is designed to loosely address a ‘milestone’ in a mother and baby’s first year - however, these may not be traditional milestones that baby is expected to hit, more like a stage or experience that both go through. After my own protracted birth and extended stay in hospital post-birth, the booklet was meant to engender a sense of mother-solidarity and community between new mothers. Each poem and poet have an active online presence, so digital connection between mother’s will also be encouraged beyond just reading the booklet as the poet’s Instagram or Twitter handles will be shared within the publication.

Design by the wonderful D&AD winner Rebecca Petts Davies.

© 2020 Anna Woolf.

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