Mother and Baby

Anna Whitehouse opens up about her miscarriages

Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka is a journalist, presenter and mum to Mae, five and Eve, one. 

Although she writes for glossy titles like Marie Claire, it isn't all glitz and glamour. Anna shows the realistic side to parenting like the trials and tribulations of maternity leave and when your child is ill. Her husband, @papa_pukka has also turned to Instagram to document their parenting journey.

Miscarriage: Our Story 

Recently, Anna opened up about her multiple miscarriages in the Channel 5 documentary Miscarriage: Our Story. The show sees Natasha Kaplinsky, Lacey Turner, Jane Danson and other brave women share their experiences of miscarriage in aid of Baby Loss Awareness week in the UK.

Sadly, we know that losing a baby isn't rare, with 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage. And this year more than ever, with all the social distancing guidelines in place, it's so important that we shine a light on these powerful and deeply emotional stories and offer support to families affected by miscarriage. 

Writing on Instagram, Anna said: 'This was tough to film. But thanks to the incredible @channel5_tv team who created a documentary that is so painfully beautiful, yet somehow uplifting. Watch in full tonight on @channel5_tv at 10pm. For transparency, all filming and voiceover fees were donated to @tommys. If you want to read further, I’ve linked a piece by Matt @papa_pukka in my bio and @tommys has a wealth of information that helped us through loss. Sending love to anyone who has navigated - or is navigating - the heartbreak of losing a child #babylossawareness #miscarriage #1in4'

You can catch up with Miscarriage: Our Story here.

Anna told Mother&Baby the seven lessons she's learned since becoming a mum...

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1)  Starting a family wasn’t easy

My husband Matt and I assumed that, like getting married or getting a job, having a baby would be a simple process. But it was so hard to get pregnant and we experienced a number of miscarriages. I think in turn you lose a little bit of your mind, a little bit of your relationship and of yourself too. It was all a lot harder than I thought, and I don’t think I relaxed until I heard that first cry.
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2) It’s worth it

The post-natal period really knocked me sideways. People call it the baby blues and I think that kind of brushes it under the carpet a little bit. It's experiencing that hormonal shift where one minute you’re euphoric and hormone-addled and, the next minute, you hit a wall.
But although life is harder, I'm happier than I've ever been. The joy of watching Paw Patrol is up there with what I used to think was important, like career promotion.
And a gummy smile and a spontaneous cuddle in Costco lifts me beyond anything!
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3) Watching my girls together is magical

When Eve arrived, Mae was happy for two weeks and all, ‘Yeah! New Toy!’ but then it was more like, ‘Enemy!’ We had to manage that really carefully but I've loved seeing them grow together, and there are now very rare moments where one puts their arm round the other. Or they’ll watch cartoons together and share a bowl of Cheerios.
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4) You need your freedom still

Getting out of the house is so important, and fresh air can be the difference between having a good day and having a bad day. Our BuggyBoard means I can get both of the girls around really easily – it’s amazing.

Anna loves: Lascal buggyboard, £74.99, Mothercare 
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5) Flexible working is a no brainer

When I was working in an office, I asked to start my day 15 minutes earlier and finish 15 minutes earlier so I could pick my daughter up from nursery. My request was denied. Then one day, I was 12 minutes late getting to nursery and was charged £1 a minute. I sat on one of these primary-coloured chairs meant for small humans, being told off, and thought to myself, ‘I can't do this. I'm trying to earn, I'm trying to be a mother and I'm being penalised by a system that is out of my control.’
I quit my job and start my campaign Flex Appeal which fights to help employers and employees work together flexibly. All the facts and stats state that we're more productive when we work flexibly and it's better for business too.
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6) You have to talk with your partner

Matt and I are having more honest chats, now, and really listening to the other person, however unreasonable they sound! We’re trying to tend to the basic things that would help each of us – like the fact Matt does all the washing, and it drives him nuts that I do none of it!
But then I’m always wiping surfaces – Matt makes toast and there are crumbs everywhere! And it’s this ridiculous ping-ponging, ricocheting back and forth about all the little things that can eventually build into one big thing.
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7) We could all learn from our kids

When Matt and I were arguing about where to put up some shelves, and Mae just said, ‘They’re just shelves.’ And I was like, ‘You’re right, they are just shelves!’ And when we had an argument the other day, at the end of it, we said to each other, 'You know, I think we should just hug a bit like Eve.'
She’s only one but she throws her entire body onto you in a rugby tackle in an all-consuming human hug. It’s so honest and pure and funny, and it makes me wonder why we stop doing this when we’re adults.

Follow Anna on Instagram and

Photo credit: ©Emily Gray Photography 

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  • Author: Emily Thorpe Emily Thorpe
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Having written for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news, product pages, features and interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Fearne Cotton, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online where she specialises in travel and product reviews. 


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