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Pregnancy Yoga for Solo Mums: creating a supportive space for the solo mum sisterhood

Today I am juggling a twelve year old on school holidays, a dog that needs walking, a cat that needs feeding, work admin that needs attending to and a husband that requires some love and care amongst it all. My husband Jon, is also there to share in this assortment of needs that require attention (including supporting me in my needs), and has in fact taken said twelve year old off to a museum in London for the day whilst I attend to all the other chores, tasks and general juggling.

But it wasn’t always like this. I was a solo parent for over six years, from three months pregnant with my son Ivor, to when he just turned 6yrs old. I had before, been married to a man I had been with for 11yrs. We had dreamt of having many children (he always said he wanted 5 kids!), and in my mind this baby was going to be the first of many. Things often have a habit of turning out quite differently to how you think they’re going to though…I remember spending my twenties dreaming of the wedding, the house, the kids and overnight all my dreams vanished and instead I was quite suddenly in a living nightmare. My then husband Oliver, took his own life just a few days before we were due to go to the hospital for our first scan of our baby. In that short window between him dying and waiting to have that first scan, I had moments of thinking “I can’t do this, I can’t have this baby on my own”, but once I saw his tiny form on the screen I just knew I had to have this baby. So I wholeheartedly signed-up for the solo-parent journey ahead...come what may.

Being pregnant helped me to stay on the right track in terms of eating well, resting and trying to do a bit of exercise, because without that my grief could have totally pulled me into a hole. I knew I needed to prepare myself mentally and physically for birth, because I was so scared of the dark emotions potentially overriding my body's ability to birth (I already had a good understanding of the connection between our emotions and our birth hormones), but I didn’t want to do all the normal antenatal classes like Pregnancy Yoga and NCT classes, because I felt so uncomfortable and different to women who were (in my eyes) having a “normal” pregnancy in a couple. I found it painful to hear their experiences of pregnancy and felt vulnerable and exposed to share my own. What I was drawn to though was finding other women who had either become single-parents or had been pregnant and single - I felt safe in their experience and wisdom, and it helped to give me hope and strength (you can read a bit more about how things turn out for me on my About page here).

Running my general Pregnancy Yoga classes every week, I see and love how much the women get from sharing at the beginning of each class how they’re doing, how they’re feeling in their bodies and their hearts. This sacred space to share, to listen, to be seen and to connect with other women moving through a similar journey is powerful. It helps women to feel part of something, that they are not alone on this crazy new experience (it can be an overwhelming new experience at times for all women), and to gather strength and wisdom from this collective knowledge and connection. All women deserve to have this support and space, and I feel a little sad looking back at myself from years ago knowing that I missed out on that experience and support.

My experience of being pregnant and my partner dying during pregnancy is fairly rare (but does happen to others), but there are growing numbers of women who are choosing to become pregnant through fertility interventions* and raise a child/children solo. There are also many women who are single mums through a relationship breakdown or an unplanned pregnancy.

There may be different routes for arriving at destination “solo-mum”, and whether your situation is one of choice or not, being pregnant on your own may have some hard days that are different to if you have a partner. For myself, and other women I have spoken to, there can be feelings of loss of the image of a family you had had, it may be hard to find as much joy and excitement in some aspects of the pregnancy and birth, and more concerns looming around the idea of caring for a newborn alone. There can also be some real plus sides, such as being in control of all the decision making (your baby’s name, how you want to birth, how you want to parent), having more time for yourself than other women in couples (by virtue of having less relationship to tend to) and having more space for other loved ones (grandparents, siblings, friends etc) to be involved in your baby’s life and your parenting journey.

All women experience challenges and joys throughout their pregnancy and parenting, they’re just a bit different if you’re a solo mum to if you’re a coupled mum. Which is why I wanted to create a space of sanctuary for women traveling the path of

pregnancy and motherhood alone - so that you can be with your body and baby, and be with where you're at, amongst other women who can relate to some of the unique highs and lows of being a solo mum. A space where you can gather strength and support, and to connect with your own inner power and wisdom.

The upcoming Pregnancy Yoga for Solo Mums online series starts on Thursday 8th June (2023) - find out more here

* Fertility Treatment 2019: trends and figures -,565%20in%202009%20(1%25).

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