Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsHi there. Hello. Welcome to the first week of our four-week course on Women's Health After Motherhood. I'm Deirdre Daly, Assistant Professor in Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin. Before I started here, I was a practicing midwife, and I loved it. Listening to women, helping them become informed, and seeing the real and positive differences this made to women and couples' lives as they became parents was amazing. This course was designed to bring that positive difference to a global audience, to give you all the information you need and the ability to learn it at your own pace.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 secondsWorking with Irish and Spanish mothers, women's health professionals, physiotherapists, midwives, and mental health experts, we've designed this wonderful course to help you support your health after giving birth. Before we get started, let me ask you, how are you? How you feeling? When was the last time anyone else asked you how are you? When was the last time you asked yourself, how am I really? We understand that many women worry about caring for their baby. But we also know that women's health after childbirth is often neglected in many countries around the world. Postnatal care all too often focuses on the baby's well-being, not the woman's. So this course is designed with and for women.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 secondsIt's all about asking women, how are you? In the last few years, the World Health Organisation has changed its language around motherhood. And now there's a great focus on positive experiences during pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. There's also a stronger focus in identifying and treating non-life-threatening health problems or morbidities. These are the type of health problems, like leaking urine, et cetera. They're common. They're not normal. But when they're not treated, they can leave women miserable. Aspects of women's health, physical, emotional, sexual, well-being, and relationships, they're all connected. But to make this course accessible, we break down these topics over the coming four weeks. In week one, we look at myths around motherhood and how to be active after pregnancy.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 secondsWeek two, we'll address incontinence, a really common health problem for many women. Week three, we'll talk about your mental health after giving birth. And in the final week four, we look at sexual health, intimate relations, and social relationships. So welcome to week one. This week is broken down into two parts. The first part will explore some of the common myths around women's health after giving birth. What stories have you heard from others? And how can you tell what is and isn't based on research or evidence? We start by looking at what women in the MAMMI Study told us they wish they had known sooner and some of the fears and worries they told us about.

Skip to 3 minutes and 9 secondsAfterwards you'll get a chance to share your own voice in the comments section and read what other women have experienced. Once we've done that, the second part of this week will focus on your physical health, being active after motherhood. We look at what is and isn't normal and how to look after yourself and be healthy. What motivates you to be active? What challenges do you face when it comes to exercise? And importantly, how can you overcome those barriers to being active? In the next hour, you'll see short videos from women's health experts, listen to women's voices, read short articles, and even take some quizzes.

Skip to 3 minutes and 51 secondsOur real goal with this course is for each and every one of you to learn from us and help you help yourself thrive. To do this, you and all the mothers around the world need to be able to find time and space for your own health. When you put your health and well-being first, chances are that your baby's, your children's, and your family will be healthy too.

Welcome to the course

Welcome to the first week of this four week course on Women’s Health after Motherhood. We are delighted to have mothers, mothers to be, partners and healthcare professionals on this course, and we hope you will learn something new.

Nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and mothers involved in the Maternal Health and Maternal Morbidity in Ireland (MAMMI) study at Trinity College Dublin have developed this course.

  • Over 3,000 first-time mothers from three maternity hospitals in Ireland were asked about their experiences of being a mother before and up to 12 months after the birth.
  • Using this research we have created a course to help you learn how to improve your health after having a baby.
  • This course is designed with and for women.

It’s all about asking women ‘How are you?’.

Meet the team

Find out more about the team, who are excited to present videos, interactive exercises, infographics and much more in this course. Click on their profile and select the pink follow square to follow their comments.

Dr Deirdre Daly
Hello, I’m an Assistant Professor in Midwifery in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. For the past 35 years, I’ve worked with mothers, fathers and families as a midwife and also taught midwives. In 2011, I started the Maternal health And Maternal Morbidity in Ireland (MAMMI) study. The MAMMI study was created ‘with and for’ women, and now has active participation from women in all parts of the research - women co-design, co-develop and co-present the study and its findings. Our motto is ‘nothing about women without women’.
Dr Deirdre Daly
Cinny Cusack MISCP
Hello! I am the Physiotherapy Manager in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Part of my role is to help women know how to keep themselves and their pelvic floors, fit and healthy during pregnancy, following childbirth, into the menopause and beyond.
Cinny Cusack MISCP
Susan Hannon
Hello, I’m a Research Assistant and Project Manager with the MAMMI Study in Trinity College Dublin. I’m interested in the areas of maternal mental health and resilience.
Susan Hannon

Other team members involved in our course are:

Patrick Moran Francesca Wuytack
Sarah Bowman Kathleen Hannon
Ramon Escuriet Marta Benet Blasco
Maria Cristina Martinez Bueno Niamh Kenny
Agnes Higgins John Sheehan
Deirdre O’Malley  

With special thanks to:

Sinead Buckley Emily Power Smith
Sarah Benson Louise Gallagher
Krysia Lynch  

What will you learn?

As Deirdre has talked about in her video, this course will explore women’s physical, emotional and sexual health, as well as their wellbeing in relationships after birth.

  • In week 1 we explore myths around motherhood and how to be active after pregnancy.
  • In week 2 we address incontinence, a common health problem for many women, and coaching you through pelvic floor muscle exercises.
  • In week 3 we explore your mental health after giving birth.
  • In week 4 we look at your sexual health and relationships after birth.

Every week, you will listen to women going through motherhood, and learn from their experiences.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify common postpartum health problems.
  • Apply strategies for addressing postpartum health problems.
  • Assess what are normal and uncommon health problems postpartum.
  • Identify when professional help is needed for postpartum health problems.
  • Reflect on when self-help actions are needed.

Your first task

Now that we have introduced ourselves and the course, we would like you to introduce yourself to your fellow learners. Click on the comment section below and write a short comment.

  • Tell us where you are from and why you are taking this course.
  • Are you an expectant mother, a new mother, a healthcare professional, a partner, or interested in motherhood?

Are you interested in taking part in a research study?

  • The MAMMI Study at Trinity College Dublin would like to find out a little bit about you. We are carrying out research to find out about you and your reasons for taking the course. All the information collected as part of this research is anonymous, so it will not be possible to link it back to an individual. Click here to do a survey about yourself that will take about 5 minutes. To find out more about this survey, click on the “show” button in the link. This survey is optional, and you do not have to do this survey as part of the course.
Declaration on funding: Our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Women’s Health After Motherhood (WHAM), and all the resources it contains, was funded by competitive grants awarded from the following institutions: The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Health Research Board (HRB) (Ireland) Knowledge Exchange Dissemination Scheme (KEDS). All sources of funding are reputable and ethical, and comply with the international code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes, and with my professional code of conduct and ethics. Dr Deirdre Daly.

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Women’s Health After Motherhood

Trinity College Dublin

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