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Jessica Hatcher-Moore - Journalist & author living on a hillside in North Wales

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Jessica in her own words:

I am a British non-fiction writer living on a hillside in North Wales, where I write with candour (and, hopefully, a dash of humour) about improbable things; UFOs, the United Nations’ use of clowns to resolve conflict, and, most recently, the rigours of childbearing.

I grew up in Shropshire and, at first, dabbled with sports and adventure writing — I played international lacrosse, was one of the fastest unaffiliated runners in the 2011 London Marathon, and once cycled 5,000 miles across sub-Saharan Africa.

My career in journalism began as a reporter for the London Evening Standard’s gossip column, although I was not good at it, rarely knowing who anyone was. I moved to foreign affairs in East Africa. There, I notched up datelines (often in a flak jacket, this time) from across the continent, Bissau to Burundi, Congo to Madagascar, and met my future husband, a photojournalist, whilst covering the civil war in Somalia.

Within five years, I'd won a number of prestigious awards for my investigative features, including a Frontline Club Award, and was a regular contributor to the Guardian, TIME and Newsweek, for whom I wrote about topics including Islamic militancy, piracy, sexual violence and human trafficking.

In 2016, pining for the British countryside, I moved with my husband to Llangollen in North Wales, a decision made in part because it had the tightest contour lines we could find within an hour’s drive of a decent airport. I am now a mother to two small boys, and spent much of their formative years writing a book about motherhood – the postnatal period, to be precise – and submerging myself in the icy waters of the river Dee, which courses through the valley below our house.

Jessica’s first book - AFTER BIRTH: What nobody tells you – How to Recover Body and Mind and is available in all good book shops.

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Show notes

  • Who is Jessica and what she does

  • Being sporty at school and playing Lacrosse for Wales

  • Being good at running, but putting too much pressure on herself

  • Deciding to flee London and heading to Africa

  • Partying, getting drunk and trying to snog boys!

  • Finding regular work with the Evening Standard

  • Celebrity parties and finding out the gossip

  • Keeping costs down and running everywhere

  • Running a Marathon in Kenya on a nature reserve

  • Finding what she wanted to do

  • Making the decision to move to Nairobi and why it was easy

  • Feeling lost after university

  • Not knowing many people at first

  • Having savings and making editor connections before leaving

  • Being enthusiastic and very determined

  • Cycling 5,000+ miles across Africa for TUSK

  • The route through Africa

  • Missing female companionship during the cycle ride

  • Teaming up with Centre Point

  • Being under pressure to arrive at places

  • Needing more downtime

  • Spending 4 months on the road - cycled for 5/7 days visit a place and then carry on

  • Meeting her husband on a trip to Somali

  • How her priorities changed

  • Making the change to having babies and getting married

  • Continuing to write and share stories

  • Having her first baby and not being prepared

  • Dealing with the loss of physical activity

  • Using running to stay sane

  • Going for a swim in the River Dee in November

  • Starting to feel more like herself again

  • Balancing work and babies

  • Focusing on your own physical and mental recovery

  • Taking 2 years to feel strong again

  • Giving women better information

  • Using words like vagina

  • Not prioritising herself enough

  • Follow Kari Bo for Pelvic Floor Exercises

  • Learning how to retrain the bladder

  • All the stuff you shouldn’t do after having a baby

  • Giving women the information they need to make informed choices

  • Antony Lo

  • Supporting women with prolapse

  • Cold water therapy and dipping in the River Dee

  • Final words of advice for women who have just given birth


Social Media

Twitter: @jessiehatcher

Book: AFTER BIRTH: What nobody tells you – How to Recover Body and Mind is available in all good book shops.

About: While there is a wealth of advice for new mums on caring for their babies the same is not true for postpartum health. Fulfilling this vital need, After Birth is the ultimate postnatal primer for women facing changes to their bodies after having a baby.

Addressing issues great and small­ - from hair loss and stretch marks, to bladder and bowel leaks, painful sex, diastasis recti and mental health - researcher and writer Jessica Hatcher-Moore brings together straight-talking advice on preparation for childbirth, healing, and recovery in the weeks, months and even years that follow. She also offers insights for partners, whose role is often overlooked at this critical time.

Blending knowledge from the full spectrum of modern and traditional therapies with honest experiences from mothers, here is balanced advice with no agenda. Taking a broad look at what we can do for ourselves at home, and also when to seek expert help, After Birth will reassure, inform and empower women to reclaim their post-birth bodies.


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