If you haven’t heard of Clemmie Hooper AKA Mother of Daughters then where have you been hiding? Or, maybe you’re not on social media and haven’t come across the insta-mum who exploded on Instagram – along with her husband (Simon, known as Father of Daughters) in early 2016.
With nearly half a million followers on her own Instagram account Clemmie uses her social platform to shares her knowledge, passion and training as a midwife, her views on motherhood and raising 4 daughters: Anya, Marnie and twins Ottilie and Delilah and is touted as one of the highest ranking parenting digital influencers in the UK.
With a background a a NHS midwife at Kings College Clemmie started a blog called Gas and Air Blog – which shares real, down-to-earth and honest birth stories – before joining The Lanes community midwife team to after support women throughout their whole pregnancy rather than just the birth itself.
From here her social influence grew with the publication of her first book How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out Your no-nonsense guide to pregnancy and birth in February 2017. And, now comes her eagerly awaited second book How To Grow A Baby Journal: From feeling the first kick to surviving night feeds, capture the highs and lows and everything in-between.
We managed to catch up with Clemmie and ask her a few questions…
Hello Clemmie, your first book was such a huge success so congratulations on your second book. Can you tell us a little about it.
Thank you. I wanted to create a book for women to document their pregnancy thoughts, feelings emotions. Journaling is coming back in a big way and I looked back on my own pregnancies and wish I’d kept a journal like I did when I was 15 pouring out my heart break over teenage relationships! It’s still got snippets of my midwifery advice and wisdom to help guide women through their pregnancy week by week
Did you keep a journal/baby book for each of your girls. If yes, how did you find the time to sit and document your new babies milestones?
I did a baby book after they were born for my first daughter and have written all their birth stories for my blog. It’s hard to find the time but jotting things down when they do them there and then whether that’s in a note book or on your phone, is a lovely way to look back and laugh at their funny little things babies do!
Along with your massive social influence you still work as a midwife – tell us what’s been the big differences between working on wards/in hospital to being a community midwife. And, have the changes been better for your working/family/home life.
The change has meant I know exactly when I’m working and no nights, weekends or on calls. I use to go to bed with a pager not knowing whether I’d be up in the night attending a home or hospital birth. But, I miss not having that continuity of care and not knowing the women I’m caring for, I also really miss my little team of 5 other midwives, we were just like the midwives in Call The Midwives, but we weren’t nuns!
Did you always want to be a midwife? What drew you to this career path?
Always, ever since I was a little girl I can’t really remember why but I loved babies and was interested in medical things. I watched a lot of programmes about hospitals growing up
How has the profession changed from when you started to now?
There’s definitely more paper work which can be hard when you’re trying to prioritise the care you give. We are also seeing older mothers, more IVF, egg donors and obesity and diabetes. But, the feeling you get when caring for women as a midwife has never changed. I still love it.
What does a working day in the life of Clemmie and family look like. How do you keep organized with 4 daughters, write a book and move house – as well as keeping up with your social commitments?
Ah – when you list it like that it does seem like an impossible task. Well it wouldn’t be fair of me to say that none of this can happen without the team and by that, I mean Simon (her husband and instal-dad and author Father of Daughters) and my mum.
Simon now works from home 4 days a week which makes school and nursery drop offs much easier! The twins have just started nursery 3 days a week so one of those days I’m on a 12-hour shift in London and the other two are dedicated to book writing, house sorting, trying to go for a beach run and go to Sainburys. My mum lives about 20 minutes away so she is on hand for all the extra help with the girls, babysits, covering those tricky hours from 5-7 if Simon and I are at an event.
We just juggle through like any family and then weekends are strictly for family time. We are really enjoying living by the sea so try and carve out a quitter, calmer time for weekends.
We know so much about you from your blog, yours and your husbands Instagram feeds and your books – tell us something that nobody knows about you?
I was OBSESSED with Take That, specifically Robbie Williams – I honestly thought I was going to marry him. When he left Take That I had to have a day off school and phoned the help line for support. I was heart-broken for months.
How To Grow A Baby Journal by Clemmie Hooper is out now (published by Vermillion). A beautifully illustrated hardback book is a luxurious treat for any mums-to-be. This week-by-week book helps you capture the high and lows of pregnancy; thoughts, feelings and emotional can be documented with in the pages that also offers practical advice, question prompts and tips on how to feel your best for those long 9 months. This keepsake journal also has space to note every milestone, a few important pictures (that first scan pict anyone?) and record those blissful first 3 months of your new baby’s life.