Dr Alex Kazosi is our Resident Psychologist. As a psychologist and a new mum, Alexandra knows that the post-natal period can be mentally and emotionally flooring. She works on a 1:1 basis to support new mums in their journey to mental health, balance and wellbeing - whatever this may look like for them. She specialises in helping women recover from traumatic birth experiences, anxiety and depression.
My story and what I do
I’ve always been interested in hearing people’s stories. In my previous career I worked in communications in the international humanitarian sector, and a large part of my job was to communicate beneficiaries’ and field workers’ experiences to people ‘back home’. It was valuable and fascinating work, but I quickly realised that what I really wanted to be doing was working directly with people and supporting them when they need it most.
That’s when I decided to retrain as a Counselling Psychologist - it took 5 years! - but it was worth it. As a psychologist, I work with people from all walks of life who find that they need to talk to someone. I often see people who are suffering from anxiety and depression, are having relationship problems or have experienced traumatic events. My history of working with trauma survivors is how I have come to work predominantly with women and mothers. One of the areas I specialise in is helping women recover from traumatic birth experiences.
Why I’m passionate about the perinatal period
As women, we experience life events that are often medically or socially considered “normal” just because they are “common”. In reality, the impact of these events can be mentally and emotionally flooring, yet we go through them with little or no help.
This is absolutely true of motherhood. It is such a common thing to go through that so many of mothers’ experiences are labelled as normal without a second thought, by ourselves and even healthcare professionals.
One example is that up to 30% of women find some aspect of their birth experience traumatic (makebirthbetter.org). Despite this huge figure, there is rarely any information provided to new mothers about the signs to look out for and who they can to talk to if they feel they are struggling in the aftermath of a traumatic birth.
We are getting better when it comes to providing women with information on Postnatal Depression (PND). However a friend of mine did tell me that at the end of her nine week health visitor check-up she was handed a crumpled leaflet on PND which her health visitor had previously dropped and trodden on. I despaired! This can’t be the way we go about caring for mothers, they deserve so much more.
My journey to being a mum
I have a son who is 11 months now, and I have to say that when I look at the big picture my journey to being a mum has been a very positive one. That said, it has been a long dance in re-learning and revising who I am, what I want, and what ‘a good balance’ looks like to me. I love being a mum more than anything, and it is also undoubtedly the hardest thing I have ever done!
helping parents with &Breathe
One of the most challenging aspects of becoming a parent is that you have no real reference point for what “normal” is. As a new mother especially - your hormones can be all over the place, you have been plucked from work like a fish out of water and you have a small human who may or may not treat your boobs like a cafe. For me, there is so much value in supporting parents through this period and beyond.
What I love about &Breathe is that it is bringing parents together in their experiences, taking wonderful care of them, and providing them with a great range of expertise and information to empower them in their own wellbeing journeys. I’m excited to be working with a great team that is focused on providing this invaluable service to parents.
&Breathe Postnatal is a family wellbeing company focusing on self-care for new parents. Join one of our postnatal and family fitness retreats in France, Morocco, or the UK.