In one of the most passionate and beloved professions, one can always witness the greatest thing that can happen in life: the birth of a new baby and the birth of new hope as well! Midwives have always been considered champions of reproductive health and women’s rights. Would you like to know more about this exciting field in the United Kingdom?
Arabisk London was honored to host Mrs. Nasra Hagi, specialist in perinatal mental health and a disruptor in the industry of mental health and well-being, to talk to us about this profession and its societal importance!
Interviewer: Reem Ibrahim
“The greatest sin on earth, after animal cruelty and neglecting the well-being of your employees, is failing to live up to one’s full potential.” Nasra Hagi
1- We would like to know more about you. Could you tell us, with your expressions, who is Nasra Hagi?
Nasra Hagi is a world-class specialist in perinatal mental health and a disruptor in the industry of mental health and well-being.
She passionately believes that pregnant women and new parents, who are the true drivers of our world, are often left behind in workplaces, as if they become alienated once they enter parenthood. This burden, especially on women and children, is an injustice comparable to animal cruelty.
Nasra Hagi is a creative genius unafraid to reimagine and share her boundless creativity with the world. Her innate nature is to empower individuals to unlock their limitless freedom, fostering a connection that feels like a lifelong bond.
Having worked as a qualified midwife and mental health professional, Nasra Hagi has had the privilege of assisting extraordinary individuals. Despite their immense talent and potential, they often feel constrained by societal norms and conventional definitions of success. These geniuses possess an inherent understanding of their greatness but struggle to fully embrace it.
Through her work, Nasra helps them shed self-imposed limitations and tap into their full potential. By prioritising their mental well-being, they can unleash their true brilliance and become the geniuses they were destined to be.
2- Why did you choose to be a midwife, and how did you start your journey?
The birth of my beloved brother was a pivotal moment that inspired me to pursue a career as a midwife. I have always had a deep affinity for families, witnessing the emergence of new hope and the unification of loved ones. The profound experience of witnessing the continuation of generations and being a part of that journey has always left me in awe.
As I delved into the profession and discovered the importance of quickly building rapport, I realised that this was my innate gift. Building rapport and earning trust with people comes effortlessly to me, as it only takes a few seconds to establish a connection that can last a lifetime. It was in this realisation that I knew I wanted to be an integral part of the legacy families create.
3- Your passion for the profession of midwifery led you to start Recognize LTD; tell us about your company from its establishment until now?
In 2019, fueled by frustration with the inadequate provisions within maternity services, I made a decision. I left my midwifery career and took a bold step to establish my own company, Recognize. My mission was clear: to create a safe space where people could freely express their concerns and emotions without fear of judgement or negativity.
Having witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of insufficient mental health care, particularly during the perinatal and postnatal periods, I am intimately familiar with the profound consequences it can have on individuals and their families. Tragically, these issues often go unnoticed as new parents feel pressured to instantly embody the expectation of being perfect caregivers.
If left untreated, these problems can exacerbate mental health conditions, lead to postnatal depression, and even result in tragic outcomes like suicide. Recognizing the gravity of this situation, we expanded our services to “reimagine mental health” in response to the high demand from our clients. We take the statistics seriously, as Mind UK reports that 1 in 6 people will experience mental health challenges at some point.
Now, as providers of premium mental health solutions, we are focused on empowering successful individuals to discover limitless joy and unleash their inner genius. We are currently collaborating with corporate companies, enabling their employees and members to tap into their boundless freedom and achieve mental well-being for themselves and their families.
By prioritising mental health, these companies’ employees can not only perform better but also contribute to increased company revenue. When individuals are mentally healthy and well-supported, they experience higher levels of productivity, creativity, and engagement. They are better equipped to handle challenges, make sound decisions, and maintain positive relationships with colleagues and clients. This positive impact on performance directly translates to improved outcomes and ultimately contributes to the company’s overall success and financial growth.
At Recognize, our vision is to revolutionise mental health care, breaking barriers and fostering a society where individuals can embrace their true potential and lead fulfilling lives.
you can visit the website here:
‘Empowering successful people to discover their limitless joy and find their inner genius’ – Nasra Hag
4- What services does Recognize LTD provide, and how does your company contribute to supporting women and families?
Recognize Ltd is dedicated to delivering premium mental health solutions, specialising in perinatal mental health. Delivering exceptional mental health support and empowering individuals to find inner peace and well-being. We understand that workplaces can sometimes be a source of stress and anxiety for employee’s, and we are here to help.
Our online platform, Limitless Freedom, offers a range of evidence-based therapeutic content that can be accessed by your employees during their lunch breaks or after work. Through tailored and laser-focused sessions, we aim to assist individuals in managing their mental health and finding peace, no matter where they are.
Recognize Ltd, can offer people exclusive access to our premium mental health resources, including:
- Coping Strategies for Anxiety/Low Mood: Our platform offers practical tools and strategies to help individuals manage anxiety, providing them with a sense of control and well-being during their working day.
- Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: We provide guided meditations, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques that can be practised during the day/night to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm.
- Positive Affirmations and Self-Care Practices: We focus on empowering passengers through positive affirmations and self-care practices, helping them cultivate a positive mindset and maintain their mental well-being.
- Limitless Freedom is designed to be accessible and user-friendly, allowing your clients to engage with our content conveniently from their own devices. It is a powerful tool to enhance their working day experience and ensure their mental well-being during their working days.
5- Considering that midwives are champions of reproductive health and women’s rights, what are their responsibilities?
Midwives shoulder a significant amount of responsibility, with their primary focus being the safety and well-being of women, children, and families. Their role extends beyond ensuring safety; they also provide valuable health promotion choices to women and their families. This includes promoting breastfeeding and encouraging the bonding experience through skin-to-skin contact.
As autonomous practitioners, midwives play a pivotal role in educating women and their families, empowering them to make informed and healthier choices. They provide guidance, support, and information, allowing individuals to actively participate in their own care and make decisions that promote their overall well-being.
6- Most people view the profession of midwifery as an old-fashioned speciality; how can this prevailing view be confronted? Moreover, can midwifery be developed and moved away from the enduring traditional pattern?
I can relate to your experience. When I was studying to become a midwife, some fellow university students couldn’t understand why I chose this path. They assumed it was due to external pressure, but that wasn’t the case at all.
It’s interesting how everything in society has been glamorised or made “sexy,” except for midwifery and mental health. However, I have discovered a way to make them both captivating and appealing.
To move midwifery away from traditional and monotonous patterns, midwives need to embrace innovative health solutions and digital advancements. For instance, instead of relying on traditional pregnancy tests that can be found in the bin, a more practical approach would be to use flushable pregnancy tests. This is just one example of how midwifery can be modernised.
Additionally, midwives should strive to become not just healthcare providers but also counsellors and therapists. Empowering and educating women and their families during pregnancy and beyond requires a more holistic approach. The traditional responses like “We’ll see how everything turns out” or “you will be fine” may not be sufficient. The statistics speak for themselves; it’s clear that a change is needed.
It’s disheartening to acknowledge that one in nine maternal deaths in the UK is attributed to suicide, making it the leading cause of death for mothers within the first year after childbirth (Maternal Mental Health Alliance, 2017). These statistics highlight the urgent need for comprehensive support and prioritisation of maternal mental health throughout the perinatal period. As a qualified midwife, we have a crucial role to play in addressing this issue and ensuring the well-being of both mothers and their children
By embracing innovation and adopting a counselling-oriented approach, midwives can truly revolutionise the field, enhancing the experience for women and their families while improving overall outcomes.
7- What challenges do you face in your career, and how do you deal with those challenges and pressures during your work?
I embody the essence of water, flowing effortlessly and remaining adaptable 24/7, never ceasing in my pursuits. This unwavering nature makes me unstoppable in whatever I set my mind to – Nasra Hagi
In the game of life, flexibility is key – emotionally and mentally. It allows us to navigate challenges with resilience and grace – Nasra Hagi
Every day, I encounter various challenges. Firstly, there are those who underestimate me, and secondly, people express surprise when they discover that I am a Muslim woman excelling in the field of technology. However, by the time they truly understand me, I have already left them in awe, leaving a lasting impression and inspiration they won’t forget. To tackle these situations, I rely on three powerful elements. Firstly, I emanate unwavering confidence, then I demonstrate my competence, and finally, I engage them with honest truths supported by concrete statistics.
8- We are used to having professional, unique midwives working on the front lines; in your opinion, what skills should every midwife have to succeed?
To truly connect with women, it is essential to be authentic and genuine in our approach, providing unwavering support and understanding at all times.
Empowering women and their families with the necessary tools and techniques to overcome mental health challenges is a crucial aspect of our mission. By equipping them with knowledge and resources, we enable them to navigate and triumph over these difficulties, fostering their overall well-being.
Moreover, it is vital to embrace the role of technology in advancing the empowerment and well-being of women and families. By educating them about technology and its potential applications, we open doors to new opportunities, enabling them to harness its benefits in their journey towards better mental health and overall empowerment.
9- What is the one story you cannot forget about that left a significant impression on you during your practice as a midwife?
During my early days as a newly qualified midwife, I encountered a challenging situation that highlighted the importance of supporting and empowering women before they reach a crisis point. It was a night shift, and there were only three of us on duty, including the senior midwife.
While I was on my break in the coffee room, the senior midwife approached me with an urgent request. There was an emergency admission of a woman who was less than six weeks postnatal and experiencing psychosis. She was hallucinating and fearful that someone would take her baby, putting the infant at risk.
We admitted her to the ward, and after a doctor’s review, it was recommended that a security personnel watch over her for the next six hours until she could be transferred to a psychiatric unit. The doctors also prescribed specific medications to help calm her during the episode.
However, to my surprise, these medications were not available on the ward. I contacted the on-call pharmacist who directed me to a secret emergency cupboard located in the hospital corridors. It was 2 am when I arrived at the cupboard, only to find that the medications were not there either. I had to make a journey to another hospital with an accident and emergency department to obtain the necessary medications.
After returning to the ward and administering the medications, the woman immediately calmed down and was able to sleep peacefully. This experience highlighted the need for better support and empowerment for women before they reach such critical stages. It is essential to ensure that resources, including medications, are readily available to address mental health challenges promptly.
By providing comprehensive support and empowering women throughout their journey, we can work towards preventing such crises and ensuring the well-being of both mothers and their babies.
10- As an essential component of healthcare, what is the importance of teamwork in midwifery?
Teamwork is of utmost importance in the field of midwifery. It requires a foundation of brutal honesty, where open and transparent communication is encouraged. This enables effective collaboration and the ability to address challenges head-on, ensuring the best outcomes for women and their families.
Kindness plays a crucial role in fostering a supportive and compassionate environment within the team. It involves empathy, understanding, and treating one another with respect. By practising kindness, we create a space where everyone feels valued and supported, ultimately enhancing the quality of care provided
Inclusivity is key in midwifery, as it recognizes and celebrates the diversity of individuals and their unique needs. Embracing inclusivity ensures that no one is left behind, and that care is tailored to meet the specific requirements of each person. By valuing diversity, we create a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system.
Lastly, leaving biases at home and maintaining professionalism are essential components of effective teamwork in midwifery. It requires setting aside personal biases and judgments, allowing for unbiased care and decision-making. Professionalism ensures that all interactions and actions are conducted with integrity, competence, and a focus on the well-being of the women and families entrusted to our care.
11- Midwifery is a critical profession carried out by anonymous heroines who provide care before, during, and after childbirth. How is their role reflected in supporting women and their psychological health before and after birth and limiting mothers’ and children’s deaths?
To effectively support women and protect their lives during the perinatal period, midwives must prioritise their own psychological well-being. Currently, many midwives face daily traumatic events without receiving adequate support.
Research shows that a significant number of midwives in the UK experience work-related stress, with 32.9% reporting moderate to extreme levels of stress. Additionally, a considerable proportion of nurses and midwives struggle with symptoms of anxiety and depression, surpassing rates found in the general population.
These findings underscore the importance of addressing mental health within the nursing workforce, particularly among midwives. Only when healthcare providers are mentally healthy can they effectively educate women on overcoming mental health challenges.
One approach to support women’s mental health is to provide access to self-help tools and resources. Encouraging women to utilise these resources can empower them to take control of their own well-being and seek the assistance they need.
By prioritising the psychological well-being of midwives and promoting self-help tools for women, we can create a supportive environment that positively impacts both the healthcare providers and the women they care for.
12- What are your goals, ambitions and long-term aspirations?
Goals: Our audacious goal is to ignite a revolution of empowerment, liberating individuals worldwide to unleash their untapped potential and embrace the limitless freedom that awaits them. Through our cutting-edge platform, we strive to revolutionise the way people perceive and navigate their lives, elevating their mental well-being and transforming their existence right from the sanctuary of their homes.
Ambitions: We dare to dream big and aspire to forge collaborations with the most extraordinary minds on the planet – the titans of industry, the trailblazing CEOs, and the exceptional visionaries who strive relentlessly to discover their boundless freedom. By honouring their unwavering commitment to inspiring others, we aim to reciprocate their heroism and create a profound impact that reverberates across the globe.
Long-term Aspiration: Our grand vision encompasses not only the individual but also the very fabric of corporate dynamism. We envision partnering with forward-thinking companies, empowering their employees with comprehensive well-being initiatives that transcend the ordinary.
By nurturing the holistic wellness of their workforce, we enable these organisations to soar beyond their competitors, harnessing unparalleled speed and agility, and redefining the very essence of competitiveness in their industry. Together, we will shape a future where corporations thrive, employees flourish, and the boundaries of human potential are shattered
13- What advice would you like to give to encourage people to think outside the box and make a difference in the world of postpartum?
Flexibility, connection, goal-setting, grounding, and honest communication are key elements for midwives to consider in their practice. These aspects contribute to a holistic approach that supports women during the postpartum period.
Being flexible allows midwives to adapt to the unique needs and circumstances of each woman they care for. It involves tailoring their approach and interventions to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Establishing a strong connection with women and their families fosters trust and open communication. This connection enables midwives to understand their clients’ concerns, desires, and challenges, allowing for personalised care and support.
Setting goals together with women helps create a sense of purpose and motivation. These goals can range from physical recovery to mental well-being and adjusting to new parenting roles. By collaboratively working towards these goals, midwives empower women to take an active role in their own postpartum journey.
Grounding oneself is important for midwives to maintain their own well-being and resilience. It involves practising self-care, seeking support when needed, and finding ways to recharge and rejuvenate.
Honest communication is essential in building trust and fostering a safe and supportive environment. Midwives should encourage women to openly share their thoughts, feelings, and challenges during the postpartum period, ensuring that their concerns are heard and addressed.
Lastly, it is beneficial to advise women to think outside the traditional boundaries during postpartum. Encouraging them to explore alternative approaches to self-care, seek community support, and engage in activities that promote well-being beyond the confines of their homes can contribute to their overall mental and emotional health.
By incorporating these elements into their practice, midwives can provide comprehensive and empowering care during the postpartum period, supporting women in their journey towards well-being and adjustment to new motherhood.