Principles and Practice


If you’re thinking about setting up your own Maternal Journal group, we have put together a set of Principle and Practice guidelines and toolkit to help you get started. Please read the below information carefully.

If you decide to set up a group, you should first contact Laura, the project producer, who will help guide and support you and make sure you have everything you need. You will also need to register your new group.

Maternal Journal groups

safeguarding and confidentiality

Image from Mo’s journal, 2017

Image from Mo’s journal, 2017

Maternal Journal groups are designed for those with mild to moderate mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression and anyone dealing with some of the complex issues of pregnancy, birth and mothering. Maternal Journal groups are not recommended for people with a history of severe mental health problems. The project often brings up strong feelings and emotions, and therefore the workshop leader must be able to contain these feelings. They also need to be aware of how to support, signpost and possibly escalate to other services, such as local psychiatric, mental health and social support. Unless the workshop leader feels a participant is a danger to themselves or others, all information disclosed in the group should be kept confidential.

We recommend any workshop leader have an advanced DBS and Professional Indemnity Insurance. These will be in place if the person is a health care professional and running a group with clients. However, anyone independent of this should consider putting this in place. Maternal Journal is not liable for any adverse outcome due to the use of any of our materials.


Inclusion and equity

Maternal Journal is an inclusive project - we welcome all pregnant women*, mothers and people that birth, positively encouraging inclusion and diversity of experience. On this website, and in our promotional material, the use of the word ‘woman*’ is intended as inclusive and generic to cover any person who ‘births’, identifies as a ‘woman’, ‘mother’ or as a ‘gender non-conforming parent’.

We promote the creation of ‘safe spaces’ so people can share and explore experiences of pregnancy, birth and mothering, with a non-judgemental and open attitude. We encourage all participants and facilitators to recognise individual experiences and intersectional differences due to race, class, sex, gender, socioeconomic status and disability.

Facilitators are encouraged to share their own experiences so that there is equality in the group and a non-hierarchical structure.

Image from Amy’s journal, 2018

Image from Amy’s journal, 2018



Maternal Journal groups should be non-commercial and not generate any profit for the organisers – minimal financial contributions from participants should only be charged to cover materials and costs directly associated with the running of the group. These costs may include the hiring of a space, provision of materials and refreshments and the workshop facilitator’s time (identified by guidelines such as recommended fees from a professional body).

See our Maternal Journal Toolkit for further information and support to set up a group.