The IVF postcode lottery: These areas have the most and least IVF support for heterosexual and same-sex couples

The NHS has just released an updated report (3rd August 2023) showing funding decisions for IVF cycles, revealing huge disparities in access to NHS funded IVF treatment in each area of England. We decided to analyse 3 years worth of Government and HFEA data to reveal where in the UK has the most and least support for couples seeking IVF.

South East Sussex Named As Best Place in the UK to have IVF

The study analyses categories such as the quality and quantity of IVF treatment available, the amount of NHS funded treatments and the number of private clinics in each area, to create an index revealing the best and worst places in the UK to undergo IVF treatment. According to the new index, South East’s Sussex is the region offering the best IVF support to hetrosexual couples which includes 3 full cycles and a maximum of 5 years egg freezing, up to the age of 40. Couples with children are eligible as long as one of them doesn’t already have a child. It’s also an area with the one of the least amount of already funded NHS cycles, meaning you’re more likely to fastrack. 

Same-sex couples and disparity in NHS-funding decisions 

The study highlights a wider discrimination case around IVF, with many NHS-funded programmes requiring same-sex couples to have had 6-12 cycles of self-funded artificial insemination before they will be considered for any fertility support. Artificial insemination, or IUI, at a private clinic usually costs around £350-£1,600 per cycle, this means female same-sex couples could pay up to £25,000 before accessing NHS-funded IVF support. However, the same can’t be said for hetrosexual couples, with many areas stating guaranteed eligibility with no previous NHS cycles. 

Increase in patients opting for private pathways

When looking at the data, we have found that many same-sex and single patients are now opting for the private pathway, with IVF in female same-sex relationships increasing by a third (33%), and the amount of single patients increasing by 44% in the last 3 years alone. Additionally, 65% of NHS-funded IVF treatment doesn’t include a full cycle – A ‘full cycle’ is a term used to define one episode of ovarian stimulation and the transfer of any resultant fresh and frozen embryos. A full cycle ends when either every available viable embryo has been transferred or one results in a pregnancy.

NHS Funding decisions are restrictive 

According to the data, 61% will not fund IVF if either partner has any living children from the current or any previous relationships, regardless of their age or whether the child resides with them. This may also include any adopted children within current or previous relationships. The data also uncovers the decline in external donation support with sperm and egg donors decreasing by 15% in the last 3 years and the number of surrogates has declining by 7%.

With this data in mind, we have looked at the best and worst areas for those looking at IVF support. 

New index reveals the UK’s best regions for IVF support 

The study reveals Sussex, South Yorkshire and Kent and Medway are all in the top 3 for providing the best support for hetrosexual couples going through IVF, with each of these regions offering the highest number of full cycles, egg freezing and the lowest number of patients already gone through NHS-funding in those areas.

Count County Region Number of IVF cycles funded by NHS Full cycle? Age Parental status Is cryopreservation funded? (egg freezing) NHS funded IVF totals (last 3 years) Number of private clinics
1 Sussex South East 3 Yes Up to 40 At least one person should have no children from current or previous relationships Yes, for 5 years 6,149 10
2 South Yorkshire Yorkshire and The Humber 2 Yes 18-42 No children from current or previous relationships Yes, for 3 years 3,251 4
3 Kent and Medway South East 2 No Up to 40 No children from current or previous relationships Yes, for 10 years 6,149 10
4 North East London London 3 Yes Up to 40 At least one person should have no children from current or previous relationships Yes, for 2 years 11,958 33
5 Gloucestershire South West 2 No Up to 40 No children from current or previous relationships Yes, for 1 year 3,299 7

There are the worst regions for same-sex IVF support

According to the data, the amount of same-sex couples opting for the private IVF pathway has increased by 33% since 2019. This could be due to the distinct lack of NHS-funded accessibility for same-sex couples looking to undertake IVF, and our analysis uncovers which regions same-sex female couples will have to pay £25,000 before eligible for NHS-funding. According to the data Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly all require same-sex female couples to have undergone at least 12 cycles of self-funded artificial insemination before even qualifying for NHS support.  

Count County Region Access requirement for female same-sex couples Full cycle? Is cryopreservation funded? (egg freezing) NHS funded IVF totals (last 3 years) Number of private clinics
1 Cambridgeshire and Peterborough East of England 12 cycles of self-funded artificial insemination No No 2,041 6
2 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly South West 12 cycles of self-funded artificial insemination No 1 year 3,299 7
3 Hampshire and Isle of Wight South East 12 cycles of self-funded artificial insemination No 3 years 6,149 10
4 Gloucestershire South West 12 cycles of self-funded artificial insemination No 1 year 3,299 7
5 Suffolk and North East Essex East of England 12 cycles of self-funded artificial insemination No No 2,041 6

The worst regions if you’re going through IVF

Looking at the regions that provide the least support for hetrosexual couples going through, or wanting to undertake IVF, Postpartum Plan identifies Cambridgeshire and Peterborough as offering the least amount of cycles, no egg freezing and the smallest number of private clinics available. 

Count County Region Number of IVF cycles funded by NHS Full cycle? Age Parental status Is cryopreservation funded? (egg freezing) NHS funded IVF totals (last 3 years) Number of private clinics
1 Cambridgeshire and Peterborough East of England 1 No 23-42 No children from current or previous relationships No 2,041 6
2 Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes South East 1 No 23-42 No children from current or previous relationships No 6,149 10
3 North West London London 1 No Up to 40 No children from current or previous relationships No 11,958 33
4 Herefordshire and Worcestershire West Midlands 1 No 18-39 No children from current or previous relationships No 3,852 9
5 Somerset South West 1 No 23-40 No children from current or previous relationships No 3,299 10

With NHS IVF funding declining by 16% nationally in the last 3 years, and more people opting to go down the privatised healthcare route to debunk long waiting times and other restrictions,  there needs to be a shift in the way we look at fertility. 





By Kimberley Kudwoli


36% of UK professionals do not believe their employer provides enough support to new parents. This report presents important research on the effects of inadequate postpartum support from employers on the workplace by outlining: postpartum employment patterns, the challenges new parents face in the workplace, and the corporate benefits of postpartum support.

Inadequate postpartum support has been associated with downward occupational mobility among new parents, particularly in new mothers who experience reduced wages, career stagnation, and in many cases completely leave employment. Only 27.8% of new mothers return to work on a full-time basis three years after childbirth and the risk of downward occupational mobility lies at 15% for new parents. 

New parents face a myriad of challenges in the workplace including:

  • Inadequate parental leave and benefit policies
  • Lack of flexible working arrangements
  • Harassment and discrimination 
  • High childcare costs
  • Reduced earnings

These challenges cause new parents to feel disconnected from the workplace, cause job dissatisfaction, and may lead employees to leave their jobs due to the lack of postpartum support from the workplace. It is estimated that approximately 54,000 new mothers are forced out of their jobs each year after childbirth costing women up to £112 million in lost wages and paid parental leave. 

Providing comprehensive postpartum support to new parents and addressing the challenges new parents face in the workplace is associated with numerous benefits to employers through increased employee retention – of up to 50% of new mothers in companies like Google, cost savings in employee turnover of at least $15,000 per employee, improved employee morale and productivity, attracting new talent, and improved financial performance. The business return on investment in postpartum support to new parents is evident. In conclusion, this report highlights the need for more comprehensive postpartum support to new parents from employers and the benefits that increased postpartum support can bring to employers by supporting company performance and productivity while reducing costs. 


According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 830 million women around the world lack access to adequate maternity protection (ILO, 2014). Furthermore, UN Women estimates that only 41% of mothers with newborns receive maternity benefits (UN Women, 2019). Across the world, there continues to be a lack of adequate provision of postpartum support to new parents whether in the form of legal protection, maternity benefits or return-to-work support. 

In recent decades, there has been a gradual shift in the provision of postpartum support to new parents by governments across the world, primarily through paid maternity and parental leave as well as legal job protections for parental leave (ILO, 2014).  Despite this progress, there still remain large gaps in postpartum support for new parents, particularly in the workplace.   

In 2019, a LinkedIn Global Talent Trends report found that 36% of UK professionals believe their employers do not provide enough support to new parents and nearly 60% of UK professionals stated their employer was not completely transparent about their parental policies when joining their companies (LinkedIn, 2019). In addition to the lack of comprehensive parental leave policies, employees have raised additional concerns about the other forms of postpartum support including the lack of flexible working arrangements, lack of adequate support for breastfeeding support, and lack of policies to help employees re-integrate back into the workforce (WEP, 2020). 

Investing in providing comprehensive support to new parents in the workplace has been found to provide various benefits to companies and their employees. Companies that invest in supporting new parents tend to attract new talent, retain current employees and boost employee productivity at minimal costs to the company, while employees who receive adequate postpartum support report feeling more satisfied with their jobs and cite improved mental and physical health (WEP, 2020; Koru kids, 2022; Vanderkam, 2016). 

This report presents key research on the effects of inadequate postpartum support from employers on the workplace by outlining: postpartum employment patterns, the challenges faced by new parents in the workplace, and the corporate benefits of postpartum support in the workplace.


Without adequate postpartum support from employers, childbirth has the potential to cause large shifts in the employment trajectories, career paths, and employment earnings of new parents. Additionally, these large divergences in new parents often display gendered patterns which negatively impact women’s employment opportunities and place increased pressure on men and non-birthing caregivers to be the main earners in a household (Harkness et. al, 2019). Furthermore, the downward occupational mobility of new mothers in the workplace, as a result of inadequate postpartum support has broader implications on the gender pay gap and economic participation of women in the workforce. 

In 2018, the UK Government commissioned a series of evidence reviews on family-friendly policies and women’s progression in the workplace with the purpose of understanding women’s employment pathways before and after the birth of their first child. Below is an overview of postpartum employment patterns among new parents in the UK workforce:

Full-time employment

The report found that women compared to men experienced quite large divergences in their career paths following the birth of their first child. Compared to 90% of new fathers, only 27.8%  of new mothers remained in full-time employment (including self-employment) three years after the birth of their child. This figure further falls to 15% after five years (Harkness et. al, 2019).  Furthermore, out of the women that do return to work on a full-time basis, 6% of them transition into part-time employment in the first five years of their child’s birth (Harkness et. al, 2019). This is particularly prevalent in occupations with large numbers of part-time workers. More so, in couples where both partners worked full-time prior to birth, only 48% of these couples remained in full-time employment three years after the birth of their first child (Harkness et. al, 2019).

Part-time employment

Following the birth of their first child, women in the UK are more likely to transition into part-time employment within three years. This transition to part-time employment is also coupled with career stagnation and reduced chances of receiving a promotion. Five years after the birth of their first child, 6% of women in part-time employment were likely to completely leave employment (Harkness et. al, 2019. Furthermore, in couples where both partners worked full-time prior to birth, the report found that in 36% of couples, women moved to part-time employment while their male partners remained in full-time employment (Harkness et. al, 2019). 


Compared to 4% of men, 17% of women are likely to leave employment completely in the five years following the birth of their first child. More so, in couples where both partners worked full-time prior to childbirth, in 15% of those couples, women left employment while their male partners remained in full-time employment(Harkness et. al, 2019). The report also found that women who leave employment following childbirth are three times more likely to return to a lower-paying position compared to women who do not leave employment (Harkness et. al, 2019). 

Downward occupational mobility

Another major trend in postpartum employment patterns was the gradual process of downward occupational mobility for new parents. According to the government-issued report, the risk of occupational downgrading among new parents was 18% (Harkness et. al, 2019). However, the report also found that five years after childbirth, new mothers had lower chances of occupational upgrading (13%) compared to new fathers (26%), especially if they stayed with the same employer. This left new mothers stuck in their current job roles with limited career progression (Harkness et. al, 2019). Furthermore, although there were no differences in occupational mobility patterns between new mothers in full-time and part-time positions, new mothers who left employment and later returned to employment were three times more likely to return to lower-paid or lower-responsibility positions (Harkness et. al, 2019). 

In conclusion, the report found that childbirth significantly altered new parents’ employment patterns. In particular, women’s employment outcomes were disproportionately affected after childbirth with over 50% of women not returning to full-time work three years after the birth of the first child. Compared to men, women were less likely to return to full-time employment and faced downward occupational mobility and reduced pay, especially if they temporarily left employment and returned to work at a later time. This report outlines the disproportionate impact of childbirth on women’s employment outcomes and career progression compared to men. It highlights the need for postpartum support for new parents, particularly new mothers, in the workplace in order to prevent downward occupational mobility for new parents following childbirth. 


According to a survey of 4,000 professionals in the UK, 36% of professionals do not believe their employer provides enough support to new parents (LinkedIn, 2019). Lack of support in the workplace can be attributed to a variety of factors affecting new parents’ ability to spend time with their children such as parental leave, working structures such as flexible working hours, workplace behaviours including workplace harassment, and incentives to work including high childcare costs and reduced earnings. Here is a list of challenges faced by new parents in the workplace: 

  • Inadequate parental leave and benefits

One of the major issues facing new parents in the workplace is inadequate parental leave policies or ambiguity surrounding parental leave policies in the workplace. A recent survey of 4,000 workers in the UK found that 60% of workers stated that their employer was not completely transparent about their parental policies when they joined the company with 37% of workers being unaware of what support their workplace provides to new parents (LinkedIn, 2019).

Feelings of inadequate parental leave are particularly prevalent among new fathers and non-birthing caregivers. Research from Koru Kids found that 45% of parents were unhappy with their parental benefits largely in part because 76% of fathers and non-birthing caregivers were only offered the minimum statutory requirement of two weeks of leave by their employers (KoruKids, 2022). Given the longer statutory requirements of parental leave for mothers, fathers and non-birthing caregivers often feel the brunt of inadequate parental leave policies which leave them with limited time to bond with their newborns and leave them feeling unsupported by their workplace. In contrast, an investigation into pregnancy discrimination by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission found that 66% of mothers felt their employer supported them during pregnancy and when they returned to work (Harkness et. al, 2019). However, 26% of mothers did report too little contact with their employers during their maternity leave (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2015). 

This highlights the importance of adequate parental leave for both parents and increased employer support for new parents through increased or equal paternity leave, better parental benefits, and occasional contact with new parents during parental leave.  

  • Lack of flexible working arrangements

Another major challenge facing new parents in the workplace is the lack of flexible working arrangements. 38% of workers identified the need for more flexible working policies in the workplace but felt uncomfortable bringing this forward in the workplace due to fear of feeling like an inconvenience (41%), fear of being denied flexible working hours (40%), and fear of being viewed as less committed to their jobs (33%) (LinkedIn, 2019). 

In cases where new parents, specifically new mothers requested flexible hours from their employer, 10% of new mothers were discouraged from attending antenatal appointments and when allowed to work flexibly, 50% of new mothers reported feeling less valued and received fewer opportunities at work (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2015).

Employers are encouraged to clearly communicate opportunities for flexible working arrangements to new parents and provide more opportunities for flexible working arrangements without fear of negative repercussions or discrimination. 

  • High Childcare costs

High costs of childcare pose a significant challenge to new working parents in the UK. Given the high costs of childcare costs, it is estimated that a household income of at least £55,000 a year is required to comfortably cover childcare costs, a figure that is in stark contrast to the average salary of £29,832 in the UK. Due to the rising childcare costs and the inability of average salaries to comfortably cover these costs, many new parents are forced to consider not returning to work with only 23% of UK workers finding it financially worthwhile to return to work after having a child (LinkedIn, 2019)

  • Negative treatment, harassment, and discrimination

Many new parents, new mothers in particular, cite workplace harassment and discrimination as a challenge key issue during pregnancy and after childbirth. According to the pregnancy discrimination report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, three in four mothers have experienced negative experiences during pregnancy, maternity leave and on returning to work (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2015). These include unfair dismissals, exclusion from promotions, sexual and verbal harassment, and refusal of time off for ante-natal care. More so, 9% of new mothers mentioned being treated worse by their employer upon returning to work and 7% of new mothers experienced feeling pressure to hand in their notice (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2015). 

These forms of harassment and discrimination are particularly pervasive among mothers under the age of 25, where 6% of mothers under 25 experienced dismissal compared to 1% across all age groups and 10% of mothers under 25 were treated so poorly that they left their jobs compared to 5% of mothers of 40 (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2015). It is estimated that each year, maternity discrimination costs women £112 million in lost wages and maternity pay (Maternity Action, 2023)

Employers are encouraged to educate workers on the different forms of harassment including pregnancy and maternity-related harassment. More so, employees should install stringent measures in place to monitor, reduce, and prevent workplace harassment and pregnancy discrimination. 

  • Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and disconnection

New parents have also reported feeling lonely and disconnected from the workplace after having a child. Women are 60% more likely than men to report feeling more lonely after becoming parents with 73% of women stating that they feel disconnected from the workplace (Vodafone, 2022). 

Inadequate postpartum support for new parents not only affects employees in the workplace but also affects employees’ health. Research from Koru Kids revealed that inadequate postpartum support for new fathers negatively impacted their mental health (56%) and physical health (24%) (Koru Kids, 2022). Furthermore, 15% of new mothers stated that negative treatment from colleagues and managers had a negative impact on their health or stress levels during pregnancy – this number increased to 25% in single mothers (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2015).

  • Reduced earnings 

Another challenge faced by new parents is reduced earnings by new mothers in the workplace. Given the high risks of downward occupational mobility to women in the workplace after childbirth, it is no surprise that new mothers tend to earn less than new fathers regardless of their prior earning status before childbirth. When examining couples earning a year prior to childbirth in the UK, researchers found that the man was the main earner in 54% of couples and in 31% of couples, partners earned equal shares. However, three years after childbirth, the share of couples where the man was the main earner rose to 69% of couples and the share of couples with equal shares among partners dropped to 20%. This suggests a general decrease in the earnings of women and minimal changes in the earnings of men (Harkness et. al, 2019).

Reduced earnings among new mothers can be attributed to the aforementioned gender-sensitive challenges faced by new parents in the workplace such as high childcare costs, workplace discrimination, lack of flexible working arrangements, and isolation from the workplace. Employers should work towards improving the working conditions for new parents by providing increased and comprehensive postpartum support to new parents. 


Providing postpartum support to new parents in the workplace not only provides major benefits to employees in terms of their productivity, well-being, and overall job satisfaction but also provides good business to employers by increasing employee retention, reducing recruitment costs, and positioning employers as modern and progressive competitors in the job market (Vanderkam, 2016). According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, 84% of UK employers believe that supporting women on maternity leave is in the best interest of their organisations (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2015).  Below is an overview of the corporate benefits associated with providing postpartum support to employees in the workplace: 

  • Increases employee retention and reduces employee turnover costs

The provision of comprehensive postpartum support to new parents plays an important role in improving employee loyalty, increasing employee retention and reducing the costs associated with recruiting and training new employees. This is particularly important for new mothers who are more likely to leave employment after giving birth. According to the 2019 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends report, 26% of women in the UK workforce have considered switching jobs careers to find more accommodating jobs for working families (LinkedIn, 2019). More so, research from Vodafone found that 1 in 5 18-34-year-olds have quit their jobs due to poor parental leave policies with an additional 25% of 18-34-year-olds stating they decided not to apply for particular jobs due to inadequate parental leave policies (Vodafone, 2022). As the number of 18 – 34-year-olds entering the workforce continues to grow, employers need to adapt their company policies to accommodate their employees’ needs and expectations – especially if they want to avoid the huge costs associated with recruiting and training new employees.  

According to the Work Institute’s 2020 report on employee retention, the cost of replacing an employee can vary from $15,000 per worker in low-paying jobs to up to 400% of an employee’s annual salary in highly specialized jobs (Work Institute, 2020). In addition to high costs recruitment costs, employee turnover is also associated with a 3-6 month loss in productivity as well as time losses due to recruitment and training of replacements (Le Dosquet-Bergquist, 2017). These recruitment and training costs are much higher compared to the costs of comprehensive postpartum support services to employees. 

Box 1Paid parental leave and employee retention

In recent years, both Accenture and Google have improved their postpartum support to employees through the expansion of paid parental leaves to new parents. In Accenture, this led to a 40% reduction in the number of new mothers leaving their jobs after childbirth or adoption (Vanderkam, 2016). Google, its expanded parental leave policy increased the retention rate of new mothers by 50% according to YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki (Wojcicki, 2016). 

  • Attracts New Talent

It is estimated that by 2025, 75% of the world’s workforce will consist of millennials. According to a global generational study, 83% of millennials stated they would be more likely to join companies that offered increased flexibility and paid parental leave (WEP, 2020; EY, n.d.). According to research conducted by Vodafone, 55% of 18 – 34 year olds decided against applying for a job due to inadequate parental leave policies offered by the company and an additional 25%  did not apply for a job to a perceived lack of support for new parents. More so,  64% of 18 – 34-year-olds used a company’s parental leave policies as an indication of a good employer regardless of their intention to have children (Vodafone, 2022; Caffrey, 2022 ). If employers want to compete for new talent, particularly among millennials and Gen Z’s, they must be able to provide family-friendly working conditions which include postpartum support to new parents as well as family-friendly working environments.  Finally to echo the words of IBM’s chief diversity officer, Lindsay-Rae McIntrye “The [business] ROI comes in the form of attracting the best talent in the industry, and in having an engaged workforce”.

  • Improves employee morale and productivity

Improving postpartum support for new parents through increased access to paid leave, flexible working arrangements, and other family-friendly workplace policies improves employee morale which leads to more committed employees and boosts productivity within a company. A 2017 Ernst  & Young survey of US employers found that 90% of employers with paid family leave policies produced a positive or neutral effect on morale, profitability, and productivity (Ernst & Young, 2017). Furthermore, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, found that 78% of new mothers returning from maternity leave were just as committed to work as other employees, according to the majority of the UK employers surveyed (Harkness et. al, 2019). Studies have also shown that workplaces with more family-friendly policies help employees achieve a better work-life balance and are 60% more likely to report above-average financial performance compared to companies without family-friendly policies (Gray, 2002; LinkedIn, 2019). Therefore, by prioritizing employee morale and work-life satisfaction, employees are more likely to be productive and contribute towards a company’s growth and performance. 


In conclusion, this report has highlighted the importance of providing postpartum support to new parents in order to improve their job satisfaction, productivity, and morale, and in doing so improve the organization’s performance and productivity. Furthermore, this report highlights the major challenges new parents face in the workplace and the effect these challenges have on employees’ career trajectories and workplace performance with the hopes that companies can use this information to improve their postpartum support for new parents through PostPartum Plan’s services.



Caffrey, C. (2022). Why parental leave policies should be used to attract the best candidates – People in Law. People in Law.

Equality and Human Rights Commission. (2015). Pregnancy and maternity discrimination forces thousands of new mothers out of their jobs | Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Ernst & Young. (n.d.). Global Generations: A Global Study on Work-Life Challenges Across Generations: Detailed findings. Assets/Global_generations_study/$FILE/EY-global-generations-a-global-study -on-work-life-challenges-across-generations.pdf

Ernst & Young. (2017). Viewpoints on paid family and medical leave. Retrieved from$FILE/EY-viewpoints-on-paid-family-and-medical-leave.pdf

Gray, H. (2002). Family-Friendly Working: What a Performance! An Analysis of the Relationship Between the Availability of Family-Friendly Policies and Establishment Performance.

Harkness, S., Borkowska, M., & Pelikh, A. (2019). Employment pathways and occupational change after childbirth.

ILO (2014). (rep.). Maternity and paternity at work. ILO. Retrieved from—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_242617.pdf. 

Koru Kids. (2022). It Starts With Paternity Leave. Koru Kids.

Le Dosquet-Bergquist, D. (2017). Here’s what happens when new parents decide their own parental leave. Medium; Makers.

LinkedIn. (2019). (rep.). 2019 Global Talent Trends. LinkedIn. Retrieved from 

Maternity Action. (2023, January 30). Maternity and Parental Rights at Work and Benefits for Families – Maternity Action. Maternity Action.

New America. (2019). Paid Family Leave: How Much Time Is Enough? New America.

UN Women. (2019, March 8). Press release: As economic uncertainties, exclusionary politics, push-back on civil society, and labour informality rise, UN’s largest meeting on gender equality begins. UN Women – Europe and Central Asia.

Vanderkam, L. (2016). Why Offering Paid Maternity Leave Is Good For Business. Fast Company; Fast Company.

Vodafone. (2022). Lost Connections: Supporting parents and caregivers in the workplace Lost Connections: Supporting parents and caregivers in the workplace. In Vodafone.

WEP. (2020). Attracting and Retaining Talent Through Inclusive Family-Friendly Policies. In Women’s Empowerment Principles.

Wojcicki, S. (2016). Closing the Tech Industry Gender Gap. HuffPost; HuffPost.

Work Institute. (2020). (rep.). 2020 Retention Report. Work Institute. Retrieved from





FemTech trends for 2023

We are delighted to be included in the top FemTech trends for 2023. You can read the full article here. 

And thank you Kathryn for including us. Excerpt below with Postpartum Plan included.

We saw our first Femtech unicorn in 2021 through Maven Clinic, I believe wholeheartedly that there are more to come in 2023. Today, I’m sharing 10 of my anticipated 2023 Femtech trends:

9. Mental health support

There will continue to be a rise in women focused communities to provide guilt and shame free mental health support across a spectrum of health issues e.g. menopause, postpartum, recurring chronic illnesses to name a few. Startups such as Postpartum Plan will grow from strength to strength.

My article for Kensington Mums

I recently wrote an article for Kensington Mums.

You can find the full article here. 

Here is a short extract from the article:

Here, Meg explains the 5 pillars of postpartum recovery within Postpartum Plan and how you can support yourself as you prepare for birth and the Fourth Trimester…


This is an often neglected pillar of recovery in all aspects of our life but even more so postpartum. Our emotional health impacts not only our mental state but our physical well-being, in the short and long term. Invest in your emotional health and you will be amazed at how it affects your physical health, healing and recovery.

We recommend daily breath-work. Isn’t it amazing that the one thing that we do subconsciously has the power to heal us from the inside out? Yet how many of us really pay attention to our breathing? Try the simple breathing technique of breathing in for 4, hold for 4, breath out for 4 and hold for 4. Do this for 5 minutes every day for a week and notice the difference in your outlook, stress levels and sleep patterns. Our breath-work teacher Emma provides 3 different techniques that really support your own healing.

You can also receive a 10% discount using the code KENSINGTON10 at checkout. 


Podcast with MyWellnessPie

I recorded a podcast with the lovely Monika from MyWellnessPie.

You can listen on iTunes or Monika’s website.

Hope you enjoy it!

As a reflexologist, Meg Murray Jones has helped many women through periods of stress, trauma, and imbalance, but found that the time women most needed her support was just after birth. Yet, this was often when many clients ceased treatment as all their energy and love was focused on their baby. Meg would then be called upon around six months postpartum to help new mums treat a host of issues, including burnout, PTSD, insomnia, and other more severe emotional and physical problems.

Because of this, Meg founded the Postpartum Plan – a holistic online program laying the emotional and physical foundations for a lifetime of parenthood. Meg has gathered all the experts that she believes we should all have access to postpartum: women’s physiotherapists, breath-work, yoga, and pilates instructors, nutritionist, postpartum doulas, GPs etc. It is a powerhouse of all things postpartum to support women and their partners in navigating through early parenthood.

She joins me to talk about how to prepare for postpartum and we delve into:

-How our bodies and brains change in the fourth-trimester

-What your baby actually needs in the first four weeks of their life

-How society gets the fourth trimester wrong but what we can do about it

-The role of the father or partner in postpartum

-How you can support your friends, family in their postpartum period

-How to approach postpartum body image

-Plus much more.

My interview with Entreprenista

I did an interview with the U.S community company Entreprenista about Postpartum Plan and how we have launched internationally. This is an extract from the article; you can read it in full here. 

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

My reflexology business inspired me to launch Postpartum Plan. Through my reflexology practice I have helped women through stress, trauma and imbalance. But I found the time when women needed support the most was postpartum yet this was the time that clients stopped having treatments because all their energy and love went to their baby. I was then called in 6 months postpartum to treat a host of issues including burn out, PTSD, insomnia and some more serious emotional and physical issues. This is what has led me to launch Postpartum Plan, to help women mentally and physically once they’ve given birth. Then, lockdown really forced me create and launch Postpartum Plan in only 5 months. I could not stop thinking about all those new parents giving birth in lockdown with no support network, no visitors, no midwife home visits. It made me really think about how it takes a village to support a mother and these lockdown parents needed Postpartum Plan more than anything.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I have a varied background but I truly believe my bizarre career path has led me to Postpartum Plan!

I worked as a management consultant win my 20s which gave me business and management training. Then in content production at MTV and other production houses where I learnt to produce and create video and podcast content. Then I became a reflexologist in 2011 which taught me about the impact of stress on the body and inspired me to heal and help women, especially new mothers. All these paths and practices really have helped in creating Postpartum Plan.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I don’t think I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I have been coming up with ideas for businesses since I was 21 so it must have been in me somewhere! I also think that passionate entrepreneurs find themselves there because of a love of what they do instead of wanting to be entrepreneur in the first place.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

The first thing I did was get a business coach and it was the best decision that I made. She supported me through all aspects of company creation and gave me the confidence to pursue my passion of helping postpartum women. Marketing was quite organic, and an accident! I created the Instagram page months before launch to save the name @postpartumplan and then one of the support team posted about her involvement before I was ready to market it! However, this was a blessing in disguise as the pre-launch Instagram marketing really built anticipation and also helped me better understand the audience through that interaction.

Read the rest of this interview at Entreprenista here. 


Interview with The Daily Struggle

This is an excerpt from my interview with The Daily Struggle. Full interview here. 

What is EFT and can it help postpartum mums?

EFT is being used to help new mums, but what is it and does it REALLY make a difference? We spoke to Meg Murray Jones, founder of of The Postpartum Plan programme , to find out more!

What is EFT?

EFT, or the ‘Emotional Freedom Technique’ is referred to as ‘psychological acupressure’ and involves tapping on various parts of the arm, face and chest to relieve stress, pressure and blocked energy.

As with many other therapies, EFT therapy works on the premise that the body contains energy channels, and when these energy channels become blocked or unbalanced, it is believed to lead to emotional and physical illness.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) works to unblock these channels, in order to relieve stress and help to improve mood. There are now over a hundred research papers demonstrating the effectiveness of EFT,  and studies have shown that the tapping therapy can reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) by 43%, increase antibodies by 13%, reduce anxiety by 40% and improve happiness by 31%.

Meg said: I first came across EFT when I was recovering from postnatal PTSD and just by tapping and speaking about my birth experience with an EFT practitioner I immediately felt lighter, more free and less anxious.

I know others who have used EFT to help them through PND, postpartum overwhelm and their own parenting stresses and I now use it whenever I feel particularly anxious or when my thoughts start to run away with themselves. EFT has been described as ‘niche’ by one of our members and she is right; it is relatively unknown and can seem a little weird! However, EFT is a form of body therapy that we do subconsciously on ourselves every day to relieve tension (think about when you rub your temples when you are stressed).

As our EFT therapist Tricia says,

  • 5 mins of EFT can change your thoughts instantly.  There is nothing else that I know of that’s so effective in literally a few mins.
  • 5 mins of EFT each and every day can improve your mindset, sleep, self-esteem, stress levels, fluctuations in moods and hormones and happiness.
  • Your brain is a muscle. If everyday you do 5 mins of brain work through EFT, you’re building a muscle of being able to be in control of thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Imagine having a tool that with 5 mins each day can make you 31% happier?

Read more at The Daily Struggle


Postpartum Plan review from Healthy Living London

This is an extract of the article written by Lizzy Silverton. You can read the full article here. 

This month, with a new baby on board, I’ve been exploring the recently launched programme for pregnant women and new mothers: Postpartum Plan. And this week I was lucky enough to interview the founder of the programme, Meg Murray Jones.

About the plan

The Postpartum Plan is designed for women from 35 weeks pregnant to six weeks postpartum. However, as I’m finding, the material and tools it provides have a life way beyond those six weeks. Having come to the plan at five weeks postpartum, I can personally attest to its value. It is no surprise to me that a lot of the women on the platform are second time mums who have previous experience of the drop off in support for mothers post birth.

I couldn’t have come across the Plan at a better time for me. After a traumatic first birth experience – which came back to haunt me in the days leading up to the due date of my second – the birth of my second daughter couldn’t have gone better. Yet three days later we found ourselves back in hospital for a stressful and anxious week. The days I’d planned for us to spend together as a new family of four were swapped for lonely hospital days worrying about my baby, missing my elder daughter and struggling with bleeding, an infection of my own, night sweats and leaky boobs.

By the time we made it home again I was so physically and emotionally exhausted that all of the good intentions for a healthy, energetic postpartum period had evaporated. With a toddler to look after thrown into the mix, I found myself eating unhealthy treats and with little motivation to exercise.

Discovering the Postpartum Plan really helped me to get my physical and mental wellbeing back into alignment.

Interviewing Meg

In my interview with Meg, the founder of Postpartum Plan, I found not only a compassionate person who wants to reframe attitudes around birth and the postpartum experience for all mothers, but also an innovative business woman, who has taken an idea from concept to delivery in five months with amazing results.

Tell us more about your first postpartum experience and how this motivated you to start Postpartum Plan.

With my first child I had a great pregnancy. I was planning on a water birth, doing hypnobirthing and everything that everyone says you should do and then something went wrong and I had to have an episiotomy and there was a risk to my baby of brain damage and he had to be put in an incubator for 72 hours and I wasn’t allowed to touch him. At the end of the day, the birth was fine because I had my baby, but I don’t think as mothers we are ever trained in the emotional recovery of birth and I got really bad PTSD.

I had a really bad trauma response; I had to deal with the fact that my birth hadn’t gone to plan. And the interesting part is that I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell my husband about it. I was having flashbacks and visions in the night. In the back of my mind I had this idea that I was supposed to be a perfect parent, but I didn’t have the support I needed. While I had friends around me, what I needed was an expert to go ‘everything is fine. You birthed really well. Here are the tools to deal with PTSD’.

And then I got pregnant again very quickly when my son was nine months old and I was like ‘I’m going to do things properly this time’. So I invested, financially and emotionally, in experts. I had a doula and a physio – basically everything that’s on the Postpartum Plan – and the difference in the birth and my recovery was so extreme I felt like that is what everyone needs it just that not everyone can afford a lactation consultant, plus a physio, plus doula etc. So what can we do to make that more accessible?

And then lockdown happened and I was like ‘wow, so many women out there are so alone and that’s when I realised it had to happen now.

A major thing with Postpartum Plan is that I do believe there needs to be a societal shift. Society has made us believe that everything needs to be about the baby – and of course it does – but in days gone by there was also a village who would look after us, the mother. We don’t have that any more so when people say ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ we can’t do that, because we are on our own. Society isn’t built for motherhood anymore. There isn’t enough known about what happens to us physically and emotionally when we have babies to understand the level of support that we need.

How did you come to your primary pillars for the Postpartum Plan?

I really thought about what I needed when I had my kids and then did a lot of research into rehabilitation programmes and their structure. The difference being is that I changed the language around the pillars – so instead of ‘exercise’, for example, we focus on ‘movement’, because I believe as women we have quite a distorted idea of what ‘exercise’ mean. Movement is good for you and you don’t have to be on a spin bike to move your body. Movement, Mind-set and Reflection were really important to because we’ve lost that connection with body and with loving our bodies. Recovery was the first one I made because we should all recover, and then Nutrition was just a really important one for identifying nourishing food that you need to recover. What is it we need to bring back those nutrients that get so depleted in pregnancy and birth?