Goodness for grieving mums

Massage After Miscarriage Aotearoa founder Michelle Topham. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Massage After Miscarriage Aotearoa founder Michelle Topham. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A special service treating women who have suffered a miscarriage has launched in Queenstown.

Massage After Miscarriage Aotearoa (Mama), established by Michelle Topham, aims to provide an experience of love, to help with grief often felt after suffering a miscarriage.

Topham started the initiative after her own loss, in 2020 lockdown, after which her sister gave her a massage voucher to help her feel better.

To her surprise, the receptionist at the business heard about her situation, and presented her with a bunch of flowers on her way out.

Topham says she was blown away by the kindness, and felt "loved, seen and cared for".

Knowing she wasn’t the only one suffering the pain of suffering a miscarriage, the way she was treated inspired her to create Mama.

"Every woman going through the pain deserves to feel pampered and loved — it’s nice to walk in and walk out feeling a bit more calm."

Initially Topham, from Tauranga, managed to get a massage therapist and florist to donate one service each per month.

She now has 15 businesses on board — last month they helped 18 women.

At the same time, Topham launched the initiative in Queenstown, thanks to the support of local midwives and doctors and Self Healing New Zealand, run by Mila Loenert Bihajko, which is offering the massage services.

"Mila is amazing," Topham says. "She has a calling to help women going through loss, and does so much to make women feel loved."

Self Healing NZ hasn’t set a limit of free services per month — "Mila wants to support all the mothers she can".

Topham’s working on making Mama a registered charity, but for now a Givealittle page has been set up — funds raised help provide vouchers for mums in parts of NZ where Mama is yet to be established.

Referrals are always welcome, via massageafter, while any businesses wanting to get on board can email michelle-topham@