Welcome to The Mule, with Milli Hill
Join me in a community that is both stubborn and affectionate.
Hi there! Welcome to my space on Substack.
I started writing a blog called The Mule all the way back in 2010 and since then I’ve developed as a writer, becoming a freelance journalist and author. I’ve written three books (The Positive Birth Book, 2017; Give Birth like a Feminist, 2019; My Period, 2021) and book four is coming out in 2024.
Here at The Mule I write about all the topics I’ve become known for over the years - the terrible beauty of motherhood; the underestimated power of the female body; sex, gender and the erasure of women’s language; feminism, and more. Sometimes I write ‘how to’ posts about writing and publishing, and of course I keep you posted with my own writing and book progress.
It’s called The Mule because that was the name of my first blog on blogger which was hugely successful and launched me into the world of writing. The Mule was a fun nickname my partner gave me one day when we were accidentally hiking up a very steep mountain, and it stuck, probably because I’m quite…er… ‘single minded and determined’. Mules are known as ‘vigorous hybrids’ and that’s kind of what you will find here - a curious mix of feminism and motherhood that on paper sounds like it shouldn’t work, but in reality is rather pleasing, quite lively and at times even a little forceful.
How it works
The Mule is a reader supported publication - which essentially means that it’s the paid subscriptions that keep it going. For this reason, I focus on paid subscribers as much as I can, giving them full access to every single post, the complete archive, subscriber chats, the comment section, podcasts (new one in the pipeline) and more. You’ll get regular articles written by me, be the first to hear my book news, and also receive The Word is Woman, my weekly posts documenting the erasure of women from language and life. As a paid subscriber, you can interact with me and The Mule community, not only supporting my writing but also influencing it. Here at The Mule I have full creative freedom, I am uncensored and unedited and I answer only to myself. With a paid subscription - which costs only £1.25 a week - you are supporting this model of writing, as well as supporting me and enabling me to keep giving and creating. I would say ‘all for the price of a coffee’ but to be honest, you’d be lucky to get a glass of water for £1.25 right now!
A bit more about my books
You can buy my three existing books from any good book seller. Here’s a brief summary so you know what they are about:
First published in 2017, this book rapidly became a much loved bestseller. It’s the only guide a pregnant woman and her partner need to prepare them for whatever kind of birth they hope for, or end up having! It’s Mumsnet’s Best Overall Pregnancy Book 2023, The Bump’s Most Empowering Birth Book 2023, Evening Standard Best Pregnancy Book 2022, it’s in Tommy’s top 10 reads for mums to be, and it has been praised by everyone from the Unmumsy Mum who said it was, “…everything I ever googled pre-birth rolled into a friendly, warm format and is full-to-bursting with USEFUL information”, to Ella Mills who said it, “completely changed my way of looking at giving birth”, and wrote the foreword to the 2022 edition.
First published in 2019, Give Birth like a Feminist is now republished in a brand new edition for 2023, including a new chapter. Featured on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 5 Live with Emma Barnett, and selected as one of the Independent’s best pregnancy books, Give Birth like a Feminist blasts the feminist spotlight into the labour ward, insisting that birth is no longer left off the list in discussions about female power, control and agency. You can read this book if you are pregnant and it will help inform you of the power imbalances in the modern birth room, and how to challenge them. You can also read it if you are not pregnant but are interested in feminism, women’s rights and bodily autonomy.
This book puts information into the hands of girls aged 9 to 12 about the power of their female bodies, and the wonder of biology. It teaches them about cycles and cycle charting, the different energy and moods they may have during each cycle, and how to tune into their bodies needs and take care of themselves. It’s also full of practical tips on everything from period products to what periods are any why we have them. TV’s Dr Chris van Tulleken has called it ‘phenomenal’ and children’s author Onjali Rauf says it’s ‘a must have for every girl’.It’s a one stop puberty guide, and girls love it!
All three books are available on kindle. The Positive Birth Book and Give Birth like a Feminist are both audiobooks read by me. All three books are translated into Dutch by Samsara. GBLAF is available in German and also available in the USA, and is coming soon in Ukrainian and Czech. My Period is now available in simplified Chinese!
Please note that some of the links to purchase my books are Amazon affiliated. This means I earn a small commission when you use them. Thanks!
As a journalist since 2013 I've written for many publications including Telegraph, Guardian, ipaper, GoodtoKnow, Daily Mail and Mother&Baby. I’ve been a columnist for Best Magazine and Telegraph Women. You can see a portfolio of my journalism here.
I’ve also spoken globally on women’s experience in the birth room and I’ve appeared on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, BBC 5 Live, talkradio, and many leading podcasts - there’s a playlist of most of them over on Spotify.
Prior to turning to writing as a creative outlet when my kids were smaller, I was a Dramatherapist (a form of Arts Psychotherapy), and worked with a wide range of clients from children in foster care to adults in rehab and with a diagnosis of personality disorder. I do draw on this experience - as well as finding it helpful to unpick the psychological dimensions of my writing topics, I also offer occasional coaching and consultancy.
My agent is Jane Graham Maw of Graham Maw Christie.