About half of mothers in the UK develop a mental health problem of some sort during that time, such as postnatal depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and postpartum psychosis, according to the parenting charity NCT.
MPs are calling for new mums to be checked out at the same time as their baby is given the “all clear”.
At my checkup for my eldest son (now 6ft5 and nearly 17) I was told by the health visitor “oh you career girls don’t cope very well with motherhood and the loss of control”. She was right but it could have been the post natal depression that she didn’t diagnose.
This is s great initiative by MPs and will go a little say to supporting new mums along with people like me talking about our experiences. It hasn’t been easy this week and I still get emotional about it but it’s the right thing to do and if I can help one new mum as a result then my job is done. It’s crucial to talk.
The arrival of a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest times of a woman’s life. But for a sizeable minority, it takes a heavy toll on their mental health, posing a risk to the welfare of mother and baby alike. More than one in 10 women develop a mental illness while expecting a child or in the first year after giving birth. For about 40,000 women it is severe and in extreme cases necessitates admitting mother and baby to a specialist unit.