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Should we really be giving new mums a test to see how they’re coping?

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Last week, a study at the Northwestern University in Chicago found that the number of women who suffer from postnatal depression is much higher than previously thought, with up to one in seven suffering from it. Furthermore, PND is rarely limited to a single episode, but often goes on to affect mental health in later life.

In light of this study new mothers are to be interviewed about how they are coping with parenthood to help them bond better with their babies under proposals backed by ministers. A report will say that antenatal and postnatal care focuses too much on childbirth and a baby’s physical health, with little attention paid to how mothers are managing the transition to being a parent. There is now a vast body of evidence to suggest that the quality of the emotional interaction between a baby and its parents in the first two years of life determines how a child’s mind develops. A poor start means the child is far more likely to have serious emotional or behavioural problems. Yet there is nothing in place to ensure that healthy bonds are being formed.

Postnatal depression is one of the most common reasons a new mother may fail to respond well to her baby. Under the proposals health visitors will offer all mothers-to-be two interviews, one while they are pregnant and a second when their babies are three to four months old. If you would like further midwifery in UK Simply Births offer postnatal advice online. You can speak with a private midwife online via Skype or on the phone but if you would like additional support to online midwifery you can also receive private maternity services in your own home.

Learn more about postnatal depression from a Simply Better Midwife by calling 0844 880 1084 or visit http://www.simplybetterbirths.co.uk/problems-after-pregnancy for information on the problems women can have after pregnancy.