Pregnant women take good care of their bodies during pregnancy, regularly attending medical appointments, watching what they eat and making sure they get lots of rest, so why does this stop after their baby is born?
A new study has found that new mums are missing key appointments after their baby is born – and medical professionals are worried.
New mums are putting their health last
Having a newborn is a busy time, as both mum and dad are getting used to tending to their child’s cues.
However, a new study from Orlando Health found that nearly a quarter of new mums were struggling to manage their own health in the first few weeks and months after giving birth.
Even more worryingly, the majority of these mums also admitted to feeling overwhelmed anxious or depressed during this time. The first few weeks and months are when mums need to be checking in with their GP and getting support from medical professionals.
“Seeing your doctor within a few weeks of delivery and sharing any concerns is critical to getting the care and treatment you need,” says Megan Gray, and obstetrician-gynaecologist at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.
“The fourth trimester can be difficult and overwhelming for women as their bodies go through physical and emotional changes, and this time deserves the same support and attention as the first three trimesters,”
54 per cent of new mums are not screened for mental health concerns
Meanwhile, a recent study from Maven found as many as 54 per cent of new mothers are not screened for mental health concerns before and after birth. And nearly 30 per cent who did have concerns revealed they were not given proper treatment.
Experts are now pushing new mums to go to all of their medical appointments after having a baby or making appointments to check in regularly with their GP and tell them how they are feeling, no matter how trivial they think it is.
“There is no perfect mum out there,” adds Gray.
“Taking some of that pressure off yourself will help you be the best mum you can be and help you better experience the many joys of motherhood.”
It seems even after the fourth trimester, mums are neglecting themselves physically and mentally.
Only 3 per cent of mums put themselves first
Another study by The Healthy Mummy surveyed over 1,800 of our mums to find out how they cope with the stressors of life and their mental health.
We found some surprising and some not-so-surprising statistics. Only 3% of the mums surveyed put themselves as the first priority with most responding when asked why they aren’t their first priority with things like, “I’m not important“, “It’s just what I do”.
Most of the mums say they put their partner and kids before themselves (32%) with a small amount saying it depended on what was happening in their lives (17%).
With 32% of our mums feeling out of sorts or just not like themselves weekly we’re glad to see that 60% have spoken to their GP about these feelings. However, 28% did respond that they feel they are ‘okay’.
Most of the triggers of these feelings of stress and just not feeling right came from family commitments with 21% indicating their kids being difficult or financial stress was a trigger.
Get the help you need
If you feel like you need help or know of someone who needs help we advise you see your GP asap or reach out to the Association for Post Natal Illness (APNI) and Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS).