September 04, 2019
Nearly half of mothers who’ve recently given birth get less than three minutes – or no time at all – to discuss their mental and physical health at a postnatal check, new research shows.
Half Of New Mums Get Less Than 3 Minutes To Discuss Mental Health, Survey Finds
Despite the fact the six-week check-up with a health professional is meant to uncover mums’ and babies’ health difficulties, research by NCT (National Childbirth Trust) and Netmums found nearly a third of new mums got less than three minutes to discuss their own health at the appointment, and 16% were given “no time at all”. 
Mums reported this was because most of the appointment was devoted to the baby. Related... New Mums In England Can Now Access Mental Health Support Close To Home The small-scale survey of more than 1,000 women with children aged up to two years old was released as part of NCT’s #HiddenHalf campaign.
This is calling for full funding of the six-week check so that health professionals have the time to give all new mothers their own appointment – rather than squeezing it in with an examination of their baby.
Without funding, many GP surgeries are unable to provide specific maternal appointments. 
“Many new mums don’t find it easy to admit they are struggling so it’s impossible to make them feel comfortable enough to discuss their concerns in less than three minutes,” said Sarah McMullen, head of knowledge, at NCT.
“It’s vital mothers are given adequate opportunity to discuss any health problems to prevent them from getting worse. If they aren’t given the support they need at this crucial time it can have a devastating impact on the whole family.”
Dr Stephanie de Giorgio, a GP from Kent who’s looked after postnatal women for years, said she’s witnessed how difficult it can be for mothers to talk to a health professional about their own wellbeing. “Dedicated time for them is vital so we can find out who is struggling and let them know how to seek help if they start to find things too difficult.
“The only way that health professionals are going to be able to do this is if the government and NHS England agree to fund an appointment solely for new mothers.”For information and support:Mind: A mental health charity there to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone. Call: 0300 123 3393.
Pandas Foundation: A charity to support and advise any parent who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness. Call: 0843 28 98 401.
Mothers for Mothers: A postnatal depression support group with information and peer advice. Call: 0117 975 6006.
PNI: A website run by women who have suffered from postnatal illnesses to share personal experiences and offer support.NCT and Netmums urge people to sign up to the Hidden Half campaign at www.nct.org.uk/hiddenhalf and bring postnatal mental illness out of hiding.Related... Gemma Atkinson Tells Critics To 'Go F*** Yourself' After Being Shamed For Parenting Choices Lucy Mecklenburgh Is 'In Awe' Of Her Body After Announcing Pregnancy Here's What My 7-Year-Old Thinks About Parents Being 'Banned' From The School Playground
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