Fertility and pregnancy

New mums 'feel abandoned' after baby birth

Baby Call for better postnatal care

The safe delivery of a healthy baby should bring nothing but happiness to a new mum, but a new report out to-day says that many women feel abandoned and isolated after giving birth in hospital.

The report by the National Child Trust says staff shortages, being looked after by different midwives, insensitive staff and being given conflicting advice has left many women feeling let down at a time when they needed care most.

In a poll of 1260 first time mothers, 42 per cent said there were not enough midwives to help them in hospital, and 57 per cent said they didn't get the emotional support they needed in hospital within the first 24 hours after the birth of their baby.

The report also found that 52 per cent of women thought they didn’t get consistent advice about feeding, and less than half of first time mums (45 per cent) said they got all the help and support they needed in the first 24 hours after the birth of their baby.

However, some 79 per cent of women were encouraged to have skin to skin contact in the first hour after birth to help with feeding and bonding.

In addition, when it came to assisted deliveries involving either forceps, ventouse or a caesarean section, a mere thirty per cent said they the midwives had been kind and understanding for some of the time or never at all.

Despite guidance from health watchdog NICE which says all women should have a personalised postnatal care plan, 96 per cent of the women questioned said they had not been were not involved in a plan.

Anne Fox, Head of Campaigns and Public Policy for the NCT said; “It’s clear postnatal care urgently needs improvement - our report paints a dreadful, shocking picture of care in the UK – we’re letting women and their babies down.

“Many of the problems these women highlight seem to be due to staff shortages or lack of visits once they had left hospital – and this issue needs to be addressed if the quality of postnatal care is to be improved, particularly for vulnerable women.

"Being a new mum should be a positive experience and support for mums in those early days and months is vital."

This article was published on Mon 4 October 2010



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