New mums isolation
The NCT, the UK’s largest parenting charity, warns that support for new mums is lacking as public spending cuts combine with the breakdown of traditional support networks.
A new OnePoll survey commissioned by the charity shows that new mums are becoming increasingly isolated as traditional support from family and friends falls away. Almost a third of mothers (30%) said they lived more than 40 miles away from their close family when they had their first baby and nearly a quarter (23%) didn’t know any other parents in their local area.
I think that is so so sad. Without the support of my family and other musm i would have tuly been in a mess when my son was small.
Against this backdrop, NCT is concerned that the threatened closure of crucial local services such as Sure Start Children’s Centres will make it even harder for mums to find the support and friendship they need in their local area.
I know from my time working in locail services that Sre Start centres were utterly brilliant at bringing groups of
The survey highlights that new mums are increasingly reliant on online channels, almost one in five (18.5%) say they use social media networks or parenting forums to seek advice and information on a daily basis. Despite this, more than two thirds (68%) think it is important to meet up with other parents face-to-face, with 75% saying this is because it’s an opportunity to make new friends and 73% saying it gives their baby the chance to meet other children.r
In response, NCT is building upon its Bumps & Babies network . The local groups, which are open to all and are organised by parents, for parents, rely on volunteers to offer a lifeline to many mums across the country, providing opportunities to socialise, share concerns and learn from each other.
NCT Director of Corporate Communications Sally Horrox says:
“New mums often feel isolated and lonely after the birth of their first child, and despite the support available online, there is no real substitute for face-to-face interaction with other parents who live near you.
“Many of the mums who took part in this research didn’t know where to go and who to meet up with in their local area in the first months after giving birth. This is incredibly worrying at such a crucial time in people’s lives. Our Bumps & Babies network aims to address this problem by encouraging mums to get out of the house and involved in their communities, providing them with a stress-free and friendly environment in which to spend time with their baby and meet other parents. Many of the groups are free, while others charge only a nominal fee to cover costs, so everyone can afford to attend during these difficult times.”
Visit www.nct.org.uk/bumpsandbabies for details of your nearest Bumps & Babies group.