Six out of seven new mothers in England are not getting a checkup of their health six weeks after giving birth, despite such appointments becoming a new duty on the NHS last year.
Just 15% of women who have recently had a child are having a dedicated consultation with a GP to discuss their physical and mental health, according to a survey by the parenting charity National Childbirth Trust (NCT).
The requirement was introduced last year to boost maternal health and especially to try to identify women having psychological problems linked to childbirth such as postnatal depression. The appointments are separate to the established six-week check of a baby’s progress.
However, 85% of the 893 mothers in England whom Survation interviewed last month for NCT said their appointments were mainly or equally about the baby’s health and they did not get the chance to talk to the GP about their mental wellbeing.
“It is extremely disappointing to find that only 15% of new mothers are getting an appointment focused on their wellbeing and a quarter of mums are not being asked about their mental health at all,” said NCT’s chief executive, Angela McConville.
Source: The Guardian, 22 April 2021
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