The gift of sleep, time, self-care (“me time”) and a message of what a remarkable job she is doing may be what new mothers need most this Mother’s Day.
Mothers with young children are consistently identified as having lower levels of physical activity and leisure opportunities, which place their physical and mental health at risk.
There are many ways that families, health-care providers and communities can support the sleep of mothers of babies six months and older.
Supporting mothers’ and infants’ sleep can decrease the stressors of motherhood, improve maternal mood and mental health and promote better infant development.
Many women feel there is inadequate support for exercise after the birth of a child, stating a need for more information from health-care professionals about guidelines for returning to physical activity.
When asked about postpartum exercise, women were curious about strategies and recommendations for physical activity after the birth of a child, including finding the time, energy and motivation.
Women who engage in physical activity in the postnatal period report better mental well-being than those who are less physically active.
Women who are physically active in the postnatal period report better mental well-being than those who are less active, but the pandemic has made exercise less accessible.
Isolation and other pandemic stresses can harm pregnant women’s mental health, with effects on their babies too.
Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Pregnant women’s experiences can affect their babies’ health, even into adulthood. Researchers know societywide stresses can lead to these long-term consequences – and the pandemic likely fits the bill.
A study examined the psychological and social experiences of over 600 women with babies between birth and 12 weeks during the first UK lockdown.
Researchers asked over 1,200 women about their experiences with breastfeeding during lockdown.
New research finds that while some women thrived during lockdown, others found breastfeeding to be difficult and overwhelming.
Preventing early skin to skin contact potentially disrupts newborn physiology.
The WHO recommends women should be encouraged to breastfeed straight after birth, for both the mothers’s and baby’s health, including increasing baby’s immunity.
Community support programs for breastfeeding have changed under COVID-19 restrictions.
There is no evidence that the coronavirus is transmitted through breast milk, and breastfeeding is encouraged during COVID-19. However, the support available to new mothers has changed dramatically.
As many as one in five women experience postpartum depression.
For new mothers with postpartum depression, social distancing limits some of the best ways to improve their mental health.
Babies don’t come with instruction manuals… mobile health apps can help new parents.
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Mobile health apps, teleconferencing with experts and thoughtfully designed educational platforms can all help families during the chaotic and confusing early years.
Most UK workplaces aren’t set up for women to breastfeed, so is it any wonder rates are so low.
A mother breastfeeds her baby.
Flickr/Dominic Chavez/World Bank
Regular home visits by community health workers helped to increase breastfeeding rates in Kenya.
Breastfeeding mothers are turning to online groups due to dwindling real-life support — but these volunteer-led platforms don’t always have the best advice.
New research has found that mothers may be forgoing medication they need in order to breastfeed their babies.
Mothers are told to stop breastfeeding when taking certain medications – even if they won’t harm their baby.
About 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental illness.
New study finds that giving birth through an emergency caesarean increases the risk of developing postnatal depression in the first nine months after childbirth by about 15%.
Protected time for new families could pay health dividends later.
The transition to parenthood comes with plenty of stress. A psychology researcher suggests that paid family leave could help lift some of the burden – with positive health benefits down the road.
When World War II struck, the British government evacuated women to hospitals in the countryside to give birth – and the change still affects maternity care today.
Not always simple, but worth it.
Breastfeeding isn’t easy, and that’s ok – new parents can handle the truth.