Today an article in the Daily Mail stressed that half of new mothers are in crisis and suffering from postnatal depression.
The article reads: -
A generation of new mothers is in crisis, the Tories have warned.
More than half are said to show signs of post-natal depression as they are increasingly left to fend for themselves after giving birth.
Maria Miller, Conservative families spokesman, warned women were floundering because they did not have the traditional family support and advice their own mothers could rely on.
What is more, the Government has failed to keep up with the dramatic changes to motherhood over the last 20 years, she said.
Up to 52 per cent of women reported signs of depression and 60 per cent felt they had not seen their health visitor enough during their child's first year, found a poll by website Netmums.com.
Mrs Miller, a businesswoman with three young children, admitted that she too initially struggled with motherhood.
'Like many women today, I had spent almost a decade working before becoming a mum for the first time. Yet the practical reality of a new baby left me struggling to get out of my pyjamas before lunchtime.'
A child's arrival can have a much greater impact on modern women than it did on their mothers and grandmothers, she added.
Childbirth is often delayed until women are in their mid-thirties, with established careers. So many go from a position of authority in the workplace to being at home all day with little daily support.
Mrs Miller, tipped for promotion in a reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet, said a Tory government planned to introduce a universal health-visitor service to offer extra support.
It would employ an extra 2,700 health visitors to provide a minimum guarantee of six hours of support for all families in the first two weeks of a child's life, as well as prenatal visits.
An hour-long visit would be made every two weeks for the next six months, followed by monthly contact until the child was a year old, with a minimum of two visits a year until the age of five.
The Tories have also pledged tax breaks for married couples with children and extensions to flexible working and parental leave.
Mrs Miller added: ' Improvements to parental leave and the more plentiful availability of childcare are welcome, but do not go far enough to address the true pressures that many modern families face when a new baby arrives.
'When my mother's generation started their families they had a ready-made support system in place - parents and even grandparents in neighbouring streets; and an army of health visitors to plug the gaps. Today, health visitors are a rare commodity and we may have few links with other people living in our neighbourhood.'
The survey, commissioned by the Tories, found that almost half of mothers had only seen their health visitor once or twice in the first two months after birth.
Some 49 per cent were not contacted at all by a health visitor after their child passed two months.
Sally Russell, of Netmums, said: 'There is growing evidence to support the fact that development in the first years of life can significantly impact on a child's life chances. We are constantly stunned by the accounts we receive from our members of the poor standards of care.
'With under-investment, a retiring population of health visitors and a breakdown of traditional support systems, the current system means many new mums have to simply fend for themselves.
'Health visitors have been at the heart of family healthcare since Victorian times. Some new mothers probably would have received better support from family and the state 100 years ago.'
Health Secretary Alan Johnson has previously promised more health visitors. In 2007, he said: 'We will need more specialist nurses and health visitors to tackle public-health issues in deprived communities.'
See it here
Yet again the call is for more and better trained health visitors. I feel strongly that Mums need support and if this cannot be done by immediate family I urge struggling Mums to try to find those in a similar situation to help one another. I also think there is a need in communities for an 'adoptive granny' scheme. For example, a list of local ladies who are available to run errands, go to the shops, etc and just help out. Perhaps church communities and groups such as WI and the Soropotimists could help with this? I am such that there is a whole army out there who would LOVE to help!