Friday, 9 July 2010

What Mums want!

Well done to Netmums for their latest survey 'What Mums want'. 

As the new coalition Government makes its plans for Public Services, Netmums took a good look at what works and what doesn't, and found out about the needs of families from across the country.
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In early June 2010, 1,860 Netmums members completed this detailed survey which was produced in partnership with 4Children and Unite/CPHVA (Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association). The key messages are...

New health visitors

Netmums says: The 4,200 new Health Visitors promised by the Government are very much needed.

62% of mums say they either don't have a Health Visitor, or for those that do, they feel they wouldn't be happy to call them.

More cost effective

Netmums says: More health visitors should lead to fewer mums going to visit their (more expensive) GPs

Almost half of mums would go to their GP as a first port of call when they have a child-related problem such as breast-feeding, weaning, child development worry or minor child health problem.

The mums that do talk to a qualified Health Visitor are more likely to feel they have been helped than those who see either a GP or someone else from a health visiting team.

Many mums struggle

Netmums says: Parents needs are great with 82% of mums having  experienced child related problems in the past year and 57% of mums struggling with potentially more serious personal problems

4 out of 10 mums suffered with postnatal depression and a quarter struggled with relationship problems in the past year

Those who are on low incomes are also more likely to suffer - over half of mums on family incomes of under £20,000 a year with a child under the age of 5

But it's not only those on low incomes. A third of mums with a family income of £60,000 - £70,000 are also suffering with PND or anxiety.

Mums often have multiple problems

Netmums says: It takes a skilled worker and a suitable environment to be able to talk through mental health, relationship problems, child behaviour and health issues.

Many of the mental health problems are either caused by or contribute to a whole range of other problems. Having PND means you are 70% more likely to also have relationship problems with your partner, 7 times more likely to struggle to bond with your child, 3 times more likely to have a difficult relationship with a child.

Those who had worries about a child's development, or about their behaviour are also more likely to suffer with anxiety or Postnatal Depression, in fact of all the mums who had a child under the age of 5 and were concerns about child behaviour, 57% had PND or anxiety. 

Children's Centres a place to go

Netmums says: Parents are using Children's Centres as a place to go and while there, also picking up advice and information on a range of issues.

Of the parents living in England with a child under the age of one, 60% said they used their Children's Centre a lot or sometimes, and a further 13% very occasionally.

Netmums Solutions: filling the gaps

It was great to see that mums are using Netmums to build their social networks through the Meet-a-Mum boards and Meetup Groups. In fact, more had met their closest friends through Netmums than through their baby-clinic It's well known that a network of local friends can provide a lot of support to new mums.
The survey showed that our online Health Visitor Drop-in Clinic would be used by 80% of those who knew about it (60% of those surveyed), and was thought particularly helpful as a first port of call by those who didn't have a local health visitor, and for those on low incomes.

Read more:
Netmums - the local parenting network

The figures around PND are VERY scary.

I will continue my campaign as much as I can and especially am keen to continue with my training with Ann Girling for Children's centres.
Elaine Hanzak

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