• OVER HALF OF NEW PARENTS MORE CONFIDENT CHANGING A LIGHT BULB THAN THEIR FIRST NAPPY
• 1 IN 3 NEW PARENTS UNABLE TO READ SIGNS OF CRITICAL ILL HEALTH IN THEIR BABY
• 1 IN 3 HAVE NEVER SEEN A FAMILY MEMBER OR CLOSE FRIEND BREAST FEEDING BEFORE
• 1 IN 5 NEW PARENTS LIVE OVER 50 MILES AWAY FROM FAMILY
These are the astonishing facts from research by The Essential Parent Company – highlighting the lack of support, low confidence and anxiety experienced by new parents. A staggering 8 out of 10 new parents surveyed felt they didn’t have the practical skills to care for their newborn.
“So focused are expectant parents on the birth event, the practical abilities and responsibility of looking after a baby can come as a huge shock,” says Dr Rebecca Chicot, Child Development and Parenting PhD from Cambridge University and founder of The Essential Parent Company. “It is impossible to describe how becoming a parent changes your life.”
The new research coincides with the launch of The Essential Baby Care Guide, a resource of 4 DVDs featuring 8 hours of film content that deal with the big issues faced by parents in raising a new child – sleep, feeding, care and development and first aid.
Developed with ‘Child of Our Time’ creator Professor Lord Robert Winston and a host of leading childcare experts including The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative, the new Guide is intended to ease the stress and anxiety of new parents through the first 12 months.
“As society has evolved, we have lost some of our instinctive ability to be parents,” said Professor Lord Winston. “Only a generation ago, new parents would have gained experience through contact and support from their family. Now we live further from our families, working women have less contact and experience with new born children within their own families and peer networks.”
The Essential Parent Company research found 1 in 5 parents reported feeding as an area of anxiety and problems.
The National Office of Statistics recent infant feeding survey reported that four-fifths of new mothers plan to breastfeed, yet every year more than 200,000 mothers stop breastfeeding in the first few days and weeks – 90% of whom would have liked to have continued.
“New mums are just not getting the help, advice and support they once got,” says Dr. Rebecca Chicot. “The intention is there, but the practical aspects of feeding such as ‘latching-on’ need to be demonstrated – which is where The Essential Baby Care Guide can help.”
The top 4 areas new parents felt least prepared ranked as follows:
• Dealing with sleep issues
• Managing a crying baby
• First aid and emergency intervention
The Essential Baby Care Guide deals comprehensively with each of these issues. The Guide is the brainchild of two mothers, Dr Rebecca Chicot and documentary maker Diana Hill. Together with Lord Robert Winston they have created the most comprehensive ‘visual encyclopaedia’ for new parents.
The Essential Baby Care Guide is available from John Lewis stores nationwide and online from www.essentialparent.com and Amazon priced £35 for the full Guide of 4 x DVDs or £10 each when sold separately.