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Why some new parents need more support than others

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24.09.2019

Becoming a parent is a wonderful experience but it can also be incredibly daunting. There is no qualification or test you can take to make sure you're ready; you have to rely on life experience, advice from friends, family and experts, and trial and error.

Becoming a new parent is challenging.

But while most of the time we get parenting right, some people need more support than others.

Our research, published on Tuesday in the journal BMJ Open, found that while every baby is different, some factors increase the likelihood new mothers will experience difficulties with early parenting. These include the mother's mental health, birth intervention or emergencies during labour, and lack of support.

More than 30 per cent of new mothers in Australia report severe problems getting their baby to sleep and settle. This often results in exhaustion, and poorer mental and physical health.

Poor physical and mental health during pregnancy and after birth can also have significant short- and longer-term impacts on the health and development of the child. So treatment is vital.

Australia has a unique health system in place to support new parents who struggle to cope and their babies, including residential parenting services - sometimes referred to as........

© Canberra Times