A new report published by the Government Equalities Office calls upon the help of midwives and health workers to offer support to new mums about body insecurities.
The report advises that pictures of women of different “shapes and sizes” should be hung in maternity wards and midwives should not refer to biscuits as “naughty” so that new mothers do not feel pressure to shed their baby weight.
The report highlights that midwives are well placed to strike up conversations with mums-to-be and new mums to ease any anxieties they may have about their changing body shapes. A survey commissioned by Bio-Oil* reveals that 70% of new mums feel that there should be more advice given about how long it would take to get back to their pre-pregnancy shape.
Bio-Oil Skin Storyteller Natalie says, ‘You think that you’re going to have this big bump and then it’s going to suddenly go flat. It doesn’t go like that at all! And nobody tells you that you’re going to have this completely life changing thing happen to your body’. Natalie talks about her experience here
In order to support new mums through their first few months, Bio-Oil has created a new website to help support mums after birth, by providing a realistic insight into how the body recovers from pregnancy and adapts to motherhood. www.newbaby-newbody.co.uk features video diaries from real mums, tips on post pregnancy diet and skincare advice, a guide to what happens to their body after birth and advice and support about breastfeeding.
Bio-Oil has also created a training guide for midwives – A guide to skin and body changes during pregnancy written by healthcare professionals. The guide covers the key areas of skin changes that midwives may come across when caring for pregnant women and includes a chapter on body changes after birth written by Kathryn Gutteridge, Consultant Midwife & Clinical Lead at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals.
Kathryn said “I find it concerning women are under unnecessary pressure at a time where their main priority, aside from their baby’s wellbeing, should be how they’re coping with the huge physical and emotional changes to their bodies. It’s important that women realise that just as they took nine months to produce a full grown baby, it will take at least that long for them to regain some of their former shape.”
You can read the full report here
* Survey of 793 women (some of which were in the first 3 months post birth) commissioned by Bio-Oil and carried out by Babyexpert.co.uk June 2013