Mumsnet has launched a new campaign, ‘Better Postnatal Care: Aftercare, not Afterthought’, to bring a greater focus on postnatal care and draw attention to the weaknesses in the postnatal care service. The campaign aims to be inclusive of “support for breast or bottle feeding and input on mental health and wellbeing, to looking after a woman’s caesarean scar or giving her physio after a difficult birth”. Mumsnet is seeking to work with parents, professional representatives and healthcare bodies to identify and improve the experiences of women immediately after giving birth.
According to the Royal College of Midwives, only 8.5% of the total maternity care budget is put towards postnatal care. This statistic casts light on the more challenging elements of effective postnatal services, with a recent Mumsnet survey revealing that 61% of new mothers had been unable to access food when they needed it and 22% of new mothers had been unable to access water when needed.
These statistics raised questions about the effectiveness of current postnatal services and stressed the scope for improvement that Mumsnet has identified in their campaign objectives. In looking to the future, the campaign will explore other issues, such as supporting women’s choices regarding infant nutrition. We welcome this development in postnatal services by Mumsnet and as the campaign progresses, we hope viable and practical solutions are highlighted to improve postnatal care for all women and infants.