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'Third of mothers' experience mental health issues

From BBC - November 27, 2017

More than a third of mothers have experienced mental health issues related to parenthood, according to an online survey of 1,800 British parents by the BBC Radio 5 live and YouGov.

The study revealed that, in comparison, 17% of fathers had experienced similar issues.

More than two-thirds of the affected mothers sought professional help - suffering from conditions such as acute stress, severe anxiety and postpartum depression.

'All mums feel like that'

Lauren Doyle experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after giving birth to her first daughter Ava.

"It just wipes you out really - you just become a completely different person," said the mother-of-three from West Yorkshire.

"I'd get upset over something as simple as we'd ordered a takeaway and they'd forgotten the fried rice and I just could not stop crying," she said.

The birth was physically traumatic and it meant that Lauren and her daughter were looked after in different hospitals, which prevented them from developing a strong bond.

She said: "I did not think I was unwell. I thought, 'All mums feel like that, this is just mum mode, I am a mum now.'

"I have got to put up with feeling this way."

Lauren would cry in the shops and find herself getting angry and upset all the time.

She also felt burdened with guilt when she could not breastfeed.

"It's another factor that makes you feel isolated, that you are not being the best mum," she said.

Lauren's not alone. Many of the parents surveyed reported feeling criticised by a large number of people.

Mothers said their parents were the most critical of their parenting (26%), followed by their spouse/partner (24%) and other family members (18%).

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