Forget the handprints – what new Mums really want is better support, ABA says
Beyond handprints, flowers and a sleep in, what new mothers want most this Mother’s Day (Sunday 8 May) is more support through offers of meals and cooking, flexible leave options from paid employment, and recognition of the great work they are doing.
The findings have been shared by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) who surveyed nearly 500 new mothers from across the country to reveal the supports they valued the most, and the specific practical and emotional relief they need from the different people in their lives.
Results of the survey may be of interest to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector with a number of new mothers employed in the sector, and also from the perspective of ECEC services as a hub through which new mothers may seek support.
Survey respondents said that partners and other mothers were those who tended to know best what support new mums needed. Along with meals, leave and appreciation, new mothers would welcome help around the house, and someone to manage stress reduction for them so they could focus on the baby.
For friends and family members who want to help but don’t know exactly how to, the research uncovered these top five activities as the best way to show your support:
- Slaying the laundry monster/house cleaning – 64 per cent
- Regularly checking in without expecting a reply/sending funny messages – 59 per cent
- Coordinating (and delivering) meals from friends – 59 per cent
- Asking what practical task they could do to ease the workload – 58 per cent
- Asking mums how THEY feel, and really listening – 56 per cent
To further support the ABA has developed two new rapid guides, Helping your family/friend relish motherhood and Be a rock of support – The How to Guide. These sharable guides are designed to inspire a broader range of people to be part of the nourishing village of support all mums need this Mother’s Day.
‘The last 2 ½ years have been unbearably tough on Australia’s mums. This survey highlights that primarily it is emotional connection and practical household assistance that mums crave from their support networks,’ explained Naomi Hull, Senior Manager, Breastfeeding Information and Research.
National Mothering Week runs 2-8 May 2022. For a calendar of ABA’s events please see here.
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