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The average new mum makes 16 trips to the doctors in their child’s first year, a study has revealed. Researchers found millions of mums admit they ‘panicked’ and whisked baby to the doctors’ surgery, only be to be told they were suffering from minor ailments.
The study revealed as many as one in three mums took the baby to the doctors with what turned out to be a common cold, while others worried themselves into taking their tot to the doctors with what was simply diagnosed as a cough.
Incredibly, one in ten even dashed to the doctor believing their baby was unconscious- only to be told he or she was sleeping.
It also emerged it takes a new mum six and a half months on average to become accustomed to her child’s different cries and coughs without panicking every time.
Jean Scott of Benenden Healthcare, who commissioned the study, said:
”Being a new mother can be an overwhelming experience and it is natural to feel anxious about the health of your child.
”As a mother myself, I know how daunting this can be and how vital it is to get support during this initial period.
”Often getting professional advice when you feel your child may be unwell can be the only way to put your mind at ease, even if it ultimately turns out only to be a cold.”
The report also found 50% of mums feel there was a stage they reached where they were able to worry slightly less- but this wasn’t until the child reached three and a half years.
Two thirds of mums made regular checks all through the night to see if their baby was still breathing- this constant worry doesn’t stop until the child reaches 13.5 months on average.
In fact, the average mum didn’t receive her first full night’s sleep, free of worry or without the baby waking, until 12 months after giving birth.
One in five mums admitted to worrying too much, while a third considered their worrying to always be justified.
However 44% were made to feel like they were a hypochondriac or guilty for wasting the doctor or health professional’s time.
Those first months of the baby’s life passed by in a blur for seven out of ten, partly because they spent so long worrying about them.
A third even confessed there were times they felt they didn’t have what it takes to be a mum because of the amount they panicked.
And just as soon as they did get the hang of being a mum, 70% said they felt like they had to go through a whole new set of challenges as their baby became a toddler.
Nearly two thirds say there has been a time when they’ve wanted to step in as a mum but had to hold themselves back, as they knew they were mothering or protecting their child too much.
But experience counts, and 45% of those who went on to have a second child said they worried less about getting everything right.
Jean Scott continued:
”What these results really show is that it is common for first-time mums to be concerned about their child’s health and that most new parents experience this heightened level of anxiety.
”Worry is an unavoidable aspect of motherhood, however it is important to find the right balance between an acceptable level of worry that ensures your baby stays healthy whilst being able to enjoy the experience of being a new mum – even if this is often easier said than done.”
TOP 10 MOST COMMON DOCTOR VISITS IN BABY’S FIRST YEAR
2. High temperature
4. Knocked their head
5. Not eating or drinking
9. Crying lots
10. Worried they’ve swallowed something