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Nervy first-time mums make an average of 16 trips to the doctors in their child’s first year, research has shown. Research revealed millions of mums admit ‘panicking’ and taking baby to the doctors’ surgery during their first year, 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 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.
The study also found it takes a new mum around six-and-a-half months on average to become accustomed to her child’s different cries and coughs without panicking on each occasion.
The figures were revealed following a study carried out by leading health and wellbeing mutual organisation Benenden Health.
Jean Scott of Benenden 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 that half of mums felt 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 of age.
Additionally, two thirds of mums said they made regular checks all through the night to see if their baby was still breathing, and that fear doesn’t stop until the child reaches 13.5 months of age 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, it emerged.
One in five mums admitted worrying too much, while one third considered their worrying to always be justified.
However, 44% had been made to feel like they were a hypochondriac, or guilty of 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 who were regularly worrying.
While a third 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.
Experience clearly counts, as 45% of those who went on to have a second child said they worried less about getting everything right.
Jean Scott added:
”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