32% of respondents said that they experienced difficulties in bonding with their baby, with 12% saying they felt embarrassed to speak to a midwife or health care professional about it.
NCT’s research coincided with Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (6-10 June).
Commenting on the research NCT Senior Policy Advisor Elizabeth Duff said: “The bond a baby has with its parents acts as a template that shapes the child’s emotions and relationships later in life so it is a crucial process.
“GPS, midwives and health visitors can also play an important role in prompting bonding and it is important that this subject is raised and parents are encouraged to speak up if there is a problem.”
NCT conducted the research to build on the #BeyondBabyBlues campaign, which aims to encourage more people to talk openly about maternal mental health.
The Royal College of Midwives Director of Midwifery, Louise Silverton, added: “This latest research is worrying. Pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period is a time of major psychological and social change for women as they negotiate their new roles as mothers.
“This research adds to an existing body of evidence of the importance of building a bond with baby and the impact that can have on early brain development and the emotional well being of an infant.”
NCT offers a helpline to support parents practically and emotionally in pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700.
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