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Cornwall's New Mums' Crisis

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12:06pm 20th May 2013
(Updated 12:06pm 20th May 2013)

The shocking number of new mums in Cornwall and Devon who are struggling to cope but not telling anyone is being revealed.

Figures seen by Pirate FM show more than half are pretending things are better than they are.

A third say they feel ashamed.

Nine out of ten tell us they felt unprepared before giving birth.

Liana from Truro had little Mara two months ago: "You meet lots of people with new babies that are new mums for the first time. You can see that they're struggling but they don't want to admit it because it makes you feel like you're a bad mum.

"I've even had people stopping me in the middle of Sainsbury's telling me what my child needs. Everyone is very judgemental which doesn't help your confidence really.

"I'm lucky enough to have such a really good little girl but even when she cries and even if I know what it is, it may be that I need to feed her or her nappy needs changing, you do feel very conscious of people looking at you; why are they crying? What haven't you done?"

Alison Knights is a clinical psychologist.

She tells Pirate FM a crying baby is not necessarily a bad thing: "crying is, fundamentally, the infant's prime means of communication. The reason it upsets us so much is we are scientifically programmed to respond to babies' cries."

The NHS offers advice for new mums and clinical psychologist Alison Knights says talking it through can be a massive help:

"There is some research that shows that if you sleep when the baby sleeps you're better able to cope with the demands. But there is absolutely no substitute for talking to someone so I really do urge parents to go and talk over those worries."

12:06pm 20th May 2013

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