Survey reveals impact of Covid on new parents

Web parent and baby learning

Charities report rising levels of anxiety among families with infant children 

5th August 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A new report highlights the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on expectant mothers and new parents.

Across the UK, seven in every 10 people in this group said their ability to cope with their pregnancy or baby had been impacted as a result of Covid-19.

Only a third said they were confident in being able to access mental health support if required, while around 70% reported the lockdown was affecting their baby negatively.

The impacts were felt most sharply by parents under the age of 25 and those in low income groups.

However, parents and expectant mothers in Scotland were found to have fared better than those in the rest of the UK. Scottish respondents were found to be the least anxious in the UK about Covid-19, and they also had greater confidence in being able to access mental health support than those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Families in Scotland also reported the highest levels of face-to-face contact with health visitors at 23%, compared to 4-8% across English council areas. And three-quarters stated they had been able to obtain the information they needed, which was again the highest in the UK.

The survey, conducted for a coalition of early-years charities, also found evidence that the pandemic is not affecting all communities equally. Black and Black British respondents reported being less likely to visit their GP, use websites or participate in online forums and support groups.

Peter Grigg, chief executive at Home-Start, one the charities behind the report, said: "This report exposes how unequal the experiences of parents and babies to Covid-19 have been. There is an urgent need to build back better for all communities.

“We want to improve the wellbeing of all babies to ensure a happier and successful next generation.” 

The survey was conducted online between April and June this year. A total of 5,474 expectant mothers, new parents and parents of toddlers took part, of whom 469 were in Scotland. The full report can be downloaded here.