26 September 2023

Family support found vital for new parents

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The importance of help, support and connection from family at the time of pregnancy and new parenthood has been highlighted in a report from the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

Executive Manager, Families, Society and Life Course Research at AIFS, Jennifer Baxter said the Becoming a new parent in the COVID-19 pandemic Report was the seventh report from AIFS’s 2020 Families in Australia Survey.

“This Report highlights how important the support of a partner is to many people at this time,” Dr Baxter said.

“Amid the COVID-19 restrictions, participants expressed that they highly valued this support and missed it when it was not available, such as when attending medical appointments,” she said.

“Also, we could see from the responses that, during the pandemic, the help received by a partner was particularly important, given some constraints on access to extended family and services.”

Dr Baxter, who is also author of the Report, said extended family support was often missed by Survey respondents, with extended family generally unable to travel and be present to help with a newborn.

She said the Report found that 53 per cent of expectant and new parents received help or support from family, and 40 per cent received assistance from friends.

AIFS’s 25-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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