Just 13 per cent of new mothers in the North of England have had a six week check up from their GP, which was solely focussed on their own health and wellbeing.

Just 13 per cent of new mothers in the North of England have had a six week check up from their GP, which was solely focussed on their own health and wellbeing.

Just 13 per cent of new mothers in the North of England have had a six week check up from their GP, which was solely focussed on their own health and wellbeing.

And over just a third – 37 per cent – saw their doctor face to face for the check.

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The six-week check-up is designed to spot any issues new mothers are facing, including with breastfeeding and sleep issues.

Physical health issues are discussed, and may include having stitches checked if a woman needed them during labour.

But GPs are also supposed to use the appointment to ascertain if a mother is at risk of developing health problems.

According to NHS guidance, the check should be separate to that for the new baby, which is also supposed to happen between them being six and eight weeks old.

But the National Childbirth Trust said some 29 per cent of new mothers in the North were not being asked about their emotional or mental health at all at their six-week routine GP check-up, slightly above the national average of 25 per cent.

And 87 per cent said the appointment was focused mainly or equally on the baby’s health, compared to 45 per cent when the same question was surveyed in 2019.

Sarah McMullan, the director of impact and engagement at the NCT, said: “More limited access to face-to-face appointments during the pandemic has made it more difficult to have conversations where mums feel comfortable discussing their concerns.

“It’s vital mothers have the space and time to discuss any health problems to help them access support and prevent them from getting worse.

“If they aren’t given the support they need, it can have a devastating impact on the whole family.”

A study published last month in Frontiers in Psychology showed that almost half of mothers – 47.5 per cent – met the threshold for post-natal depression in the first lockdown, an almost doubling since before the pandemic.