A new government-backed study recommends that new mothers are interviewed by a health representative to determine if their parenting skills are on track.
The report suggests that parents who are assessed as obviously struggling to cope with a new-born in their homes should be referred to a service specializing in ensuring a healthy emotional relationship is formed between infants and their parents.
Experts say during the first two years of a child’s life, the interaction that child experiences from parents can influence behavioural development, and good interaction is essential to reduce the risk of future problems.
The report will be published this week, and the proposal is expected to offer women an initial interview during their pregnancies and a second when their babies are around four months old.
The authors of the report say the interview process will be primarily aimed at helping to build and strengthen the bond between parents and their infants; however, if a family is having difficulty, a referral will be offered.
With recent studies finding postnatal depression an increasingly common condition, help via a referral to a specialist may be beneficial for many new mothers.
The interview process would not be mandatory, and mothers could choose to opt out at any time.
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