New mothers are becoming increasingly isolated from the traditional support of family and friends, and are more reliant on social networks and internet sites, a survey carried out by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has revealed.

The charity claims that nearly a third of the 1,000 new mums questioned said they did not feel it was important to maintain face-to-face contact with friends. Seventy per cent also said they lived at least 40 miles away from close family when they had their first child, while a quarter said they did not know other parents in their local area.

Sally Horrox, from the NCT, said: "New mums often feel isolated and lonely after the birth of their first child, and despite the support available online, there is no real substitute for face-to-face interaction with other parents who live near you."

The findings also put pressure on health visitors and midwives to know what groups and activities are available in the local area, to encourage the social interaction and networking that various studies have shown is so beneficial to both parent and baby.

In response to their own survey, the NCT now plans to expand its Bumps & Babies group for mothers and mums-to-be, so that they can meet other parents.

Posted by Robert Mair on 18.5.11 Comment on this article by sending it to:

Mum on laptop