New Mum Left Devastated By ‘Fat Shaming’ NHS Brochure Just Weeks After Giving Birth
29-year-old Dawn from Forth, South Lanarkshire received the 'cheeky' fact sheet titled 'top 10 tips for achieving a healthy weight after having a baby' last Friday morning (October 9th), even though she has only been seen by a health visitor once since giving birth to her first child, Ava McGilvray.
The list also advises mums to 'attend a postnatal exercise class', even though most have been cancelled due to coronavirus.
The senior care assistant has now called on the NHS to 'be more forgiving' of new mums and stop shaming them for eating a 'chocolate biscuit'.
NHS Lanarkshire has said leaflets of these kind aren't what they usually send out though, so looks like something has gone a bit wrong down the line!
"I was shocked to receive this. How cheeky of them to insinuate I need to lose weight given that nobody has seen me for almost six weeks," Dawn said.
"I find it rather insulting. My health visitor has seen my baby once at one week old and is due on Monday for her development check at seven weeks old.
"They have no idea the efforts I may or may not be doing to already lose weight.
"It would also be nice to get something about mental health in there [on the list]. I don't think my main focus right now is on my body. It took nine months of stretching my stomach - it won't go down over night.
"Of course my stomach is still wobbly, it had a baby grow in there for nine months and not even two months later it's expected to be back to normal.
More Like ThisMore Like This
"I think personally maternity services are shocking during this. Then to add insult to injury I get a letter implying I could use losing some weight when woman's mental health is under stress with everything else.
"They need to be more forgiving to people who have just had babies. Focus more on being positive and promoting positive mental health than making mums feel guilty for having a takeaway or a chocolate biscuit."
While Dawn admits that looking after a young baby often leaves her reaching for convenience foods - "If my baby is grumpy and crying and just wants to be held, then of course I'm going to make chicken dippers and chips for me and my partner over a homecooked lasagne," she says - I think we can all agree that we would be doing the exact same thing.
Lynsey Sutherland, associate nurse director of children's services and family nurse partnership, South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: "We aim to provide the highest standard of care to all our patients and we regret any instance where someone feels we have not met this standard.
"We do not routinely send out letters to new mothers but information is provided as part of a 'first visit' pack issued by health visitors during home visits.
"If Dawn wishes to provide any feedback in relation to her recent post-natal care, I would ask that she contact our patient affairs department who will be happy to assist.
"We cannot confirm sending out the leaflet as it is not our usual practice but we are currently looking into the circumstances."