Mothers hide depression for fear of losing children

Almost half of all mothers suffering from post natal depression hide their feelings for fear of having their children taken into care, it has emerged.

A documentary to be aired on BBC1 tonight found that 44 per cent of mothers did not tell health visitors the full extent of their emotions for fear they would call social services which may result in them losing their children.

Jean Robinson of the Association for the Improvement in Maternity Services said recent high profile child abuse cases may have led to health visitors focussing on picking up abuse.

“Since the Climbie Inquiry, the government has asked all healthcare personnel and healthcare visitors to look out for risk for children so that their primary priority is not to help the mother and support the family, but to say ‘Are these children at risk, we must report it to social services, I cover my back by doing this.”

Most new mothers are asked to fill in a form called the Edinburgh Scale which is designed to assess them for post natal depression.

It is thought around one in 10 new mothers suffer from post natal depression.

Real Story to be broadcast tonight at 7 30pm.

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