Hello Brigitte, Good to hear from you. You are working at the coal face in this regard. I have recently updated my profile on this site but in this I set out my research background and work experience. In 2010 I graduated from the ANU with a doctorate in gender and sociology. My thesis, that I worked on for just over five years, focused on women in the early years after the birth of their first infant. I conducted 3 hour in-depth interviews with sixteen women and this data along with significant research on: the Transition to Parenthood; family in society; and midwifery and maternal and child health materials to make my argument. There is a body of evidence of depression for women both during the pregnancy and after the birth, but also higher rates of anxiety accompanied by marital dissatisfaction and legendary issues related to identity. It seems to me that these health concerns have been heavily medicalized and don't appear to be accompanied by calls for social change. A couple of years ago there was a national inquiry into Midwifery services (that generally conclude six weeks after the birth) there is a need for the same kind of national inquiry into the Maternal (now Family) and Child Health services as these are a critical touchstone between this client group and the health services. There is currently a related CHoRUS study being conducted by the University of Western Sydney but the questions are heavily weighted towards the infant/child and not the mother. Furthermore, the current policy emphasis, that has arisen from the National Agenda for Early Childhood continues to take the focus away from women and their families - as you have noted - how can infants and children prosper if their mothers are unwell and their families struggling?
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