Pregnant women and new mums should get help and advice on bonding with their baby under new proposals to be published on Thursday.
The report, which is backed by Children’s Minister Elizabeth Truss, suggests that the current system places too much importance on physical health and not enough on emotional wellbeing.
Under the new scheme, a health visitor will interview mums-to-be while they are pregnant, and when their baby is three to four months old, asking how they are coping with parenthood and studying the interaction between mother and baby,
The Department Of Health backed report claims that postnatal depression is far more common than previously thought, and that interviews will assist health visitors in giving advice and support to new mums as well as pinpointing more serious mental health issues.
If a parent is found to have serious difficulty bonding with her child a third follow-up interview will take place at 12 to 15 months, after the appropriate support has been offered.
Many prominent coalition MP’s have backed the mooted scheme, although no date has been put forward for when the changes could be rolled out.