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Work

Could mothers in your workplace be struggling?

Benenden Health’s new survey has discovered that a third of mums say their career has suffered after becoming a parent.

The comprehensive study of mums aged 25-60, with kids between the ages of three-20, also found one in eight mums struggle with stress ‘every day’.

One in three parents also believe they only experienced issues with their mental health after becoming a mum.

Thirty-three per cent of mums say their career or work life has suffered after becoming a parent, and the same amount think their romantic relationship has deteriorated.

To discover the top 15 biggest causes of stress for mothers, read our full mental health and mums report.

Cheryl Lythgoe, senior matron at Benenden Health and a mum of four, said: “The mental and physical pressures of being a parent make it undoubtably one of the hardest jobs we will ever have."

Difficulties of being a working mum

Cheryl Lythgoe added: “It is both sad and unsurprising that a third of mums feel their career has suffered after becoming a parent, while over half are struggling to maintain a good work/life balance.

“Employer culture can be a significant factor because whilst the law gives provision for basic equalities, employees who are mums can feel let down by a simple lack of support from their employer or little accessibility to flexible working arrangements.

“Increased stress therefore becomes one of the most reported impacts, which may lead to longer term mental health issues.”

But is there anything employers do to support and retain working mothers?

“Many employers who recognise the value of mums as part of a diverse workforce are offering practical solutions, such as the provision of a mental health helpline through a healthcare provider,” Cheryl Lythgoe explained

“Other solutions include flexi-time arrangements, ability to work from home and childcare vouchers or financial support.”

As well as talking to your GP when your mental health is causing you distress, there are many resources available if you or a loved one is concerned about their mental health, as a mother. In particular, if mums experience mental health problems in pregnancy or the first year after birth – commonly known as postnatal depression – information is available, find out more about the symptoms and ways to seek help. Or you can find general tips on ten ways to help your mental health which is suitable for all mums. 

Benenden Health for Business

At Benenden Health, we believe that prevention is always better than the cure. And whilst you can’t prevent your employees from ever becoming unwell, there are things you can do to prevent the costs and impacts from escalating.

Our Healthcare for Business can help you build and maintain a happier, healthier and more resilient workforce by providing access to private treatment and surgery when the NHS can’t help in a timely manner, as well as physiotherapy, a 24/7 GP helpline and an Employee Assistance Programme. Give us a call on 0800 414 8179 or visit our healthcare for business page to find out how we could help your business.

Discover our guide to supporting employees with family and caring commitments to discover more ways to support parents and others with care responsibilities in your business