New mums have it hard but spare a thought for those running a business as inadequate financial protection causes huge strain WEDNESDAY
TAKING time off work after having a baby is meant to be a joyful experience for parents to bond with their child.
But for self-employed mums, it can be a particularly stressful time with worries over finances.
More than half of new mums who run their own businesses admit suffering from mental health issues due to being forced to work soon after giving birth.
A campaign has been launched calling on the Government to give self-employed mums the same financial support as employed new mums – including 90 per cent of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks.
A group of NHS medics who founded GPDQ, the doctor on demand app that enables patients to book and see a GP in their home, funded the study after seeing too many self-employed mums suffering in silence behind closed doors.
Having a baby has forced more than a third of new mums to give up their businesses and almost half considered ceasing trading due to the struggles of running a business and becoming a new mum, according to the survey.
Self-employed new mums were asked what side-effects they had experienced because of being forced to work immediately after having a baby – 67 per cent said general stress.
About 59 per cent said they had an inability to relax and enjoy their baby and 57 per cent couldn’t sleep due to worrying about the business.
Dr Kristy Lau, one of the GPs behind GPDQ, said: “If self-employed mums can get maternity pay equal to their employed equivalents, it’s one way they can get the support they need to enjoy motherhood.”