'Perfect' Mums At Risk Of Depression

14/08/2014 17:02 | Updated 20 May 2015

Mums who try to be perfect risk depression

Mums who put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect are more likely to suffer from depression.

Researcher say mothers who feel pressured to calm their crying babies or misbehaving offspring in public could be putting themselves under undue stress, leaving them more susceptible to mental health problems.

The University of Michigan study revealed some mothers are too concerned about whether other people think they're a good enough mother.

This can lead to them feeling unable to ask for help when needed.

Dr Thomason, from the University of Michigan said: "Kids are supposed to be perfect and well behaved, and if that's not the case it negatively reflects on you as a parent through public perception."

The study asked 113 women to complete a questionnaire on depression and how competent they felt as a mother.

They were asked if they agreed or disagreed with statements including 'I should do everything for my baby myself', 'other mothers have fewer parenting difficulties than I do' and 'I feel guilty when I put my needs before the needs of my baby'.

The study found women who were too concerned about whether other people thought they were a 'good' mother could be more likely to become depressed.

Women who realise being a parent isn't always straight forward were more willing to ask for help.

Mothers who feel they should always stop their children misbehaving put themselves under a lot of stress.

Dr Thomason added: "If the baby is the misbehaving, it doesn't make you a bad mother. It's a matter of developing strategies, but children can be challenging."

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