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New mum angry at ‘fat-shaming’ NHS letter sent just seven weeks after birth

A mum has criticised her local NHS trust for “fat-shaming” her with a weight loss leaflet seven weeks after she gave birth.

New parent, Dawn Wilson, from South Lanarkshire, Scotland, received the “insulting” advice sheet called “top 10 tips for achieving a healthy weight after having a baby' last week.

The 29-year-old delivered her daughter, Ava, in August.

Since then, she’s only been seen by a health visitor once six weeks ago.

Dawn also noted that the letter advised mums “attend a postnatal exercise class” even though most were shut due to Covid-19.

The care assistant wants the NHS to be “more forgiving” of post-partum women.

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Dawn said: "I was shocked to receive this.

“How cheeky of them to insinuate I need to lose weight given that nobody has seen me for almost six weeks.

"I find it rather insulting.

"They have no idea the efforts I may or may not be doing to already lose weight.”

She continued: “It would also be nice to get something about mental health in there [on the list]. I don't think my main focus right now is on my body.

"Of course my stomach is still wobbly, it had a baby grow in there for nine months and not even two months later it's expected to be back to normal.

"I think personally maternity services are shocking during this.

“Then to add insult to injury I get a letter implying I could use losing some weight when a woman's mental health is under stress with everything else.”

Many pregnant women have struggled during the coronavirus.

Rules on visitors in delivery wards and during scans mean many have been impacted.

Dawn said: “They need to be more forgiving to people who have just had babies.

“Newborns are stressful to the best of minds, never mind during a global pandemic with cheeky letters saying to put down the chocolate bar.

"If my baby is grumpy and crying and just wants to be held, then of course I'm going to make chicken dippers and chips for me and my partner over a home-cooked lasagne.”

Lynsey Sutherland, associate nurse director of children’s services and family nurse partnership, South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We aim to provide the highest standard of care to all our patients and we regret any instance where someone feels we have not met this standard.

“We do not routinely send out letters to new mothers but information is provided as part of a ‘first visit’ pack issued by health visitors during home visits.

“If Dawn wishes to provide any feedback in relation to her recent post-natal care, I would ask that she contact our patient affairs department who will be happy to assist.

“We cannot confirm sending out the leaflet as it is not our usual practice but we are currently looking into the circumstances.”

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