Mental health a concern for Aussie working mums

WORKPLACE conditions influence postpartum mental health of working mothers, an Australian study of 1300 women shows.

Four in 10 mothers return to work before their child turns one, with more than one-half returning before they want to. 

Research from the Parenting Research Centre and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute found that even when accepted risk factors are taken into account, lack of access to paid parental leave, inflexible hours, lack of control and job insecurity were linked to distress in mothers of young children. 

Only one in five women in the study returned to jobs with optimal conditions for balancing work and family commitments. Women who had the least favourable employment conditions were one and a half times more likely to report psychological distress than women with the most optimal conditions.

“This should be taken into account in the assessment and treatment of mothers in paid employment who are