CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Mothers of young mothers biggest source of support

HONG KONG (SE): Pressures faced by young mothers can be greatly reduced if they have a good relationship with their own mothers, a survey carried out by Project Hyacinth-Enrichment Service for Young Mothers, revealed. 
Project Hyacinth, run by Caritas Youth and Community Service, released the results of the survey at Caritas Community Centre, Tsuen Wan, on August 19, and encouraged the government and concerned groups to come up with measures to facilitate a healthy family relationship for young mothers.
Over 80 per cent of 128 women below the age of 23 who were interviewed in July responded that they became mothers before they were 19-years-old. Over 60 per cent said their own mothers gave them the biggest support after giving birth to their first babies. 43 per cent of the respondents said they were living with their mothers, while 56 per cent lived with their partners.
The survey also showed that young mothers long for positive support from their own mothers, such as having joyful gatherings and sharing. Over half of the respondents hoped for more chances to communicate with their mothers through phone calls, text messages or visits so that they could maintain a close relationship with them. 
Katie Cheung Man-wai, a social worker in charge of the survey, pointed out that young mothers need the support of their own families in the aspects of child-caring, emotional support and personal care, as well as various services from different organisations.
At the same time, the newborn baby provides the family with an opportunity to develop a closer relationship. She believes professional intervention should be introduced to help the new mothers to communicate and foster a stronger relationship with their own families. She said the relationship plays an important role in the psychological well being of the mother as well as the child.
Cheung said it is worthwhile for the government to introduce measures to help young mothers to connect with their own families, which are a big source of emotional as well as other kinds of support. 
Sixty-two per cent of respondents said they were under high pressure from taking care of their babies. However, 87 per cent said they are able to pacify their babies, demonstrating a high level of satisfaction as a mother.
As for childcare support, 62 per cent of the respondents said the biggest support came from their mothers, while only 16 per cent said it came from their partners.
When asked to give marks to their mothers on a scale of one to 10, as many as 66 per cent gave their mothers seven marks, while 27 per cent gave full marks, showing a high degree of gratitude. 
Respondents were also invited to rate the relationship with their mothers before and after the first baby was born. Those who gave out high marks, that is, seven or above, to the relationship before the baby was born accounted for 49 per cent, while those giving high marks after the baby was born accounted for 68 per cent, demonstrating that a closer bond had developed because of the baby.

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