NOT MUM TO JUDGE Parents reveal how they feel judged on everything from what they feed their kids to how they keep them busy

LOVE Island’s Alex and Olivia Bowen become the face of a new campaign to tackle parenting judgement as research shows damaging impact on mental health for new mums and dads.

C&G baby club have partnered with the married couple expecting their first tot in the summer for its #LoveDontJudge campaign after completing the research on 2,000 parents via OnePoll.

Love Island stars Alex and Olivia Bowen got married in September 2018 and are expecting their first child together this summer.

The campaign aims to tackle the discrimination amongst new parents, after 71 per cent said their mental wellbeing suffered as a result.

28-year-old TV personality and ambassador Olivia said: “The minute I became pregnant, it was like I was fair game – everything I ate, wore and did was heavily scrutinised

“I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t… the overwhelming amount of judgment I received was crushing.”

“That is why Alex and I have joined forces with C&G baby club – to put a stop to parental judgement and ensure every parent gets the support they need.”

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Hot topics for parental judgement range from food, to screens, to breastfeeding

1.            Bump size (too small/too big)

2.            Eating habits of child

3.            Baby activity choices

4.            Eating habits during pregnancy

5.            Weight gain

6.            Level of rest required during pregnancy

7.            The weaning process

8.            Level of exercise during pregnancy

9.            Level of screen time for children

10.          Child’s development

The research found in parents of kids aged 0-3 that 56 per cent were so intimidated by social pressures they’re now less sure about having more, and 38 per cent feel like failures.

Judgement was found to be highest during the first year of parenthood, with everything from their child’s diet (31 per cent) and the weaning process (26 per cent), to whether they let their child look at screens (25 per cent) coming under scrutiny.

The result for 51 per cent was disengaging in vital activities, such as developmental classes.

Many struggle to reach out and ask for help, with 63 per cent not feeling able to share their stories. Whilst a third of the suffering parents felt judgement from strangers, almost a third felt it from eagle-eyed mothers-in-law (29 per cent) and almost a quarter from their own friends and mothers (23 per cent).

Gurinder Bal, from C&G baby club, said: “We believe it’s time for parental judgement to stop.

“There is no such thing as ‘perfect parenting’ – parents deserve support, no matter what their parenting path looks like or the choices they make.”

Almost a quarter of the expectant mums are also facing cruel opinions on their choice to work up to their due dates (24 per cent), and on how they want to give birth (21 per cent).   

Many couples struggle to conceive naturally and have a variety of options to turn to in the age of modern science. Sadly at least ten per cent of those people reported discrimination over their choices to use IVF (12 per cent), surrogacy (11 per cent), sperm donors (12 per cent) and adoption (13 per cent).

The campaign aims to help mothers with pregnancy tips and information as well as emotional support, as well as a judgement-free focus on the nervous dads-to-be with a Dads & Partners section.

The campaign can be found here.

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