More than two out of three first-time mothers rely on their own mothers for support.
While partners come a close second, more than one-in-four women said they could have been more supportive.
One-in-four women also rely on their mothers to mind their children when out working.
An Aviva motherhood survey of almost 600 women found that one-in- four felt emotionally unprepared for the birth of their first child. Unforeseen medical complications were feared by almost one-in-five, while more than one-in-10 felt they would be unable to cope with labour or looking after their newborn baby.
However, more than eight out of 10 described the care they received from medical staff during their hospital stay as “excellent” or “good”.
The study also found that almost half (45%) planned to, or did, breastfeed their baby.
And, if baby could come as well, more than three- quarters (77%) would be keen on attending post-natal fitness classes.
Not surprisingly, the research found that almost one-in-five women felt tired during the first six months of their baby’s life.
Two-thirds said they would have welcomed home help during the first few days at home after their baby was born.
Almost half would have liked to have had fresh homemade meals delivered, while almost 40% would have welcomed help with the laundry.
In a bid to fully prepare women for their pregnancy, Aviva have a new free maternity guide, Your Bump to Baby Guide.
Aviva Medical Council member and GP, Dr Naoimh Kenny, said the handbag-sized book provided women with everything they needed to know in a credible, concise manner.
Those wanting a free copy of Aviva’s maternity guide can go to www.avivahealth.ie where they will be asked to give personal details before a copy can be posted to them.
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