Skip to main content

Family information directory

Skip to main content

Early parenthood discussion: navigating the maze of advice


Free event for parents and families on the pressures of parenting - babies and toddlers welcome!


Guildford Library
North Street

Who to contact

Contact Name
Jo Blanded
Contact Position

Time / Date Details

When is it on
7th November 2019 11 am to 12 noon
Time of day
Session Information
All expectant and new parents want to do the best for their children but doing so can prove a minefield when advice is flying in from every direction. What does research tell us about the role of proliferating information and advice in the experience of early parenthood? And how can new parents navigate their way through while keeping pressures and anxieties under control? Join Rebecca Asher
author of ‘Shattered’
and social scientists from the University of Surrey for a lively and informed discussion. Babies & toddlers welcome! Further information: Between health professionals
friends and social media
expectant and new parents can feel bombarded with advice on every topic from what to eat and drink in pregnancy to approaches to baby feeding
soothing and more. Good information is important
but the volume and range of advice can be over-whelming
leading sometimes to new parents losing confidence and contributing to post-natal anxiety. Perhaps it’s time to let go of the myth of the ‘perfect parent’? As part of the annual Festival of Social Science
critically-aclaimed author Rebecca Asher
together with academics from the University of Surrey
will host a lively discussion about how new parents can find their way through the sometimes conflicting advice and support they are offered
without sacrificing their own wellbeing. We also consider how parents can best support one another without inadvertently adding to such pressures. The debate will start with remarks from journalist and author
Rebecca Asher (author of Shattered and Man Up). Rebecca Asher’s book “Shattered” discusses the weight of expectations new mothers’ face
and how strongly gendered these are. The Surrey social scientists will build on this from an academic perspective with Dr Ranjana Das discussing how pressures and ideals pervade early motherhood
including through social media communication. While such pressures typically affect mothers most acutely
Dr Paul Hodkinson will consider the experiences of dads
and describe how fathers can sometimes struggle amidst pressure and advice to be steadfast
solid ‘rocks’ for their partners. Finally Dr Jo Blanden will then challenge the source of some established recommendations and asking if all these instructions are really necessary. We’ll then open up the discussion
inviting questions
experiences and suggestions from parents
grandparents and others attending. Please contact Jo Blanden with any queries.
  • Updated: 26 Jan 2020