Mother-In-laws: From Butt to Bedside


A new survey out today has revealed that 20% of Brits would choose an ‘in-law’ to be at the birth of their baby.

Top 10 Celebrity In-Laws

1.       Mary Berry (28%)

2.       Joanna Lumley (13%)

3.       Jeremy Clarkson (11%)

4.       Katie Hopkins (10%)

5.       Maggie Smith (9%

6.       Boris Johnson (8%)

7.       Camilla Parker-Bowles (6%)

8.       Ed Miliband (6%)

9.       Vivienne Westwood (5%)

10.   Mick Jagger (4%)

The research from The Baby Show into 'postpartum politics' shows a significant shift in sentiment. Far from being the butt of our jokes, our mother-in-laws are now better placed at our bedsides, with 80% of new mums welcoming a visit from their partner's parents just minutes postpartum!


And the change of heart doesn’t end in hospital – it would seem that in-laws are no longer outlawed from our homes either.


Out of the 2,000 people surveyed, over half (55%) said the ideal visit duration for in-laws is between 12 and 24 hours (the same for family and close friends), with two thirds (65%) of new mums using the time to actively solicit parenting advice.


90% of new mums would happily accept a ‘push present’ from an in-law with 48% preferring money, accessories for the baby or flowers, 32% opting for less tangible gifts such as emotional support, babysitting hours and a promise of no judgement, and 9% simply wanting their freezer stocked with home cooked food!


Over one fifth (22%) of new mums would feel confident leaving their in-laws in sole charge of their newborn within two weeks of the birth, whilst the majority (51%) would feel comfortable after one month.  And when it comes to in-law etiquette, nearly half (45%) of respondents said they'd make a conscious effort to divide their baby’s time equally between their parents and their partner's parents.


Our new found fondness for our in-laws is evident certainly, however, the shift in sentiment is not absolute. 


10% of those surveyed would avoid their in-laws completely postpartum with unwanted advice, feelings of being judged and assumed inadequacy the main reasons. One quarter (25%) of respondents said they'd never leave their little one in the hands of their in-laws and 11% want nothing from their in-laws postpartum apart from ‘peace and quiet’.


When it comes to the ideal 'celebrity in-law', the doyenne of baking Mary Berry topped the list with 28% of the votes, with down-to-earth British icon Joanna Lumley in second place (13%). Shockingly 10% of Brits voted the outspoken Katie Hopkins their ideal in-law, beating Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith (9%), Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (6%) and designer Vivienne Westwood (5%). Aging rock star Mick Jagger rolled in last with 4% of the votes. (Top 10 celebrity in-law list in Note to Editors)


Dr. Ellie Cannon, Baby Show Olympia Expert and author of Keep Calm: The New Mum’s Manual' gives the following advice to new parents who are anxious about postpartum politics, "Crucially, when you are sleep deprived and recovering from labour, it is not worth wasting what vital precious energy you have on anything other than yourself or your baby, so don't worry about offending in-laws (parents, friends, or anyone else for that matter too!). Be discerning with your guest list – only guests bringing food or happiness should be allowed in. Visitors can make their own tea, and yours for that matter too”.

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