Currently, we live in an increasingly ageing society. Firstly, due to the increase in average life expectancy, the result of improved health care and living conditions, but also the result of reduced birth rates and the consequent lack of generational renewal. The decrease in the local population, as well as its ageing, is notable from year to year.
Aurora focuses precisely on the birth rate.
We know, based on the UNFPA “Report on the evolution of the world population of 2018”, that, for example, in Portugal, on average women and couples want to have about 2.3 children and in reality have 1.2. When asked about their parenting wishes, we (the Aurora team) found out that the change of will (change in parenting wishes) occurs after the birth of the first child and that it is related to the fact that couples feel they do not have support that they consider appropriate (available whenever necessary, easily accessible,…) which conditions them in the decision to return to being parents and, ultimately, impacts on the decrease in the birth rate, which has a parallel in all the most developed countries.
In the same investigation, it was asked what the main problems and difficulties were and in what areas they were felt (in their recent parenting experience), with sleep and breastfeeding standing out. Specifically, 43% of respondents considered that adapting to the baby’s post-birth phase was difficult or very difficult; 41% experienced difficulties related to sleep issues; 36% experience difficulties related to breastfeeding.
It is easy to see that families are challenged in terms of their quality of life when they decide to have children. Can you imagine what it will be like to spend years without being able to sleep properly?
For new parents, this is probably one of the most challenging times in their lives. For them, it will be the first time that they will have to bathe, feed or fall asleep alone. The collective knowledge that was once passed from mother to mother is now out of reach, whether due to the distance to the extended family or the current pace of life. And the confidence and knowledge that came from the experience of having dealt with younger brothers, cousins and nephews before our own son was born, was lost.
The issue is also related to decreases in productivity and difficulties in the family/work balance.
The families are experiencing parenting with various negative feelings such as anxiety to resolve common situations, fear about difficulties and the insecurity of not knowing what is normal and expected.
75% of parents with children aged up to 6 years have complaints regarding the sleep of children.
One hour of missing sleep already affects productivity, concentration and substantially increases errors by default or oversight.
Many parents go for several years without getting a full night’s sleep. That is, they are subject to sleep deprivation resulting directly from this new routine “imposed” by the new baby’s routine. According to a questionnaire carried out in England, it is estimated that, in the baby’s first year of life, parents sleep less than the corresponding 44 days.