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Supporting positive conversations about feeding choice and mental health in the perinatal period

by Shereen Fisher and Wendy Jones.

Wendy Jones  is a pharmacist, published author and a Registered Supporter and Trainer with the Breastfeeding Network. Wendy has combined these two roles and has developed a special interest in the safety of drugs in breastmilk. She has run the Drugs in Breastmilk service for the charity since 2007.
Shereen Fisher, Chief Executive of the Breastfeeding Network, has over 15 years leadership and management experience working in the charity sector. She is passionate and driven to improve awareness on issues affecting choice in infant feeding for all families and breastfeeding mothers.

The relationship between how a woman feeds her baby, and her perinatal mental health is a complex one.

Our emotional state and mental health in the perinatal period may affect how we decide to feed our baby. Choosing how we feed our little one may be based on many things such as how our own mum fed us, advice from professionals and what we have seen friends and family do. Our emotional wellbeing – factors such as how we feel about ourselves, our bodies and our relationships – can also influence this decision. Continue reading Supporting positive conversations about feeding choice and mental health in the perinatal period

‘Inspiring and full of innovative buzz’ the first Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference

“Such an inspiring inaugural event full of innovative buzz,” “Learnt so much at MMHA Conference Bring on 2018!” Tweets like this summed up the response to the First Annual UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference on the transgenerational impact of poor maternal mental health.

Everyone who attended, plus the hundreds who followed the day’s events on Twitter, appreciated the chance to hear cutting edge research mixed with stories of lived experience. The conference had a strong following on social media, trending on Twitter during the morning and gathering 4.4 million Twitter impressions for #MMHAconf17.

Continue reading ‘Inspiring and full of innovative buzz’ the first Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference

The role of a Liaison Psychiatrist in perinatal mental health

.By Susie Lingwood, Liaison Psychiatrist, North Middlesex University Hospital

Susie Lingwood is a Liaison Psychiatrist in north London. The Mums and Babies in Mind team are working with Susie and her colleagues to improve perinatal mental health services in Haringey and the surrounding boroughs. In this blog Susie explains what her role involves, what she has done to improve services and how mums with perinatal mental health problems and their babies are being supported locally.

I work as a Liaison Psychiatrist in the Mental Health Liaison Service at the North Middlesex University Hospital in north London. This isn’t a specific perinatal mental health role, but involves liaising between psychiatry and maternity (and other services). Barnet, Enfield and Haringey (BEH) Mental Health NHS Trust provide the hospital with the service. Our boroughs are currently rated red on the Maternal Mental Health Alliance map as there is no Specialist Perinatal Mental Health service but in October 2016 we were successful in receiving funding from NHS England to develop a specialist team here and I am looking forward to being involved in its development.

Continue reading The role of a Liaison Psychiatrist in perinatal mental health

I’m ready to thrive not just survive: Lindsay Robinson’s story

By Lindsay Robinson, mum, campaigner and advocate for maternal mental health

Lindsay is mum to Reuben and lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is dedicated to raising awareness of perinatal mental health and helping to improve support for all who struggle. She works with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

In September 2015 I was finally diagnosed with Postnatal Depression, two years after my son was born. I had experienced a long (undiagnosed) battle with the illness which made me severely ill – mentally, emotionally and physically. Having asked for help, twice, in the early months and not been treated, I then believed how I was feeling was my fault. I used to tell myself I’d “missed the mum gene”. Continue reading I’m ready to thrive not just survive: Lindsay Robinson’s story

Priority setting in local services with use of the MABIM mapping tool

by Julia Thompson. Julia is a Health Improvement Principal in the Children’s Public Health Team at Sheffield City Council. Prior to her role in Sheffield she has held a variety of positions in health and local government at local, national and regional levels, and has a particular interest in strengthening partnerships across organisations and with communities to improve wellbeing and outcomes. Julia has been Sheffield’s lead for perinatal and infant mental health lead for over two and a half years.

Sheffield has been working hard to improve support for women experiencing mental health problems during the perinatal period through better co-ordinated treatment and support.

At the heart of this has been our integrated perinatal mental health care pathway which was finalised in 2015. Developed with the involvement of health visiting, midwifery, primary care and specialist services, this is now the agreed model of support in the city and the basis on which professionals work together.  The care pathway provides a strong foundation for improving identification and referral and developing services, but we know that more work is needed to improve women’s experiences of care and to achieve better outcomes. Continue reading Priority setting in local services with use of the MABIM mapping tool

Putting fathers in the picture

 

by Sharin Baldwin. Sharin is a trained nurse, midwife and health visitor and a keen advocate for health visiting. Her research interest is the mental health and wellbeing of fathers, an area that is fairly neglected. She is currently undertaking a PhD in this field at King’s College London and is the first health visitor to be awarded a Clinical Doctoral Fellowship by NIHR.

Fathers’ mental health and wellbeing has attracted more media attention is recent months but despite this there is very little support out there for new fathers. We know that as men become fathers they face many changes and new challenges, as women do, which can increase stress and have a negative impact on their mental wellbeing.

Continue reading Putting fathers in the picture

MABIM Masterclass 3 : Midwives and health visitors in perinatal mental health

What is it? This short report captures the key messages from our third masterclass event which was on the role of midwives and health visitors in perinatal mental health services.

What is it for? The document contains top tips from our expert speakers who work as midwives and health visitors within perinatal mental health.  The importance of the specialist role is included. It provides information and examples of how important the roles are within perinatal mental health and the way the specialist role can be valuable for the wider team.

How can it be used?  Commissioners, providers and clinicians can use the top tips to learn lessons from those who have experience in midwifery and health visiting and how these roles can be enhanced to provide specialist support in perinatal mental health care. Please tweet and share the report with anyone who might find it useful.

Video Interaction Guidance in a Nutshell

VIG blog

Hilary Kennedy is an Educational Psychologist, Honorary Senior Lecturer UCL and AVIGuk National Trainer and Supervisor. She is a key developer of Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) in the UK and is involved in supporting research in the effectiveness of VIG as an intervention.

 

The recent MABIM ‘introduction to Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)’ seminar explored the value of VIG in supporting mums and babies where perinatal mental illness existed.  In this blog, Hilary explains the intervention and how widely it can be used to support the parent-infant relationship. Continue reading Video Interaction Guidance in a Nutshell

Tackling stigma around perinatal mental illness

By Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration with 2gether NHS Foundation TrustGloucestershire

Mums and Babies in Mind is working in Gloucestershire to support local leaders to improve perinatal mental health services. We asked Jane Melton about the campaign they have developed to help tackle stigma around perinatal mental illness.  Continue reading Tackling stigma around perinatal mental illness

Beyond Peer Support: Twitter and Perinatal Mental Health

By Laura Wood, mum with lived experience who campaigns for better perinatal mental health, @cooksferryqueen

Laura has created a Twitter tutorial to help professionals working in the sector to make the most of Twitter for perinatal mental health. Here, she blogs about her story and how online peer support has helped her and others.

A month or so after my son’s traumatic birth in February 2014, I unravelled quite suddenly, and I had no idea what was happening to me. I was experiencing flashbacks, violent intrusive thoughts, and suicidal impulses. I was completely all over the place, and I was terrified. I was aware of postnatal depression, but I also knew that I wasn’t depressed. Continue reading Beyond Peer Support: Twitter and Perinatal Mental Health