Guest blog by Dr Hind Khalifeh, consultant perinatal psychiatrist
The pandemic has compounded the mental health problems experienced by pregnant and postnatal women, and at the same time limited their personal and professional support networks. This has put a significant strain on our perinatal mental health services.
The report commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), conducted by Centre for Mental Health, points to a national picture of services under strain and growing demand, and that’s certainly our experience in our specialist perinatal mental health service in London. Continue reading Services supporting the mental health of new and soon-to-be mums under serious strain
Guest blog by Clotilde Rebecca Abe, founder and CEO of Prosperitys Trust and Co-founder of Five X More
When I was pregnant with my first child, I went to see my local GP because I was concerned about my mental health. It was hard to admit I needed help. I was asked by the doctor whether I was experiencing suicidal thoughts. I wasn’t, so I answered ‘no’. But if I was, I am sure I would have still answered ‘no’ because I would have been concerned that my child might be taken away from me if I said ‘yes’. So I did not get the treatment, advice and support I needed. Afterwards, the experience made me feel stupid, but more importantly it seemed like there was a barrier to treatment that I couldn’t hurdle. Continue reading Services supporting maternal mental health must hear the voices of black and brown women
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is working with member Centre for Mental Health to explore the impact of COVID-19 on maternal mental health.
Funded by Comic Relief, we will be conducting a rapid evidence review of the impact of COVID-19 on maternal mental health and services, including the voluntary and community sector, across all four UK nations.
Continue reading Rapid review of the impact of COVID-19 on maternal mental health and services
Update from Dr Sarah Witcombe-Hayes, Everyone’s Business Campaign Wales Coordinator
Perinatal mental health
In Wales, community perinatal mental health (PMH) services have continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 crisis, providing support to mums, dads/partners and the families who need it.
Fortunately, PMH teams were unaffected by redeployment to other frontline areas and were able to work quickly and innovatively to ensure appointments moved online or over the phone, where possible. More intensive face-to-face support has been determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on need. Support and consultation for other healthcare colleagues have also been prioritised. Continue reading How perinatal mental health services in Wales reacted to the pandemic
These are uncertain times for us all, but particularly those who are expecting or have recently had a baby.
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) does not usually create materials for mums directly, but in these extraordinary times, MMHA members, staff and leading experts have collaborated on guidance to help new and expectant mums protect their mental wellbeing.
Read and share the guidance now >
Now also available in Welsh
In the hope of reaching as many new and expectant mums in the UK as possible with expert information to support their mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the MMHA guidance is also available in the Welsh language:
Read and share Welsh guidance now >
Special thanks to those Maternal Mental Health Alliance members, Everyone’s Business lived experience champions, maternity and maternal mental health professionals who helped produce this guidance.
Think piece by Joanne Smith, Everyone’s Business Scotland Coordinator
On World Maternal Mental Health Day, the time is right to reflect on the progress made in Scotland to protect pregnant women, new mums and their babies during the perinatal period.
While there have been encouraging signs of progress following the establishment of the perinatal managed clinical network and the perinatal and infant mental health programme board, the levels of specialist provision still falls short in most parts of the country, meaning right now, women and families still face a postcode lottery.
Continue reading Perinatal mental health services more important now than ever as we emerge from the pandemic