20th Sep, 2019

Funding boost for Redditch mums with pre or post-natal depression

MENTAL health support for mums in Worcestershire who suffer pre and post-natal depression has received a funding boost from NHS England.

The Worcestershire Perinatal Mental Health team has secured a share of £350,000 through the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).

The cash will develop the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s team and set up a similar service in Herefordshire.

Women and families will benefit from better access to psychological therapies and interventions, specialist perinatal occupational therapists and community nursery nurses.

The cash will also pay for additional psychological therapy, occupational therapy, nursery nurse support and a new peer support worker who has experienced perinatal mental health issues and will support mums during their most vulnerable times.

Perinatal mental health problems occur during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth, affecting 20 per cent of women.

They cover a wide range of conditions and if left untreated can have significant effects on the woman and her family and impact on a child’s development.

Sian Westaway, the Worcestershire Perinatal Psychiatry Team’s clinical lead, said: “We are really looking forward to working with more women across Worcestershire, particularly those in rural or harder to reach communities.”

Dr John Devapriam, the Health and Care NHS Trust’s medical director, added psychological and emotional difficulties and illnesses were common after childbirth and also during pregnancy but that difficulties are often resolved quickly.

Most women had the ‘baby blues’ three to five days after the birth but around ten per cent develop post-natal depression.

“There are some women who we know have a higher risk of developing the condition and we offer screening clinics at the antenatal clinic to help us identify women who may be of increased risk,” he said.

“We can help them manage that risk and support them during pregnancy and after delivery.”

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