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Caring for mental health in maternity

09 May 2023

A pregnant woman on a sunny day.

Extra support from a new team of specialist midwives is now available to help people with mental health issues and worries around having a baby and becoming a parent.

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has expanded the perinatal mental health midwifery team within their maternity services to provide additional support to pregnant patients who have mental health needs.

It highlights the issues raised in Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (1-7 May), a week long campaign dedicated to talking about mental illness while pregnant or after having a baby. The overall theme of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 is ‘Together in a changing world’

Lorraine Dodd, Lead Perinatal Mental Health Midwife, said: “I am proud to be able to offer support and guidance to pregnant patients and their families and help them through their pregnancy journey to parenthood. Although exciting, pregnancy can also be a daunting time for those with additional mental health needs. It can feel a very lonely and frightening place and our aim is to make this easier for patients - we are holding their hands through the journey.”

The team works with patients with additional mental health needs in pregnancy and the immediate post-natal period.  They also work closely with mental health teams in the local area to ensure people are given the right care by specialist mental health teams in the community.

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is a national campaign organised by a small group of individuals including women with lived experience, who came together in 2014 with the dream of creating an awareness campaign for maternal mental health.  In 2017 the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP) launched the first ever UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, falling within the week of World Maternal Mental Health Day. 

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