This week is Maternal Mental Health week and we are taking the opportunity to introduce a new pilot scheme for maternal mental health.

Whether you’re planning, expecting or caring for a new baby, there is often an expectation that you will feel happy and joyful. However, it can be a challenging time and parents can experience a range of emotional, psychological or mental health difficulties. Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness of these difficulties and the range of support available.

Sometimes unexpected events occur during pregnancy and childbirth. For this reason, a new pilot service in North Cumbria, called the Maternal Mental Health Service, seeks to help those who have had a traumatic experience related to pregnancy and childbirth, as well as support those who have a fear, anxiety, or phobia associated with pregnancy, childbirth, hospital or medical procedures.

Catherine Parker.jpgNCIC’s Clinical Lead for the service, Consultant Clinical Psychologist Catherine Parker said:   

“We know that for many people having a baby is a happy and exciting time, but sometimes things can happen that feel frightening, distressing and overwhelming. You may not have had the birth you wished to have or your baby may have needed additional medical attention. You may have experienced multiple miscarriages or be grieving for the loss of a baby. Or you may have fears relating to hospitals, which means your pregnancy becomes a very anxious time. This is why we are piloting a new service for the Trust which seeks to support some women and birthing people who experience trauma, loss or fear relating to their pregnancy or to childbirth.”

Catherine goes on to explain:

“This new service is part of a package of offers available in North Cumbria for women, birthing people and partners who are having emotional and mental health difficulties and we work closely with the midwives, health visitors, and other existing services such as the Perinatal Mental Health Service, First Steps and non-NHS organisations, to help get the best support for each person”

The team are encouraging anyone who feel they might need further support to reach out and ask for the help they need. You can request a referral to the Maternal Mental Health Service from a member of your maternity care team, your health visitor or your GP. We expect to offer you an appointment within four weeks of this referral being received.

If you would like further information please visit the maternal mental health website.

The team have also created a flyer for Mental Health Awareness which you can access here: 

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