Help for new mums with mental health difficulties

editorial image

Pregnant women and new mums with serious mental health difficulties can now benefit from a new service offered by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The Perinatal Community Mental Health Team is led by a dedicated consultant perinatal psychiatrist, working with other health professionals to offer mental health treatment and advice to pregnant women, new mums and their partners and relatives.

Steph Hodds, perinatal team coordinator said: “Women with serious mental health difficulties in pregnancy and the year following birth require specialist psychiatric treatment significantly different from that provided by general adult mental health services.”

Dr Zena Schofield, acting consultant perinatal psychiatrist said: “Although the majority of women remain well from a mental health perspective following birth, it is a time in women’s lives when the risk of them developing a serious mental illness is significantly increased. Untreated serious mental illness impacts on the health of the mother and baby. Currently suicide is still a leading cause of death following childbirth.”

The perinatal period covers pregnancy and the first year of motherhood.

Dr Schofield added: “Ensuring women with serious mental illnesses are managed proactively during pregnancy and childbirth means they recover more quickly enabling them to continue to care for their babies.

“We will work to keep mum and baby together, ensuring treatment is provided.”

“By raising awareness of the importance of early detection of perinatal mental health disorders we are able to provide appropriate and timely treatment during pregnancy and in the post-natal period to manage serious mental health difficulties.”