Support is being offered to women and families across the region to help with their mental health and wellbeing during pregnancy and after the birth of a child.
The Every Mum Matters campaign aims to support new and expectant mums and their families to be able to recognise symptoms of perinatal mental health problems early and encourage them to seek help quickly
Relaunched by Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership (HCV), the campaign is being backed across North East Lincolnshire by NAViGO.
Perinatal mental health issues (those which occur during pregnancy or during the baby’s first year) affect one-in-five women, but with the right support and interventions many issues are treatable.
Recognising the signs early and seeking support quickly improves recovery and outcomes for mums and their babies.
The campaign recognises that having a baby is a major life event for mums and partners and it is common to experience a range of emotions during and after pregnancy. Health professionals say that when feelings start to have an impact on day-to-day life, it is time to talk to someone.
Every Mum Matters aims to raise awareness of perinatal mental health problems, start conversations, reduce stigma and encourage women to come forward to get help.
Jane Matfin, a specialist perinatal mental health nurse and clinical lead said: “Working in the perinatal team feels like I’m doing really important and meaningful work. It is satisfying to be able work so collaboratively with women and their families and a privilege to be part of someone’s life at such a significant time for them. We know we can, and do, make a difference.
“I feel like the special role we have with our women means we develop excellent therapeutic relationships. The strength shown by women we care for, even when they are really struggling, is amazing and we get to support that.”
Covid-19 has also had a significant impact on pregnant women and new mums, who have dealt with changes to maternity services, reduced face-to-face appointments and a decrease in family support due to restrictions and lockdowns.
The HCV specialist perinatal mental health team have seen an increase in referrals for women who are experiencing high levels of anxiety as a direct result of these measures, as well as heightened fears of having to birth without their partner being present.
The NAViGO perinatal mental health team encourages pregnant women and new mums struggling with their mental health during this time, to speak to their midwife, health visitor, GP or other professional involved in their care who can refer them to the most appropriate service.