A new initiative to support the emotional well-being and mental health of new and expectant mothers has been launched this week.
A new scheme, called the Perinatal Mental Health Pathway has been created by the NHS Aylesbury Vale and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
It will support mothers across a range of concerns - from mild anxiety or depression to more severe mental illness - and will give them access to a variety of services appropriate for their needs.
This can include GPs, midwives, individual or group therapy through the Healthy Minds service, or access to a specialist perinatal mental health team.
It has been designed to make sure women who may be experiencing concerns can be referred to the appropriate service by healthcare professionals, community support organisations or by contacting the services directly themselves.
Ruth House, Perinatal Mental Health Project Manager, said: “Becoming a mum can be a wonderful time in life, but it also brings with it many challenges and difficulties. Motherhood is a hard, emotionally draining job, both during pregnancy and in the days, weeks and months after birth.
“Our new Perinatal Mental Health Pathway is designed to support the individual needs of mothers across a range of concerns - whether a mild case of anxiety or a more serious mental health issue. We want to make our service users get the help they need at the right time - and we want them to be a key part of any decisions made about care and treatment.
“Designing this pathway over the last year, with the help of many healthcare colleagues, has been extremely exciting and rewarding. With it, we can make a real difference to the lives of mums just when they need it the most - which can, in turn, make a difference to the lives of their young children and families too.”