Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week: Local midwife supporting women who need it most
Today marks the start of the annual Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, a campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the mental health problems that women face both during and after pregnancy.
Organised by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK, the campaign sees maternity wards up and down the country coming together to talk about the different issues that women face.
This year, the theme is ‘Journeys to Recovery’ and runs from 3 May to 9 May.
Leanne Ellis, a midwife who works from Grimsby and Scunthorpe, is urging pregnant women in the area not to suffer in silence and to reach out for help if they need it.
She said: “Having a baby is a big life event, and it is natural for women to experience a range of emotions and reactions during and after their pregnancy. But if this starts to have an impact on how you live your life, you might be experiencing a mental health problem.
“When a woman conceives, or when the new baby arrives, there is an expectation that mum should be happy and excited, however it is estimated that one in four women will experience a mental health problem.
Perinatal mental health issues occur during pregnancy and in the first year after giving birth, and can include antenatal or postnatal depression, anxiety disorders, adjustment difficulties and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Leanne said: “It’s important to ask for help or support. You’re likely to find that many new mothers are feeling the same way. It is about helping those women affected by maternal mental problems to access the information and help they need to support their recovery.
“I am still working through the pandemic, contacting women over the phone, in a virtual clinic and if they are coming in for an existing appointment, I will see them in clinic. This has appeared to work well during the last year of the pandemic.
“These are challenging and unchartered times, but one thing remains a constant – local services are on hand to help, support and advise you and your families during this time.”
If you are pregnant or have recently had a baby and you are struggling with your mental health, you can contact Leanne on 3033 305 993 or [email protected].
Watch our interview with Leanne here: