How do we help?
We provide a specialist service for mothers with mental health problems during pregnancy and following the birth of their baby.
The team comprises of a mix of skilled professionals who provide a range of treatment options which can be delivered at home, in one of the community bases or as an inpatient.
What has caused this Mental Health Condition?
A new baby in a couple’s life is often a far greater life event than can be anticipated in terms of change and restrictions on previous lifestyle. This adjustment cannot be underestimated.
There is no single cause of antenatal/postnatal mental health. It could be a combination of physiological, psychological and social factors which become exacerbated by the perinatal period. The perinatal period includes pregnancy and the post-natal year.
Their Mental Health can show itself in terms of symptoms such as lack of interest , being unable to carry out normal activities, worrying thoughts, high levels of anxiety and low mood.
There may be other signs such as loss of appetite, sleep disturbance, irritability and behaviour that is out of character.
Will My Partner Get Better?
Most women will make a good recovery. As well as professional services the essential ingredient for recovery is support, both emotional and practical from you and, if possible close friends and relatives.
How Long Will My Partner Be With The Service ?
This can vary from a few weeks to several months. Your partner and their baby are treated as individuals with unique problems which in turn will dictate the length of treatment.
What Treatment Will My Partner Receive?
Following assessment, a range of treatment options can include individual or group sessions focusing on psychological, social, physical and emotional factors related to their illness, And medication can also be offered.
How Can I Support My Partner ?
- Listen to her and be there
- Understand that this is not her fault or yours, and remind her that she will get better
- Be involved with your partner’s care to gain understanding, Be patient and kind
- Encourage your partner to rest and take time out for themselves
- Offer practical help such as cooking a meal
- Night times can be particularly difficult. Offer to do night feeds or just be available for support at nights if necessary on her behalf. She might struggle to do this herself
- Speak with her about arranging support from friends, family and services, as she might struggle to do this herself.
Make time for you
Remember as a new parent it is important that you look after your own physical and emotional wellbeing, so that in turn you can look after your family.
We are also here to check in with partners during this time and may be able to signpost further for support, we support the family and not just the patient, so if you are also struggling please speak to us and we may be able to offer a partners assessment, or if not we would encourage you to make an appointment with your G.P
Research has shown that it is not only mothers that can become depressed following the birth of a baby.
You can also self refer to Steps 2 Change.
We also have lots of information about specific conditions if you would like.
Are things changing?
If you feel concerned that your partner’s condition is getting worse then please contact the Perinatal Mental Health Team, however, please be aware that due to patient confidentiality we may not be able to discuss all aspects of their care without their permission.
You can contact us (9am - 5pm) on 01522 309540.
Out of hours please contact us via 0303 123 4000.