Pregnant women who have serious mental health difficulties and new mums who suffer from an episode of a serious mental illness in post natal period can now benefit from a new service offered by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The Perinatal Community Mental Health Team, led by a dedicated Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, works closely with other mental health teams, GPs, midwives, obstetricians and health visitors in Lincolnshire to offer proactive mental health treatment, information and advice to pregnant women, women who have recently given birth and their partners and relatives.
The team also provides advice for other professionals involved in women’s care.
Steph Hodds, Perinatal Team Coordinator said: “Women with serious mental health difficulties in pregnancy and the year following giving birth require specialist psychiatric treatment that is significantly different from that provided by general adult mental health services.
“The perinatal period covers pregnancy and the first year of motherhood when it is essential that the right care is provided at the right time.
“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.”
Dr Zena Schofield, Acting Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist said: “Although the majority of women remain well from a mental health perspective following the birth of their baby, 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.
“Ensuring women with serious mental illnesses are managed proactively and appropriately during pregnancy and childbirth means they recover more quickly enabling them to continue to care for their babies.
“Our team will provide assessment and treatment for women with serious mental illnesses or at increased risk of these difficulties. We will work to keep mum and baby together, ensuring treatment is provided in the most appropriate environment which for the majority of women will be in their own homes.”