4 May 2021
The Trust is raising awareness of mental health support available to local mums during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (3-9 May 2021).
We provide perinatal mental health services to mums across the Trust area who have had or are experiencing severe or complex mental health difficulties during pregnancy or in the first year after they have had their baby.
The following story has kindly been shared with us by a mum who received maternal mental health support from the trust. This story is shared without any names, to protect their anonymity.
Struggling to get support for postnatal depression
“I gave birth to my first son 3 years ago and experienced a very traumatic birth and subsequent postnatal depression. At that point in time there wasn’t a perinatal mental health service in York, and after the health visitor stopped coming I felt very alone with my problems and struggled to find anyone that was able to help.
“The support I eventually accessed through my GP was very general and to be honest not very helpful, which definitely made the issues much worse. The people I saw were often men (which felt uncomfortable as I was breastfeeding) and just didn’t have experience of my particular challenges as a new mum struggling with my mental health.
“I was initially very unsure about whether to have a second baby due to my worries that I would struggle in the same way again.”
Targeted perinatal mental health services made a huge difference
“The difference that the perinatal mental health team made to me has been huge. Probably the biggest impact was the help I received prior to giving birth to my second baby.
“I spoke regularly to the midwife attached to the service and with her help came up with a plan to share with the hospital for my second birth, following my earlier difficult experience. This made a huge difference in enabling me to feel empowered and in control and the resulting birth was a hugely healing experience for me.”
Ongoing support from peer support workers and nurses
“Subsequently, after the initial newborn phase when regular support in the form of midwives and health visitors generally stops, I’ve been able to get support from the service, from their peer supporters, from their nurse who has helped me with advice on sleep and weening, and also through counselling sessions.
“This has been invaluable and I really think has been the principal reason I haven’t experienced postnatal depression again this time around.”
About TEWV perinatal health service
GP’s, health visitors and midwives can all refer women to the TEWV perinatal mental health service. Following a referral, if it is decided that the perinatal mental health service is suitable for them, they will be allocated a clinician who will work with them to agree a care plan to help meet their individual needs and find solutions to support them on their road to recovery.
Find out more about TEWV perinatal mental health services