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Some Pregnant Women And New Mums Are Going To Get Better Mental Health Care

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NHS England has today announced plans to improve support for pregnant women and new mums who experience mental health issues.

The public health body said in a statement that it has allocated £40m to fund "new specialist community mental health services for mums in the immediate run up to and after birth." It also pledged to allocate a further £20m to fund these initiatives next year.

This additional funding should definitely be welcomed. According to NHS England, one in five women suffer from depression, anxiety or even psychosis during pregnancy or the period after giving birth.

NHS England said the extra funding will be used to pay for new perinatal consultants, occupational therapists and psychologists for women experiencing mental health issues as they start a family.

It will also be used to build community peer support networks for pregnant women and young mums. As part of these plans, more women will be "buddied" with other women who experienced similar mental health issues as they welcomed a child.

Though NHS England is predicting the improved support will "help reach 30,000 more women a year by 2021," the new funding is only being allocated to 20 specific areas of England. Check out a full list here.

Meanwhile, Janet Fyle of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has suggested that NHS England's improved mental health support for pregnant women and new mums could still be further enhanced. She told the BBC: "The RCM would like to see a specialist maternal mental health midwife in post in every maternity unit and trained to the standards developed by the RCM."
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