Getting help with Perinatal Mental Health

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are promoting perinatal mental health to recognise the achievements and difficulties for both mums and dads. The perinatal period applies both to mums and dads including pregnancy, childbirth and the post-natal year. The team at our talking therapies service in Northumberland told us a bit more about perinatal mental health and how they help people who are struggling.

Pregnancy and the period after childbirth can bring about a range of emotional changes for the mother, the father and other members of the family. Many find this to be a positive experience. However, some undergo an emotional upheaval that can result in mental health problems. 12% of mums experience major depressive disorder and 15.1% of mums experience anxiety disorders during pregnancy.

The Baby Blues

During the first week after giving birth, up to 80% of mums may find themselves feeling weepy, irritable and notice feelings of depression and anxiety. This is called the ‘baby blues’.

It is caused by hormonal and emotional changes following having a baby, as well as adjusting to new demands and routines while feeling sleep deprived. Whilst most may recover from this within a couple of weeks, if you find that you’re still feeling the same way after this time you may benefit from talking to your GP or health visitor to discuss options which could include anti-depressants, support groups or talking therapies.

How can Talking Therapies help?

At Talking Matters Northumberland we have a team of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners who are specifically trained to work with perinatal clients. This means we can provide therapy for low mood and anxiety disorders with an added understanding of the perinatal period. This can be offered either on a face-to-face basis in one of our therapy venues, or over the telephone.

Perinatal clients are given priority appointments (following NICE guidelines), and will receive an initial assessment to gather information about mental health difficulties as well as information specific to their perinatal status before treatment is offered.

We offer flexibility with appointments and can accommodate younger babies being brought to appointments if people struggle to find adequate childcare. Practitioners can liaise closely with other professionals including midwives, health visitors and GPs to ensure the best care is provided.

MHM offer several talking therapies services around England; if you feel a service like this would help you, click the link below to find out more about the services MHM runs, or search online for ‘talking therapies’ plus the name of your local area to find your nearest service.

Find out more about talking therapies