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Perinatal mental health report published in Wales

18 October, 2017

Perinatal mental health report published in Wales

The children’s, young people and education committee in Wales has published its latest report on perinatal mental health.

The report contains 27 recommendations and the authors have highlighted the need for the Welsh Government to undertake a public awareness campaign to improve understanding of perinatal mental health conditions and their symptoms across Wales.  

They have also called on the Welsh Government to work with the relevant professional bodies to ensure that perinatal mental health becomes a core part of the training and continuous professional development of all healthcare professionals likely to come into contact with pre- and postnatal women.  

RCM director for Wales Helen Rogers said that the RCM welcomes the report and is pleased that their professional views and suggestions have been incorporated into these crucial recommendations.  

‘In particular we are pleased with the recommendation to have a specialist perinatal mental health midwife placed in each health board with maternity services, as this is something the RCM has long supported and campaigned for,’ Helen said.

‘Continuity of care is crucial, particularly for women to feel conformable enough to confide in their midwife or healthcare professional about how they are feeling both during and after pregnancy and this report suggests that there should be a named professional lead responsible for each woman’s perinatal care at each health board. The RCM believes this is absolutely vital to make sure important signs and symptoms are not missed.’

The report also highlights the need to improve communication between professional maternity teams to ensure that vulnerable women are identified quickly. The RCM says is continues to work with its members and other royal colleges to improve multidisciplinary teamworking.

Helen added: ‘The RCM is happy that the report recognises that the separation of mothers and babies is not ideal and having a mother and baby unit in Wales is vital for families, but even more important for single mothers facing mental health problems alone with little or no support.  

‘The recommendations contained within this report will require clear focus and appropriate funding if they are to become a reality. We hope that this report will go towards reducing inequities across the provision of perinatal mental health services in Wales and most importantly improve support for women, their babies and families in Wales.’

Access the report here.

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