Under the plans, health workers will receive additional training that will help them to identify any early signs of postnatal depression.
The current system could mean that a pregnant women see’s various different health visitors during and after their pregnancy, whilst the new plans would ensure women have one named midwife to oversee their care both during and after.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and various parenting forums are pleased that action is being taken. RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick commented that the pledges were good news for both women and for midwives.
She said: “These are positive plans from the government targeting areas of maternity care that are under-prioritised and under-resourced”.
Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts also welcomed the news, but warned that a sustained effort would be required in order to ensure that all mothers would benefit from the changes.
Figures from the Royal College of Psychiatrists suggest that 10-15% of women who have a baby suffer from postnatal depression. The condition usually begins to set in a few months after birth, although an estimated one in three women do experience some symptoms during pregnancy which then progress.
Treatment options do vary and they also depend on the severity of the condition. However, medication and counselling are two of the most common methods
If you believe that either yourself or a loved one may be suffering from postnatal depression then it is important that help is sought as early on as possible. Visit your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and they will be able to issue professional advice about the next steps.
As mentioned previously, counselling can be an extremely cathartic and beneficial form of treatment for mothers with postnatal depression. It provides the opportunity to discuss thoughts and feelings in complete confidence, hopefully helping sufferers to explore why they feel the way they feel. The ultimate aim is to eventually develop new skills, coping strategies and ways of moving forward.
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