|Not always ‘just a bundle of joy’|
The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England & Wales, says it is vital new parents are also signposted to support services if they need further specialist help. Information could include midwives providing mums & dads with leaflets outlining symptoms of depression & anxiety to look out for, as well as where to go if any of these arise. It could also include tips on how to stay mentally well.
This comes as the LGA launched a new report “Being mindful of mental health” which sets out the important role councils play in supporting the mental wellbeing of their communities. It includes the LGA’s vision of what a “mentally healthy” place looks like, and highlights the need for better support for new & expectant parents.
Only 7% of pregnant women & new mums with mental health problems in the past 5 years were referred to specialist care, highlighting the urgent need to improve maternal mental health, a recent survey revealed. One in five mothers during pregnancy or in their first year experience depression, anxiety or in extreme cases, post-birth psychosis.It also found that 12% of women’s partners experienced a mental health problem during or after the pregnancy and were provided with little support.