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New wellbeing service for pregnant women and new mothers

Mother and babyweb
New wellbeing service for pregnant women and new mothers
29 May 2021

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s Isle Talk IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) service has developed ‘Isle Talk Wellbeing for Mums’ a six-week course for new and expectant mothers who need support for their mental health and wellbeing.

Prior to the pandemic, around *one in five women experienced mental health problems in pregnancy and during the 24 months after giving birth.

According to the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, more recently 61% of parents have shared concerns about their mental health and pregnant women assessed during the COVID-19 pandemic have reported increased distress and a higher rate of mental health problems than women assessed before the pandemic.

Over the past year, there has been an increase of just over a third in referrals to mental health services for new and expectant mums who are experiencing depression and other forms of mental health difficulties on the Island.

The Trust’s Isle Talk IAPT service developed the ‘Isle Talk Wellbeing for Mums’ to provide support and to equip women in pregnancy and those who have become new mothers in the last two years with strategies to maintain their mental wellbeing.

Evidence indicates that expectant and new mums who have access to perinatal mental health support services and contact with mother and baby groups, are predicted to have better mental health outcomes.

Rosie Smallman, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Isle Talk IAPT Services, said: “There has been an increase in the mental health challenges that women during and after pregnancy faced as a result of the pandemic, with many feeling isolated as a result of lockdown restrictions, unable to connect with family and friends or even other mothers in their local community.

“Mental difficulties during pregnancy or that affect bonding with a new baby can be devastating, so access to tailored support is essential.

“It can be hard to reach out and tell someone you are struggling, but we encourage those who are experiencing any mental health difficulties, including low mood, anxiety or stress to get in touch with this service.”

Who can attend this course?

This ‘Isle Talk Wellbeing for Mums’ course is for anyone from the point of conception to two years post-partum and who is experiencing mild-moderate mental health difficulties.

When do these courses run?

Wednesdays at 11am or Thursdays at 1pm with each session an hour long, plus an optional additional 15 minutes for questions or conversation afterwards. This course if currently online, so anyone who is interested should contact the Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s Isle Talk IAPT team for an assessment appointment.

How to access the ‘Isle Talk Wellbeing for Mums’ course?

Pregnant or new mums who have given birth up to 24 months ago, can self-refer to the Isle Talk IAPT service by calling the IAPT booking service on 01983 532860. Alternatively, a midwife or health visitor can support individuals via a referral to this service. An initial appointment will be booked to discuss individual needs, and where appropriate, this course of treatment will be prescribed for a period of 6 weeks.

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