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    Union calls for more perinatal mental health training

    Written by on November 8, 2019

    A midwife union’s calling for more specialist mental health training – to support pregnant women and new mothers.

    A survey by the Royal College of Midwives found 97% want more education on perinatal mental health.

    It’s thought up to one in five new mothers develop postnatal depression.

    We spoke to the RCM’s Director, Mary Ross-Davie:

    “All maternity care providers need to put mental health on an equal footing with physical wellbeing. Not getting this right can have a direct impact on a woman’s experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenting.

    “Scotland’s midwives are dedicated to offering women with perinatal mental health problems the best possible care and support. Yet we are sometimes hampered by a lack of access to training and development to be able to do that as well as we want. This worries me greatly.

    “Our services are among the best in the UK, if not the world and the Scottish Government are making great efforts to improve the support and care for all women and for women with mental health problems. This includes additional money to improve services including more specialist mental health midwives. At the same time, we need to ensure that all of our midwives have the training they need so that women get the best possible care all the way through their pregnancy and beyond.

    “We are making great strides, but as our survey shows, there is more to do. This conference is one way in which the RCM is seeking to support midwives across Scotland in feeling best prepared to support women’s mental wellbeing in pregnancy and after birth.  We will continue to work with our colleagues in the Government, maternity services and the Perinatal Mental health managed clinical network to ensure all staff feel well prepared and supported to provide the best care we can. ”