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February 28, 2016

David Cameron pledges to support new mothers

David Cameron has pledged extra mental health support for new mothers. The specific measures, which will apply to England only, include expenditure of £290 million up to 2020 to give 30,000 more women each year access to specialist mental health care before and after giving birth.

In October last year, Bliss, the special care baby charity, reported that mothers who gave birth to babies needing specialist care in England were not receiving sufficient psychological support. The report found that at 41% of neonatal units, parents had no access to a trained mental health worker, and at 30% of units, parents had no access to psychological support. This is despite the fact that mothers with babies on a neonatal unit are at a much higher risk of experiencing mental health problems. According to research, up to 40% mothers of premature babies are affected by postnatal depression, compared to the national average of 10-15%.

Bliss Chief Executive Caroline Davey says: “We welcome this announcement as a positive step towards ensuring that every new parent gets access to the psychological support they need, at the time they need it. It is vital that some of this money is allocated to help parents with babies on a neonatal unit, who are at a far higher risk of developing conditions such as postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. However,

Bliss’ recent report showed they are not currently getting the mental health support they need and deserve.”

To read Bliss’ report in detail, go to www.bliss.org.uk/babyreport


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