Thank you very much indeed for contacting me about new mother’s mental health. All read carefully and noted by me.
I am sympathetic with the thrust of what your say and agree that it is vitally important that women have access to the right care during pregnancy and in the first postnatal year.
I believe that improving mental health services available to women during pregnancy and in the first postnatal year should be prioritised by this Government. Sadly, around one in four women experience mental health problems in pregnancy and during the 24 months after giving birth.
Although there is more work to be done, you’ll be pleased to hear that the NHS Long Term Plan seeks to improve access to and the quality of perinatal mental healthcare for mothers, their partners and children. This will be achieved by providing care through specialist perinatal mental health services from preconception to 24 months after birth, expanding access to psychological therapies, and offering fathers/partners of women accessing specialist perinatal mental health services and maternity outreach clinics evidence-based assessment for their mental health and signposting to support as required.
Investment by the NHS in multidisciplinary perinatal mental health clinical networks, which include GPs, will also help drive change. I hope that by working together through these networks, health practitioners can ensure women at risk of perinatal mental health problems are identified at an earlier stage and can receive better, more coordinated care.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Member of Parliament for Woking