Mental illness around during pregnancy and postnatally is common. 80% are not diagnosed. However, evidence shows that there is a good outcome if diagnosed and treated early. It has a big impact on families has a significant impact on emotional and educational development of infants and is a leading cause of maternal death.
A survey of 24 pregnant and 32 antenatal women shows that 70% felt that they would give an honest answer if asked about their mental health, however, they were reluctant to initiate the conversation. Only 25% felt that they were offered the support that they needed. They felt that generally midwifes were more likely to bring up how they were feeling and health visitors much less likely to do so, despite it having a big impact on the development of the infant.
This feedback is similar to work done by the Royal College of GPs. rcgp-pmh-background-paper-december-2014-2
The practice has changed it’s systems by ensuring the systems are in place to check for mental health during antenatal and post natal periods, raising awareness of the issue with staff and patients and is currently reauditing outcomes.