Aberlour has launched a service in Forth Valley for women experiencing mental health issues during pregnancy.
Aberlour Perinatal Befriending Support will support mums from the time of conception, through to the baby’s first birthday.
The service launch follows increasing awareness of perinatal mental health – the period before and after a child is born – as a major public health concern.
Researchers, policy makers, service users and healthcare professionals have all highlighted the huge impact of mental health problems during this period, and the need for improved care.
Liz Nolan, Assistant Director (Central and Forth Valley) at Aberlour, said: “The high human cost of perinatal mental illness has been starkly highlighted by a recent NSPCC report, drawing on data taken from confidential enquiries and surveys conducted over the past several years.
“The evidence suggests that suicide and psychiatric issues were the leading causes of indirect maternal death in the UK. The consequences for children are clear; perinatal mental ill health can impact upon foetal development and from a very early age children can be placed into care or may be born into a challenging environment that will impact negatively on parent/child attachment and developmental milestones.
“We want to ensure that every child gets the very best start in life, whatever their background or circumstances.”
Aberlour Perinatal Befriending Support offers tailored befriending support based on individual need through a programme provided by a Perinatal Support Coordinator and trained volunteers to minimise potential negative impact on mothers