“Ensuring that all women receive access to the right type of care during the perinatal period is needed to reduce the impact of maternal mental health problems for the mother and family during pregnancy and beyond."
Commenting on research undertaken by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance about increasing access to perinatal mental health care, Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said:
“As this stark research highlights, perinatal mental health problems occur during the period from conception to the child’s second birthday. If untreated and unsupported, these mental health problems can continue to affect mothers, and their families for years afterwards. In the UK, one in five are affected by maternal mental health problems, which are the leading cause of maternal death in the first postnatal year.
“Ensuring that all women receive access to the right type of care during the perinatal period is needed to reduce the impact of maternal mental health problems for the mother and family during pregnancy and beyond, for the first two years of life on infant mental health and the child’s future adolescent and adult mental health. Infant mental health is crucial to the long-term development of good mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing throughout the whole life course.
“Councils want a properly resourced, integrated workforce plan that underpins the recently refreshed Healthy Child Programme. A workforce strategy should recognise that health visitors working in local government play a pivotal role in improving maternal mental health and ensuring all children get the best possible start in life.”