Maternal Mental Health Week 2022

“Each new life, no matter how brief, changes the lives of those mothers and families. As a service we aim to support and improve psychological well-being for those affected by their experiences.”

– Corrina Matthews, Maternal Mental Health Service Manager at Hull University Teaching Hospital Trust

World Mental Health Day logo

What is Maternal Mental Health?

Maternal mental health is difficulties with your mental health resulting from loss in the maternal period. The different losses include:

  • Primary Tokophobia (fear of birth) – women not currently pregnant
  • Miscarriage
  • Difficulties conceiving/unsuccessful IVF
  • Stillborn
  • Medical termination
  • Neonatal death
  • Ectopic pregnancy

Some frequent signs of maternal health difficulties can include persistent feeling of sadness or emptiness, excessive crying, constant anxiety and worry, fluctuating mood and irritability, poor concentration and memory.

In line with Maternal Mental Health Week, Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership’s Maternal Mental Health team is offering a new psychologically-led service for women experiencing moderate to severe complex mental health problems as a result of baby loss.

The service is available to women who are registered with a GP in Hull, East Riding, York, North Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

We are striving to build excellent therapeutic relationships, make women feel heard and understood and work in a truly collaborative way and demonstrate improvements in psychological wellbeing for women. The service will deliver a trauma informed approach to care.  We will be working collaboratively with women to identify their goals and needs; all care and therapy will be individually tailored to their needs.

Women will have a choice of:

  • Venue
  • Virtual or face to face appointments
  • Times and dates available
  • Working with the clinicians to identify the correct service or intervention.

The team will be made up of specialist midwives, psychologists, and assistant psychologists, a senior administrator, service manager, consultant psychologist and peer support workers. It has been evident in the setting up of the service (and women have stated) that it is very important to have people with ‘lived experience’, therefore we are looking at peer support workers with lived experience to be part of our team.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have included a commitment to develop and implement maternal mental health services in every area of the country by 2023/24.  I am really excited and proud to be part of setting up the much-needed service for the Humber and North Yorkshire areas.