Suicide remains the leading cause of death in women one year after birth (1)
The report ‘The Costs of Perinatal Mental Health Problems’ (2) found the following:
Mental health problems are frequently present in cases of child abuse or neglect. An analysis of 175 serious case reviews from 2011-14 found that 53% of cases featured parental mental health problems (3)
In December 2014 NICE reviewed their ‘Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical management and service guidance’ and made a clear statement in an article published on their website that ‘Women who have experience of, or are at risk of mental health problems, should get extra support before, during and after their pregnancy' (4)
Very young infants can be affected by and are highly sensitive to the environment and the quality of care, and are likely to be affected by mothers with mental disorders as well. Prolonged or severe mental illness hampers the mother-infant attachment, breastfeeding and infant care. (5)
1: MBRRACE-UK, 2017, 'Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death 2017' report
2: Bauer et al, 2014, ‘The Costs of Perinatal Mental Health Problems’, Centre for Mental Health and London School of Economics
3: Sidebotham, P. et al (2016) Pathways to harm, pathways to protection: a triennial analysis of serious case reviews 2011 to 2014: final report (PDF). London: Department for Education (DfE).
4: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/address-gaps-in-mental-health-care-for-new-mothers
5: World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/mental_health/maternal-child/maternal_mental_health/en/
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