All women at booking and during pregnancy are asked a standard set of questions to assess their physical, mental and social wellbeing. These questions help your midwife make an individualised plan of care for your pregnancy birth and postnatal care.
Any women with mental health needs will be assessed by the midwife as to whether they need to be seen in antenatal clinic by the Obstetricians with an interest in mental health and the specialist mental health midwife. These run every Thursday morning. This clinic is too look at your pregnancy and mental health together; we can discussed medication, delivery and any psychological therapies referral that may be beneficial.
We have excellent links with MIND, Insight & Perinatal services across Kent, Bexley and Essex. This appointment in antenatal clinic maybe a one off appointment, however if your mental health declines at any point during pregnancy your midwife can book you back in to see us.
Most women (especially first time mothers) have some anxiety about childbirth due to its lack of predictability. However, one in 10 women will experience Tokophobia, which is an extreme fear of childbirth. This can arise from a wealth of reasons. At DVH we are very well equipped to deal with this issue. An appointment will be offered with you to explore the reason behind this and make a detailed birth plan with you for labour.
The majority of women will experience tearful days after having a baby, hormones, lack of sleep and life adjustment all contribute to this. During your postnatal visits, your midwife and health visitor will all enquire about your mental health. It can be really difficult to open up to professionals or even friends and family about your mental health. There can be a lot of pressure to be happy and excited about a new baby, to be the perfect parent and worries about the baby being “taken off you” if you admit your feelings.
Professionals’ such as your GP, health visitor and midwife are there to support your mental health and the bond between you and your baby. It’s vital to ask for support if you need it. You may find lots of other mums have felt or are feeling exactly the same.