NHS Tayside praised by survivors of birth trauma after launching mental health pregnancy support services

NHS Tayside praised by survivors of birth trauma after launching mental health pregnancy support services
Written by Publishing Team

Local mums who have experienced serious trauma while giving birth have praised a new mental health support service launched by the NHS to help them cope.

NHS Tayside’s specialist Maternity and Neonatal Psychology service will give parents dedicated support for up to one year after the birth of their baby.

Experts promise to coach parents through difficulties linked to pregnancy complications, birth trauma, issues with phobias, neonatal care and the loss of infants.

Families can be referred to the service by a multitude of health professionals, ranging from midwives to health visitors and neonatal ward staff, at any point in their pregnancy or after birth.

Parents can be referred to the service for up to a year after birth

Several mums took to social media to praise the introduction of the service – though some wished it had been around sooner to help them following traumatic pregnancies.

One mum who said she had survived accreta – an issue with the placenta that causes extreme blood loss at birth – said: “This is fantastic news and I am delighted to hear that a service like this will be available for families.

“I would have benefited from a service like this 9 years ago, and struggled to find the support I needed.”

Another added: “Fantastic and very much needed. 20 years on and still struggle with the trauma around the birth of my son. Will be a very used service for many.”

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Dr Emma Webber, a consultant clinical psychologist with NHS Tayside, said: “This new service offers specialist psychological support at a time that can be challenging for some families.

“Pregnancy and birth are often a very positive experience, but this sadly isn’t the case for all, and we aim to provide timely, compassionate psychological care for those who need it.

“It is a precious opportunity to impact the lives of parents, and their infants – and most importantly, the relationship between them.”

Consultant in neonatal medicine Dr Shetty Bhushan – hailed by one local mum online as “an amazing advocate for parents” – added: “Having a baby born premature or sick and in need of neonatal care can be an extremely stressful and anxious time for parents and babies.

“This new Maternity and Neonatal Psychology service will provide invaluable support to families and staff.”

The service has been funded as part of the Scottish Government Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Programme.

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Publishing Team