50% of new mothers are concerned about their mental health

Posted on 23 November 2015 (Permalink)

“It’s unacceptable that so many new mothers are suffering in silence during this crucial time. I am therefore backing the #BeyondBabyBlues campaign, launched by NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents.” said Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North.

NCT has released research¹ which found that half (50%) of new mothers were concerned about their mental health and many are suffering in silence.

The charity found that almost one in five (18%) callers to their helpline had a mental health issue to discuss and over a third (35%) had not spoken to a healthcare professional about it.

The #BeyondBabyBlues campaign aims to encourage people to talk more openly about maternal mental health to avoid the mistake of dismissing potentially serious mental health issues and to seek help.

Research² by NCT last year found a staggering lack of support services for mothers’ mental health. Shockingly only 3% of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) had a perinatal mental health strategy in place.

NCT is asking people to show their support for the campaign and for each other on social media by sharing pictures of themselves linking hands with someone else, or even with themselves, under the hashtag #BeyondBabyBlues

“We need to make sure that every mother who suffers from perinatal mental health problems can access the help she needs. I’m going to press for better services so they get the specialist support they need.” said Graham.

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Follow Graham on @GrahamAllenMP

Notes to Editor:

¹NCT’s new research found 50% of mothers were still worried about feeling low or depressed when their babies were eight months old and almost three quarters (73%) of fathers were concerned about their partner’s mental health.

During 2013-2014, NCT’s Research and Evaluation Department conducted a mixed-methods longitudinal research study of first-time mothers’ and fathers’ experiences and attitudes during the first two years following the birth of their baby. To understand more about life as a new first-time parent, NCT invited men and women to complete online questionnaires at two time-points: one during their baby’s first year (6-9 months), the other one year later (18-21 months), following eight focus groups to inform the survey design. In total, 869 first-time mothers and 296 first-time fathers responded in full to the first questionnaire when their babies were on average eight months old.

The helpline figures are based on 903 calls to NCT’s Postnatal helpline between 2010 and 2015.

² Research by the charity last year found that 29% of women said their GP did not ask them about any emotional or mental health issues in their six week postnatal check-up. Shockingly only 3% of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’S) had a perinatal mental health strategy in place and over half (54%) of NHS trusts said they did not provide any perinatal mental health services at all.

For further information, contact Nermin Oomer, NCT Press Officer on 020 8752 2417 / Nermin.oomer@nct.org.uk  or Martin Chapman, NCT Press Officer on 020 8752 2412 / martin.chapman@nct.org.uk . Alternatively email press@nct.org.uk.

About NCT:
NCT is the UK’s largest parent charity. Each year the charity supports millions of parents through their First 1,000 Days, offering expert information and trusted practical and emotional support through its website, helpline, the nationwide network of over 300 local branches, antenatal and postnatal classes, breastfeeding counselling and peer support schemes. For more information call NCT on 0300 330 0770 or visit www.nct.org.uk.