New service for local women launched in Maternal Mental Health Week
A new specialist service is being launched to support women experiencing pregnancy-related fear, trauma or loss.
The Maternal Mental Health Service (MMHS), run by Dorset HealthCare, focuses on:
· birth trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
· moderate-to-severe Tokophobia (fear of childbirth)
· baby loss including miscarriages, IVF failure, stillbirth or neonatal death.
As these issues can cause significant distress, the MMHS offers psychological assessments, evidence-based psychological therapy and specialist counselling from two dedicated clinical psychologists.
The service has been unveiled during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (1-7 May), which aims to spotlight the mental issues mums can experience before, during and after pregnancy.
MMHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Joanna Yilmaz said:
“This much-needed new service fills a gap by focusing on those women with more complex needs, and those who may not qualify for our existing perinatal mental health support.
“And it has no time constraints on support, which means that we can talk about baby loss and birth trauma years later if necessary.
“Women referred to the service can be seen in their own homes, online or at a location where they feel comfortable.
“We can also signpost carers, partners and families to other suitable support networks.”
The MMHS works closely with the established perinatal mental health service based in Bournemouth, as well as the Maternity Unit at Dorset County Hospital and St Mary’s Maternity Unit in Poole.
To access the service, please speak to your GP or other health professional and ask them to make a referral on your behalf.