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A new service has been launched in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to support women’s mental health during and after pregnancy.

The Perinatal Community Mental Health Service, to help mums and their families across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, is being provided by the Trust.

The service is designed to provide specialist community mental health care to women who experience significant mental health issues during their pregnancy or in the first year following their child’s birth (the perinatal period).

The team is based in the local community and made up of perinatal mental health specialists including doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, nursery nurses, peer support workers, clinical psychologists and health care support workers.

Claire Bailey, Managing Director of the Trust’s Children and Families Care Group, said: “Having a baby is a life-changing event, so it’s completely natural for women to experience a wide range of emotions during pregnancy and after the birth.

“If these emotions are having a big impact on how you live your life and your enjoyment of life you might be amongst the one in 10 women who experience what is known as perinatal mental health problems during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth.

“These difficulties may be new or a reoccurrence of an existing mental health issue. It can be difficult to feel able to talk openly about these feelings, such as the pressure you may feel to be happy and excited, or a worry that you are a bad parent if you are struggling with your mental health.”

Claire added: “You might be surprised to learn that many other new mums are feeling the same way and are benefiting from support with their mental health, so if you feel that you need our help please speak to your midwife, doctor or another health professional.”

MPFT is part of the Local Maternity System, a partnership of local organisations working to improve maternity and neonatal services across the region.

The service is accessible by a referral from a health care professional and for more information visit www.mpft.nhs.uk/services/mental-health-perinatal-community.

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