Is the Lotus Maternal Mental Health Service the right service for me?
The service is right for you if:
- you reside in South Staffordshire
- you are currently experiencing moderate to severe anxiety, low mood, or post-traumatic stress symptoms associated with your maternity experience which has occurred in the last 12 months, or was more than 12 months ago and you are now pregnant
We support people who have:
- experienced a pregnancy loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, termination of pregnancy)
- had a traumatic experience during pregnancy or birth (including a serious medical condition) which might affect you / your unborn baby or babies / witnessed or experienced trauma
- had a traumatic experience or baby loss whilst in neonatal care setting
- are experiencing Tokophobia (a severe fear of pregnancy or birth)
- have a fear regarding medical procedures that is having, or would be likely to have, a severe impact on your maternity experience
You do not have to be currently pregnant to be referred to the Lotus Maternal Mental Health Service.
What can I expect from the Lotus Maternal Mental Health Team?
Our multi-disciplinary team involves a group of professionals who work together to provide a package of care and treatment most suitable for you. This includes:
- an individualised assessment by a practitioner who will talk to you about your pregnancy and life, before or after becoming a parent (if this applies to you)
- evidence-based treatment such as, a psychological therapy, specialist midwife input, or peer support
- individual or group support with specialist midwives or peer support
- support in promoting wellbeing and recovery
- guidance and signposting to the most suitable service for your needs
- referring you to other services which offer practical help and support for families if appropriate
The team works closely with midwives, health visitors, adult mental health teams and GP’s across South Staffordshire to ensure that you get the right help at the right time.
What can I expect at an initial assessment appointment?
Your initial assessment appointment will either be a face or face or virtual appointment, using a video call. The details of the appointment and link to the virtual consultation will be sent to you by text message. This link is easy to follow and the video call can be accessed from most devices including laptop, PCs, tablets, and smart phones (as long as the device is connected to the internet and you use the Google Chrome web browser).
The appointment will be with a practitioner. This appointment will last about an hour and will give you the opportunity to discuss your current and past difficulties health, how you and your family are coping, and any worries you may have. We will explore how loss, pregnancy, or becoming a parent has affected your wellbeing.
Following assessment, you will receive a letter which outlines the details of the assessment and plan of care. It may be determined that the Lotus Maternal Mental Health Service is not the most suitable service for you; in these instances we will refer you to the most appropriate service and provide you with the necessary information.
We understand it can be a difficult time and for some people, talking about the past and future worries can feel daunting at first. We also understand that there are many reasons why people might worry about seeking help. Here are some of the barriers we know can stop people accessing support when they most need it:
- thinking that your worries and concerns are not important enough to ask for help
- thinking that seeking help will reflect badly on your ability to parent
- thinking that talking about how you are feeling will make you feel worse
- thinking that admitting you are struggling will make others assume that you do not love or enjoy your baby enough
We would like to assure all people who use the service that we are here to help and support you. Struggling with emotions around pregnancy or loss can happen to anyone and it does not reflect badly on you as a person or a parent. We are here to help with the struggles experienced by many people, to ensure that you can feel as well as possible and enjoy life.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
Everyone referred to Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust has an electronic heath record. This is confidential and can only be accessed by professionals involved in your care. We hold information on basic details such as date of birth and address. It also has contact details for your GP and other professionals that may be involved in your care. Details of your care and treatment are also recorded, including details of letters sent and received. This information is available to ensure that you receive the best possible care.
After your initial assessment, at discharge and at other periods of your care the professional involved will send you a letter. This will reflect discussions and plan of treatment. The letters will be written to you, unless you tell us that you do not want these. The letters are usually shared with your GP and other professionals involved in your care. This promotes a seamless informed approach to your care, and prevents you having to repeat information. Please let the professional who sees you know if there is any information that you do not want to share.
How can I be referred to the Lotus Maternal Mental Health Team?
Please talk to your Midwife, GP, Health Visitor, or other healthcare professional for a referral to our service. They will be required to complete a referral form, further details can be found in information for professionals section on this page.
We are unable to accept self-referrals.
How can I get help in a crisis?
If you, or a family member, believe you are in a crisis and require urgent response out of hours, please call South Staffordshire Access on Freephone 0808 196 3002 for telephone support, advice and triage.
If you are concerned about an immediate risk of harm to yourself or someone else, call 999 or attend A&E.
Information for Healthcare Professionals
The Lotus Maternal Mental Health Service is a specialist service commissioned to support women and birthing people who live in the South Staffordshire area and who have experienced tokophobia, distress, loss or trauma during pregnancy and birth.
The team will work with you to provide assessment, care and treatment including the prevention, detection and management of maternal mental health problems that can complicate future or current pregnancies as well as, the postnatal period. Poorly managed maternal mental health problems can have serious consequences for the parent, the infant and other family members.
Healthcare professionals referring into the service should use the following referral form.