Pirate FM News

Child birth mental health team takes 500 referrals in a year


Published by Emma Carton at 7:20am 6th December 2018. (Updated at 8:18am 6th December 2018)

A Cornwall team dedicated to dealing with mental health before and after child birth takes over 500 referrals in a year.

This covers all sorts of issues - everything from anxiety to post-natal depression and PTSD.

Now a network with groups in Penryn, Truro, St Austell and Launceston is offering more support.

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The Cornwall team that deals with mental health problems before and after child birth has had 500 referrals in a year

Roseland mum and doula Nicki Burnett speaks for the Positive Birth Movement.

She does not want families to suffer the same trauma she did after her first baby.

"The way I felt after I had my second child was so different and the impact that had on my parenting and those first early weeks and months with my baby was huge; I realised that that's something that is life-changing.

"You feel like you should be very happy. It's this most amazing thing, especially first time when you're becoming a mum. So, it can be very difficult if those aren't the feelings that you get.

"Then, when you start to process it, you realise that it's the simple things that could have made a difference".

Nicki Burnett

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Now, The Positive Birth Movement, which has four groups across Cornwall, is offering more support to families

What do the figures show?

It is estimated that almost 30,000 women experience birth trauma nationally each year.

The Cornwall Perinatal Mental Health Team received over 500 referrals between April 2017 and March 2018, for a variety of mental health reasons.

There are four current Positive Birth Movement groups running in Cornwall and they have supported approximately 50 families since starting in January.

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Cornwall's Positive Birth Movement groups have helped support around 50 families since January 2018

What do the groups do?

The groups are run by volunteers who include doulas, midwives and hynobirthing teachers.

They are a combination of antenatal information about things such as hormones, human rights in childbirth and life with a newborn and peer to peer support - really listening and signposting.

They are non-judgemental and an inclusive group welcoming people from all ethnic backgrounds, religions, genders and sexuality.

They aim to challenge the epidemic of negativity and fear that surrounds modern birth, and help change birth for the better.

"A positive birth can look different for different people, this may be a water birth at home or it could be an elective caesarean.

"What is important is that the family have access to information and are supported to make their own decisions about their care and those decisions are respected".

Nicki Burnett, Positive Birth Movement

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The Positive Birth Movement aims to challenge the "epidemic of fear and negativity" that surrounds modern birth

How can I get help?

The Positive Birth Movement says wonderful things are happening in Cornwall maternity services and it is passionate about spreading the word and love.

The Positive Birth Movement has a dedicated website which details how it could help, including the support groups available.

Or, you can read more on the Cornwall groups' Facebook page here.

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