Speaker(s): Nicola Savory
Facilitator(s): Ally Anderson
Description: Existing research on poor perinatal mental health largely focuses on recognition and treatment of postnatal depression. Consequently, there is a need to explore antenatal mental health. Interviews with women in late pregnancy aimed to understand experiences of women with mental health problems and focus groups with midwives conducted to explore midwives understanding of their role in providing support.
Thematic analysis of interviews with women (n=20) identified themes: mental health over time, their expectations and control; and knowledge of mental health. Themes identified from the focus groups with midwives (n=15) were: conversations with women around mental health, its complexity and the gap in support. Continuity and more time at appointments were suggested by midwives and women to improve discussions regarding mental health. Midwives were keen to support women but lacked knowledge and confidence. Consistent reference was made to the need for training regarding the practical aspects of supporting women’s mental health.
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