A Holistic Approach to Perinatal Wellbeing

Our thanks to Gill Phillips and Florence Wilcock of the #MatExp (maternity experience) team for this blog post, part of our April series on Perinatal Mental Health.  For more information about the #MatExp campaign, please check out their website, Facebook group and the #MatExp hashtag on Twitter.

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Brilliant to see that the ‘Growing Families’ blog is kicking off with perinatal mental health, so we thought we would tell you a little bit about the new national #MatExp #MindNBody project, a holistic approach to perinatal wellbeing.

Our project is very timely as we are half way through a national maternity transformation programme following the publication of Better Births in 2016 when one of the seven specific areas that needed improvement was noted to be perinatal mental health. We are delighted to have links to both the national perinatal mental health team and the national maternity transformation team so that as the project progresses we will be able to help shape the future care women receive. One of our project aims is to not just improve care in the event of a mental health problem but in some instances perhaps even prevent a problem from happening in the first place.

We are currently crowdsourcing over 100 new Whose Shoes?® scenarios and poems exploring all aspects of perinatal mental health. We are looking to include a very wide range of topics, from prevention through to serious mental health problems, and similarly to touch upon everything from pre-conception through to growing families. A tall order indeed, but one which we are very honoured to accept and explore together. There is a dedicated page on the #MatExp website, so please take a look to find out  more: http://matexp.org.uk/matexp-mindnbody-a-holistic-approach-to-perinatal-mental-health/

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We are off to a cracking start, but there is still time to submit any scenarios that you would like us to consider for inclusion. It is proving to be a difficult process as there are so many issues and so many different perspectives, and we are trying to get a good mix and balance. It is all about coming up with really good conversation starters to help people take things forward locally, building their perinatal mental health networks and aiming to provide a comprehensive range of support for women and families, both informal and formal.

The main #MindNBody action is happening in London, the South-West and the West Midlands, as these regions have come together to fund the project. However, in total the new resources will be made available to nearly 50 trusts across the country who already had a #MatExp Whose Shoes? licence when we started the project and there will be lots of other ways for everyone to get involved. We are aiming to produce another booklet of case studies, so please let us know if you have any simple, transferable best practice examples that you would like to share.

We are delighted that Catherine MacLennan is our project administrator. Catherine runs the Pinks N Blues and played a big part in our previous ‘Nobody’s Patient’ Project, having initiated the work around second trimester loss, so we are thrilled she was able to join us. Please feel free to contact Catherine mindnbody@thepinksnblues.co.uk if you have any questions and please send her your ideas for scenarios as soon as possible, but no later than 30 April. We would love to hear from you.

We look forward to a truly collaborative project, making a real difference to mums and dads everywhere … and their growing families!

Gill and Flo

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Contact us on Twitter:

Gill Phillips: @WhoseShoes

Florence Wilcock: @fwmaternity

 

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