Mental Health News

Display News Filters

New mothers worried about stigma of postnatal depression

Thursday 14th September 2017
Many new mothers are concerned about seeking help for postnatal depression due to fear of the stigma that can still surround mental illness. Image: Handemandaci via iStock
Latest Jobs

    A significant number of new mothers are worried about speaking to their GP when they fear they may be struggling with postnatal depression due to the worry of being labelled a bad parent.

    This is the finding of research recently published in the British Journal of General Practice, which led to the discovery that a growing number of new mums could be being put off seeking help for their mental health due to the stigma that still surrounds some illnesses.

    As a result, women may find themselves struggling to look after their baby to the best of their ability, which could lead their condition worsening and potentially requiring them to be admitted to hospital.

    The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has expressed concerns over this, calling for more support from mental health workers and other healthcare professionals to ensure that women know there is no stigma attached to seeking help, that they won't be labelled as bad mothers and they will be able to receive help in recovering.

    Dr Judy Shakespeare, spokesperson for perinatal mental health at the RCGP, commented: "We know it takes an enormous amount of courage for women to approach their doctor with concerns, so it is vital that when they do they are taken seriously, not told that what they are feeling is 'normal' and that they feel safe and secure enough to disclose their feelings to healthcare professionals."

    She suggested that doctors and midwives should use the routine six-week postnatal check that is offered to all new mothers as an opportunity to check in on their mental health and wellbeing. Asking all women about this should help healthcare professionals to spot any signs of mental illness as early as possible.

    Statistics from the NHS show that between ten and 15 per cent of women in the UK suffer from symptoms relating to postnatal depression after giving birth, so checking in with more new mothers in the weeks after their baby is born could help to provide support and reassurance to thousands of mums each year.

    Written by Angela Newbury

    Mediplacements is a genuine specialist medical recruitment company. Contact us to see the latest mental health jobs.ADNFCR-1780-ID-801839876-ADNFCR

    Related News