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iHV supports MMHA response to DH’s Safer Maternity Care report

18th October 2016

The iHV supports the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s (MMHA’s) response to yesterday’s publication of the Department of Health report ‘Safer Maternity Care: Next steps towards the national maternity ambition’.

MMHA highlights the mention of perinatal mental health in the report (on page 17) – but would really like to push for mums’ mental health to be embedded across all of the actions coming out of the report. Maternity safety is not just physical health: unless women’s mental health is looked after, their and their babies’ lives could also be at risk.

Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director iHV said:

“iHV supports the push by MMHA to keep maternal mental health at the forefront of the government’s drive to improve maternity care.  We welcome the implementation of this plan, including maternal mental health, and call on the government to ensure that specialist mental health support is available in every maternity /health visiting service to provide support to every mother and her family who require this service.”

Dr Alain Gregoire, Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, commented:

“We welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State of a Safer Maternity Care action plan and the inclusion of improvements in perinatal mental health care in this. Mental illnesses are the most common serious health complications of pregnancy and the postnatal period, and a major cause of maternal death. There has been no sign of improvement in the effects of these illnesses on mothers and their babies in the past decades, despite significant improvements in physical health outcomes.”