Depression goes unchecked
THOUSANDS of British women with post-natal depression are being failed by GPs and midwives, a report says.
It explores how half of new mothers experienced mental health problems either during their pregnancy or within the first year of the birth. But 42% were not diagnosed or offered help by their GP, midwife or other health professional.
Some said doctors didn’t have time to talk to them properly, or dismissed their concerns as normal for mothers.
The research was carried out by the National Childbirth Trust, which said the failures were devastating to women and their families.
The charity also highlighted inadequacies in the sixweek check-up – the routine appointment offered to new mothers after birth. The survey involved 1 012 women.
Sarah McMullen, of the trust, said: “Some mothers aren’t being open about how they’re feeling as they’re terrified they’re going to have their baby taken away, and others are not being asked about their emotional well-being at all.”
Professor Helen StokesLampard, of the Royal College of GPs, said: “It’s incredibly hard for GPs to explore all the physical and psychological factors affecting our patients’ health within the time constraints of the consultation as it stands.
“We need these checks to be much longer so we are able to give the same attention to the new mother as we do to the baby, but this needs more resources and more GPs.” – The Daily Mail