Health professionals that may be in your team

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a female nurse sits next to a woman and her baby son in the waiting room of a clinic and casually chats to them . In the background two patients sit and chat to a senior doctor .

Your Named Midwife

The first appointment to meet your midwife (or midwifery team) routinely takes place before the 10th week of pregnancy. During this initial ‘booking in’ appointment, you will be provided with the details of your ‘named midwife’. They work in a variety of settings in the community or hospital antenatal clinics, as part of a team.

Midwives should routinely ask you at each appointment about your mental health and enquire about how you are feeling towards the pregnancy, the birth, and the baby. They are skilled in supporting you.

Alongside your routine antenatal check-ups, there are sometimes opportunities for you to receive antenatal education classes (preparation for birth and parenthood), or a tour of the maternity/ birthing unit. Ask for details when you attend antenatal clinic.

Midwives look after you and your baby throughout pregnancy up to 28 days after the birth. They then hand the care over to the Health Visitor

Specialist Midwives for Mental Health

If you are experiencing difficulties with your mental health, or have an existing mental health condition, specialist midwives for mental health are available to offer further support and guidance. Through getting to know you and your family they can support your preferences for pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care.

Early on in pregnancy your named midwife, GP or Obstetrician may ask if you would like a referral to their specialist service. If you have not been offered such extra support and feel you would benefit, you can explore this option with the providers of your maternity care.

You may find it helpful during pregnancy to complete the Tommy’s Wellbeing plan

Your health visitor

Many parents only see their health visitor for developmental checks and don’t know that there is a wider offer of support potentially available. Your health visitor can offer extra support for looking after your baby and managing your mental health. You can also talk to them about anything you’re worried about, or any difficult feelings or thoughts you’re having. They can let you know about other services in your area, or they might suggest that you speak to your doctor.

Your GP

You can always talk to your doctor about your mental health. They can offer you an appointment and can provide an assessment of your mental health. Your GP can discuss with you what might be helpful, for example, a period of monitoring, regular reviews or talking therapy or even discuss medication options. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and psychotic illnesses are all treatable. The most common forms of treatment are talking therapies and antidepressant medications or a combination of both.

For many mental health conditions, the quicker that you are able to access the right support and treatment, the shorter and less severe the mental health problem can be so early identification and help is key.