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  1. ITV Report

New support group launched to support mums' mental health in Rotherham

  • Watch the full report from Katharine Walker

Pregnant women and new mothers living in Rotherham have access to a mental health support group for the first time.

The group - run by trained professionals - gives women experiencing mental health issues during pregnancy or after birth a safe place to to meet and get advice.

It is the first service of its kind for women in the area - who have to travel to Leeds or Nottingham to access their nearest Mother & Baby Units if they are suffering from serious mental health issues.

Rachel Maltby, from Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, says that these kind of groups are essential for catching problems early.

This kind of group of patients in fantastic because it has better outcomes for the mum and the child and the family as a whole.

If you can deal with issues and treat them quite aggressively, then there isn't a need for mental health services in the longer run.

– Rachel Maltby, Perinatal Mental Health Clinical Lead at RDaSH

Figures show that suicide is the biggest killer of pregnant women and new mothers.

Postnatal depression affects around 15 in every hundred new mothers.

It is a serious illness that can have a big impact on both the mum and also on the long term emotional development of the child.

15%
of new and expectant mothers suffer from mental health problems.

Danielle Batty, who suffered from serious post-natal depression after the birth of her eldest son, said she would have benefitted from mental health support years ago.

It needs improving. No-one tells you the bad parts about it, they only tell you the good parts. They only say when you feel the baby kick it will be amazing, but then no-one tells you how bad it will feel when you haven't bonded with your baby yet.

It's a really scary feeling and no-one tells you that. I think it's ridiculous that there's no support, and if there is, there's such a long waiting list to get to them.

– Danielle Batty, Mother

The group was set up in February by Home Start and Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust.

Georgia Melbourne, who had depression after the traumatic birth of her eldest daughter, says the new support group was really helped during her second pregnancy.

It's made a big difference this time just being able to talk to other people who are going through the same thing. [It helps] just knowing that you're not alone, and it's not just you feeling like that and you're not a bad parent feeling like you do.

– Georgia Melbourne, Mother
  • The Support Group meets every Thursday between 10am and 12noon at the Maltby Stepping Stones Children’s Centre.