New mums benefit from extra support
Over 600 new mums in Bromley have received help from the ‘Mindful Mums’ programme, which is helping mothers stay mentally well when having a baby.
‘Mindful mums’ is commissioned by NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and provided by Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich Mind, a mental health charity. The CCG has agreed a further two years funding for the programme which works with mothers, regardless of their mental health history, to stay well during their pregnancy and after birth. As well as mothers directly supporting other mothers, it also offers wellbeing groups, befriending services and targeted support for mothers with multiple births.
During pregnancy, childbirth and the year after delivery, new mothers can be at increased risk of mental ill-health. That’s why it is so critical to provide the right support during this period to help build their resilience and promote good health and wellbeing.
Dawn Newman-Cooper, Head of Planned Care and Maternity Commissioning for Bromley CCG said: “This is a crucial time to support new mums as maternal depression is shown to have a negative impact on how parents interact with children and can have long-term consequences if left untreated. It is the leading cause of suicide during pregnancy and in the first year after giving birth.
“The Mindful Mums programme aims to prevent mental health issues from developing in pregnant women and new mums and we have seen great improvements in this area.”
Ben Taylor, Chief Executive of Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich Mind said, “The Mindful Mums programme has been a huge success since it was launched in Bromley in 2016 and to date over 600 pregnant women and new mothers in the Borough have benefited from support to look after their wellbeing and build resilience during a time of great change. Women who access Mindful Mums tell us that they really value the social and peer support, improved confidence and learning new skills. We are delighted that Bromley CCG has awarded funding to enable us to continue this important work in the Borough for a further two years and support many more women through the wellbeing groups and befriending scheme.”
Mothers using mindful mums had this to say: “I have enjoyed the opportunity to speak with new mums and share experiences, challenges, joys and despairs. For the first time in a long while I have felt useful, that I have possibly something to give from the experiences that I have had in my life. I have gained a sense of purpose and wellbeing from being able to volunteer and give something back to the community through supporting mothers, who I feel are the pivot of our community and society as a whole”.
“I got involved because I had a tough time after the birth of my first child. I felt completely out of control, like I was a rubbish mum and doing everything wrong, and I felt very lonely. I believe that this programme helps mums to know that they are not alone, and that they are all doing a really good job and that they need to have more confidence in themselves. I wanted to help other mums who might feel like I felt as it was not a nice place to be”.
Following an evaluation of the Mindful Mums service, there is evidence that the service has helped mothers:
- Who would otherwise have required support in hospital
- To better cope with a mental health crisis
- Who were having a first episode of psychosis
For more information on Mindful Mums, visit www.blgmind.org.uk/bromley/mindful-mums The website explains the different parts of the service as well as how to join groups and get support.
Notes for Editors:
1. NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group is a membership organisation made up of all the GP practices in Bromley. We work with our local population and other partners to improve local health and to plan, purchase and monitor most of the NHS services our residents need.
2. For further information please contact Kelly.email@example.com or call 0203 930 0144.
3. The NHS Long Term Plan makes a renewed commitment to grow investment in mental health services faster than the NHS budget overall for each of the next five years, with a particular focus on prevention, early intervention and recovery. Given the particular risk to new mothers, there is a need for strong evidence-based community programmes to support this particular group. In Bromley, the ongoing development of the “Bromley Well” community hub (of which Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich Mind is an integral part) provides a foundation for holistic support services. The Mindful Mums programme is one of these services.