Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse has introduced a Bill to improve mental health care for new mothers. It is called the ‘Postnatal Check-ups (Mental Health) Bill’. The first reading was in Parliament yesterday.
Kirsten Johnson, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, said: "I welcome this legislation. As a mother of three, I am well aware of what is currently offered to new mothers. It is not enough. This campaign will tackle one aspect which could be improved: introducing the requirement that the current routine NHS post-natal check-ups, given six weeks after having your baby, must include mental health checks and support."
Wera Hobhouse MP said: "It is extremely worrying that nearly half of new mothers who have experienced mental health or emotional issues have not had their problem identified by a health professional or received any help or treatment.”
"Postnatal mental health issues are not a new phenomenon and are not uncommon. It’s time to remove the stigma, encourage new mothers to discuss their emotional well-being and provide them with the mental health support they need.”
The full text of the proposed bill is ‘A Bill to require routine six-week National Health Service check-ups for new mothers to include mental health assessments and advice; and for connected purposes’.