New national pregnancy guidelines developed by Blackpool childcare experts

Blackpool childcare experts have put together new guidance which will help the NHS offer better care to pregnant women and their partners who have suffered trauma.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:18 pm

The Blackpool Centre for Early Child Development, which oversees the Blackpool Better Start programme, was commissioned by NHS England to create the guidance.

It is hoped it will help address mental health problems which may occur during the perinatal period, which is during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child.

Clare Law, director of the centre, who co-authored the guidance, said: "Before drafting this guide, we did extensive research and spoke to parents and staff from across the country to better understand how the role of trauma and its impact was felt during pregnancy and childbirth.

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New pregnancy guidelines around trauma have been developed in Blackpool

"Our findings highlighted the importance of kindness, compassion, sensitivity and empathetic language and how these are integral to the care experience.

"Continuity of care was also seen as key, along with parents feeling control over decision making and having an informed choice.

“Mental health support from early pregnancy was flagged as vital, as was early identification of any issues and clear signposting to relevant services.

"We also found dads can feel invisible and redundant during the perinatal period which can have an impact upon their own mental health."

Claire Murdoch, national director for mental health at NHS England, said: "We know that people who have experienced trauma have higher risks of a range of poor health outcomes, so it’s very important that we look at how we can better support these people.”

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