Northamptonshire will become one of only ten locations in the country to pilot a new maternal mental health service.

The service will provide assessment and psychological interventions to women who experience mental health conditions relating to the birth experience including birth trauma, fear of child birth (tokophobia) or pregnancy loss (still birth, miscarriage or neonatal death).

The maternal health service will offer specialist midwifery input and peer support to approximately 90 women and their families, delivered through individual and group therapy.

In addition to supporting individual women, the maternal mental health service will work alongside maternity and obstetric services to develop and embed trauma informed care.

The service will help to bridge the long-standing gap in provision which exists between primary care and community perinatal mental health services, which the NHS Long Term Plan seeks to fill across all areas of England by 2023/24.

Carly Galpin, Service Manager for Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service at NHFT, said: “The new service will help to bridge the gap for this group of women who are experiencing mental health difficulties and are not currently receiving access to the specialist psychological therapy that they require, which is likely to benefit them during this period.”

Alison Gilbert, Chair of the Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) added: “This is such an important opportunity for the women across Northamptonshire who need our support and this pilot is very much welcomed.”

The service will mobilise in the spring, allowing women and people of childbearing capacity in Northamptonshire to refer to the service via their GP, midwife or health professional during their pregnancy.