A postnatal support service which helps mums and dads after the arrival of their newborn is celebrating a very happy first birthday.
Post-birth Buddies, funded by the Lichfield District Partnership and run by Prohealth UK, was set up in 2015 to offer specialised psychological support to both women and men following the birth of a child.
Prohealth UK clinical lead Rebecca Southall said: “While having a baby can be a wonderful experience for some, for too many families it can also be overshadowed with anxiety, doubt, irrational thoughts, sleep deprivation, fear and the after-effects of traumatic birth, all of which can lead to depression.
“Over the past year our service has directly supported 45 new parents in groups or one-to-one counselling, and over 100 other parents via our online resources. We help them to work through their concerns, identify alternative coping strategies and gain a greater sense of resilience and understanding.”
Rebecca added that the positive changes in the parents then had a ripple effect on the rest of the family – thus helping many more people and building a stable base for the family unit for the future.
Covering Lichfield and Burntwood, Post-birth Buddies provides a six-week group programme of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)-based interventions supported with learning tools and resources which clients can keep for the future.
Delivered by a team of fully-qualified CBT therapists and counsellors, the team also offers 1-1 sessions to postnatal mums and dads where there is a clinical need. An online, guided self-help programme is also available via the website www.space4u2talk.com
Rebecca added: “The positive response and feedback which we have had from the clients has been amazing and reinforces our knowledge that this service is greatly needed. The support and encouragement which the ladies have received from being part of a group has been particularly significant – just that knowledge that they are not alone can make all the difference.”
Referrals to Post-birth Buddies can be made by health professionals or people can self-refer.