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Mental Health Support (Pregnancy)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 7th May 2020.

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Photo of Finlay Carson Finlay Carson Conservative

The minister will know that 20 per cent of women are affected by mental health illness during pregnancy or in the 12 months after giving birth. Such illnesses can include anxiety, depression, post-partum psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder.

I declare an interest as an expectant father, and I put on record my thanks to organisations such as Dads Rock for providing online antenatal and postnatal workshops for dads.

My partner is part of a new mums network in my constituency, and the feedback from that forum is that there is little or very little mental health support during or after pregnancy. During the pandemic, feelings of anxiety and depression will be magnified substantially, particularly given that some routine scans and appointments are being cancelled. When the current situation ends, I fear that pregnant women and mums will still not get the support that they need.

Does the Minister for Mental Health recognise that that is a problem? If so, what is the Scottish Government doing right now to support the mental health of expectant and new mothers, and what is in place to support them after the lockdown?