97 per cent of Scottish midwives have declared that they would like more mental health training to support new mothers.
The survey, carried out by the Royal College of Midwives, highlights the strong relationships midwives have with their clients and the need for early intervention in mental health issues for new mothers.
Millions of women around the world experience perinatal mental health (PMH) issues, which occur during pregnancy or the first year of a child being born.
It is estimated that 15-20 per cent of women experience post natal depression and anxiety. Suicide is the leading cause of death for women in the first year after pregnancy.
Scottish midwives are calling for more, quality education surrounding PMH, to enable them to spot the signs and symptoms earlier and support their clients with any issues they may be having.
Eight out of 10 midwives also said they want extra education on how to assess PMH needs in their patients.
The survey revealed, however, that 88 per cent of midwives faced at least one barrier in getting this specialist PMH training – primarily a lack of time, or down to managerial issues.
Just 13 per cent of respondents said they felt confident providing PMH care to women during and after pregnancy.
Women receive information about the physical aspects of pregnancy, such as labour and breastfeeding, but don’t always receive the correct information regarding how their mental health impact may be impacted during such an important time.
Earlier in the year, the Scottish government promised £5o million for improving mental health care for new and expectant mothers.