midwifery_2018

OpenCampus talks tackle fear of childbirth and maternal mental health wellbeing


 

Book for the second talk on maternal wellbeing on Wednesday 27 February here

The sharing of birth stories and the issue of tokophobia – the severe or disabling fear of childbirth – are just two of the maternal/perinatal mental health issues which will be explored in the OpenCampus Spring series at the University of Hull.

Perinatal mental health problems occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of women, and covers a wide range of conditions. If left untreated, it can have significant and long lasting effects on the woman and her family.

The series will explore the causes and related consequences of mental health and how it shapes pregnancy, birth and new motherhood and cover some highly emotive topics such as baby bonding, the importance of trust between expectant mothers and healthcare professionals following traumatic births, and tokophobia – the fear which can lead women to avoid pregnancy or result in extreme anxiety or depression.

The concept of tokophobia and the way in which the sharing of graphic birthing stories on social media can affect women’s attitudes to giving birth attracted significant media attention during the British Science Festival held at the University, prompting discussions on mums forums, on BBC Newsnight and in national newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent.

Professor Julie Jomeen, who has an international reputation for perinatal mental health research built on 20 years of work focused on developing high quality care for all women, and Catriona Jones, Senior Research Fellow in Maternal and Reproductive Health, provided insights into their important work relating to the mental health of pregnant women and new mums at the science festival. Their presentation explored the ‘normal’ anxieties relating to childbirth and also discussed ways to help and support those women who may have an extreme pathological fear of giving birth. Recent research includes the development of a clinical pathway in response to a need for early detection and treatment of a fear of childbirth that goes beyond ‘normal’ levels.

As a result of the diverse and passionate reactions to the issue of tokophobia during the science festival, the severe fear of childbirth will be explored in a presentation on Wednesday April 10 as well as during a panel discussion on Wednesday May 15 as part of the OpenCampus series.

Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University, said:

“During the British Science Festival, we drew attention to an overlooked condition – and the response was remarkable. In addition to considerable media coverage around the world, women were in touch to thank us for talking about the issue. They told us they didn’t get pregnant because of their fears, that if they’d known people who’d have helped them throughout pregnancy it would have made a big difference.

“My main hope is that as a result of the media spotlight that has focused on this fear of childbirth, we will continue to increase awareness, build on our research and create the support and healthcare services for women that they and their families can rely on. The OpenCampus presentation and panel discussion is an important way for us all to share views and increase understanding around this complex condition.”

 

“During the British Science Festival, we drew attention to an overlooked condition – and the response was remarkable. In addition to considerable media coverage around the world, women were in touch to thank us for talking about the issue.” Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences

 

Catriona Jones, who has worked alongside Professor Julie Jomeen for 10 years on perinatal mental health research and the development of advanced healthcare for women, said:

“Good perinatal mental health services are vital. We need clear strategies in place for screening and identification, prediction, referral, and follow-up.  

“The work we have undertaken over the last 10 years has highlighted the importance of training health professionals in screening/detection, identification and prediction of perinatal mental health problems in women, so they know what to do when a woman’s emotional wellbeing or mental health status causes concern.

“We are looking forward to sharing our research with a wider audience – including clinicians and other healthcare professionals – during this new series of OpenCampus talks.”

Professor Julie Jomeen, who was inspired to drive improvements for better healthcare for expecting mums after spending her early career as a midwife, said:

“We have recently been joined here at the University by Professor Colin Martin, as our Professor of Perinatal Mental Health, who I have worked with in this field for over 20 years. This is enabling us to further expand our work in this area and our teatime talks provide the opportunity for us to share our research journey to date.

“Early detection and treatment are vital across the perinatal period to ensure optimum maternal, neonatal and mental health outcomes for patients and their families.

“By providing high quality care for all women, we can diminish the chances of women developing tokophobia after their first birth.”

The University of Hull is committed to driving improvements to healthcare in our region and beyond. Our academic staff welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the impact they are having by helping to develop better maternal healthcare services for women.

This series of talks is open to everyone. OpenCampus health events frequently attract a diverse audience of clinicians, students, academics, and family members who have a particular interest whether they are carers, parents, patients or simply keen to find out more. The academic staff and postgraduates share their research and insights on a subject and this is often followed by very lively discussion.

A framework for maternal wellbeing will be the focus of the first talk in the series which starts at the University on Wednesday 23 January. Dr Franziska Wadephul, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Dr Lesley Glover, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Nicola Hanefeld, Alexander Technique Teacher and PhD student, will present the framework, give insights into how women can enhance their own well-being and how they can be supported by others, including health professionals. This talk will cover a number of examples, including the experience of post-natal back pain.

Dr Wadephul said: “Wellbeing is generally taken to include more than just physical health, but it is difficult to define precisely what it is. We will be taking a look at the different aspects of wellbeing – physical, cognitive and emotional – to help people gain a greater understanding of how advances to healthcare can be made.”

The OpenCampus programme is an informal and friendly way for visitors to learn at the University. The programme includes a termly programme of culture café sessions, a series of tea-time talks and the OpenCampus reading group.

Jackie McAndrew, Public Engagement and Postgraduate Researcher Experience Specialist, said: “The subjects covered in the programme are wide ranging, contemporary, historical, sometimes controversial, often challenging but always interesting and thought provoking. I have no doubt that this series on maternal health will be extremely stimulating.

“Everyone is welcome – whether you are a clinician, student, academic, parent or whether you simply have a general interest in the subject. We look forward to hearing everyone’s views – particularly at the panel discussion on the fear of childbirth.

 “The University has a very strong research history in maternal mental health and I am delighted that this series gives our talented members of staff the opportunity to share their work with a wider audience in a relaxed and informal setting.”

Admission is free for all talks, listed below, but booking is required. Book online here.

 

““Wellbeing is generally taken to include more than just physical health, but it is difficult to define precisely what it is. We will be taking a look at the different aspects of wellbeing – physical, cognitive and emotional – to help people gain a greater understanding of how advances to healthcare can be made.”

Dr Franziska Wadephul, Postdoctoral Research Assistant

OpenCampus Programme 2019

Maternal Wellbeing

Dr Franziska Wadephul, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Dr Lesley Glover, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Nicola Hanefeld, Alexander Technique Teacher and PhD Candidate, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 6.30- 8.30pm, AMB LT1 (Allam Medical Building Lecture Theatre 1), University of Hull.

Love, Guilt and Separation: mental health in pregnancy, birth and the transition to motherhood

Professor Julie Jomeen, Professor of Midwifery, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Professor Colin Martin, Professor of Perinatal Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 6.30- 8.30pm, Wilberforce LT1, University of Hull.

Bonding with the unborn baby

Dr Franziska Wadephul, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 6.30- 8.30pm, AMB LT1 (Allam Medical Building Lecture Theatre 1), University of Hull.

Fear of childbirth; considering the continuum of expectant mothers’ fear, from almost free of fear to severe or disabling fear

Catriona Jones, Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull and Claire Marshall, Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Nurse and Clinical Lead, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust; Clinical Academic Fellow at the University of Hull.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 6.30- 8.30pm, AMB LT1 (Allam Medical Building Lecture Theatre 1), University of Hull.

Fear of Childbirth Open Panel Public Forum

Professor Julie Jomeen, Professor of Midwifery, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Catriona Jones, Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 6.30- 8.30pm, Wilberforce LT1, Hull Campus, University of Hull.

What happened to trust? how pregnant women trust and mistrust healthcare professionals after a previous traumatic birth

Dr Mari Greenfield, Academic researcher in maternity care at the University of Hull, doula, birth activist.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 6.30- 8.30pm, AMB LT1 (Allam Medical Building Lecture Theatre 1), University of Hull.

 

 

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