Mangaluru, Nov 27: The department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in collaboration with department of Psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College under the aegis of safe motherhood committee, KSOGA is organising a Continuing Medical Education (CME) on maternal mental wellbeing 'Manospandana' which was held on November 27, 2021 in Father Muller Medical College.
Any mental illness present during pregnancy or the first 12 months after birth is considered a 'perinatal mental illness', regardless of whether the person has experienced the illness before. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health issues in the perinatal period. Until recently most research on mental health in the perinatal period focused on depression after birth, so much less is known about mental illness in pregnancy like anxiety, and other illnesses.
One in three to one in five women in India suffer from mental health problems during pregnancy and after child birth. Yet, awareness of their plight is largely limited. According to experts, addressing mental health in the period of pregnancy, delivery and up to 42 days after delivery provides a good opportunity for early intervention. The perinatal period is often a window of opportunity: treating mental health problems at this time prevents avoidable suffering and isolation, strengthens families, ensures children have a healthy start, has economic benefits and helps to prevent suicide.
Dr Rameela Shekar, Clinical Psychologist, Mental Health Professional, Manashanthi, Mangaluru was the chief guest for the CME who spoke not as a professional but from the knowledge she gained from group discussion with users of medical services and medical professionals on the days topic. Stigmatization was most of concern with regards to mental health. Most of the users never took help in case of mental health issues, the need to be inclusive was most felt by mothers who sought complete healthcare and nuture. The Doctors felt the need for structural changes in the system where there is possibility to share and have a comprehensive holistic health. There was a need for policy makers need to connect the mind and body as one person. Acceptability, Approaching, Awareness is the required finesse that the users need in mental health professional. Availability of services, Accommodating and Affordability is that the professional should carry with them for their patients. A Shared Care Programme is the need in maternal health care for a holistic approach.
Fr Rudolph Ravi D’Sa, administrator FMMCH who presided over the inaugural gave an anecdotal reference to his sisters’ arrival to her maternal home during her first pregnancy which was a joyous occasion for everyone at home, were in his mother prepared the best of dishes for her which everyone relished too. This home coming helps the woman be stress free, cared and can share her every moment of her pregnancy with the person whom she trusts. The World Health Organization has a definition of health that says health is affected by various determinants, thus holistic approach to maternal health is the best approach. The advent of nuclear families has seen mental health deteriorating even more, joint families even though with its negatives has more of a positive impact on maternal health.
Maternal mental health must be addressed in the same manner that one would for physical health. It is essential if one is to ensure the holistic wellbeing of mothers and children, and improve our health parameters in both areas.
The purpose of this CME was to enable learning and to get a bird’s eye view on maternal psychological wellbeing through eminent speakers from the department of Obstetrics and Psychiatry. The CME will benefit obstetricians, psychiatrists, postgraduates from both departments in developing skills in managing needy mothers and their families.
Fr Ajith Menezes, Fr Jeevan DSouza, Dr J P Alva, Dr Antony Sylvan DSouza various heads of departments and attendees were part of the inaugural event. Dr Deepa Kangal (HOD OBGYN) the organising chair introduced the chief guest, Dr Supriya Hegde Aroor (HOD Psychiatry) the co-organizing chair welcomed the dignitaries and Dr Prajna Kumari, organizing secretary proposed the vote of thanks. Master of ceremony was Dr Megha from OBGYN.