Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Former Minister for Water; Mental Health

    Minister launches new mother-infant bonding initiative for at risk women

    12/05/2010 12:00 AM

    Mothers and babies would benefit from a new resource for health professionals which will help better identify and support mothers experiencing difficulties bonding with their young children.


    Launching the Healthy Mother-Infant Relationship Initiative, Mental Health Minister Graham Jacobs said research had shown that where the mother-baby relationship was disrupted, babies could develop significant emotional, learning and developmental disorders.


    “The unfortunate reality is that mothers with mental illness are far more likely to have problems bonding with their babies,” Dr Jacobs said.


    “This resource aims to turn that statistic around.

    “It’s about providing health professionals with the information they need to identify those who are at risk during pregnancy or following the birth.


    “They can then refer the mother to the appropriate service to support them in their mental wellbeing and relationship building with their baby.


    “Amongst other things, securely attached children enjoy more happiness with their parents, turn to their parents for help and support, are more trusting and have higher self-esteem. Every child deserves that.”


    The Healthy Mother-Infant Relationship Initiative was developed by the North Metropolitan Area Health Service’s Clinical Application Unit.


    The Minister said the resource was a practical framework and risk assessment resource to help mental health clinicians, GPs, hospital staff and community health clinics all work together to improve the care of women with mental illness.


    “The benefits are wide ranging, and the quicker we can identify that a new mother is experiencing problems, the faster we can offer effective care and treatment options, and the sooner mother, baby and their family can happily move forward,” he said.


    The resource was developed with input from consumers and has already built stronger links between maternal, mental and community health services.


    Minister's office  - 9213 6900