Perinatal Wellbeing for Business
Assessing the Impact of Perinatal Illnesses on the Workplace
Perinatal Illnesses are a Major Public Health Issue
Mental health problems occurring before and after the birth of a baby has an impact on the workplace.
“Between 10 and 20% of women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. Examples of these illnesses include antenatal and postnatal depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and postpartum psychosis. These conditions often develop suddenly and range from mild to extremely severe, requiring different kinds of care or treatment.” Costs of Perinatal Mental Health Problems
Workplaces can play an important part in supporting new parents, and looking out for any signs that mothers are struggling as they return to work.
The Financial Impact of Perinatal Illness
A recent study examined the costs to the NHS, Social Services and the workplace of women suffering with perinatal mental health issues. The study found that these amount to £8.1 billion for each one-year cohort of births in the UK.
The financial impact to the workplace was estimated by taking into account:
- Days lost to sickness
- Reduction of productivity
- Potential loss of skilled employees
- Impact on quality of team work
- HR resources
Workplace Awareness Can Save Lives
Often colleagues will be aware that something’s ‘not right’ with a mother who’s just come back to work after giving birth. They may have difficulty articulating their concern, though, or worry that they’re interfering. The perinatal workplace wellbeing programme is designed to raise awareness of problems that may occur around pregnancy. Additionally it provides strategies for supporting women going through this difficult experience.