Assistant Professor Mickey Sperlich and colleagues publish guide, "A good practice guide to support implementation of trauma-informed care in the perinatal period"

Published April 16, 2021

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Mickey Sperlich

Mickey Sperlich.

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Mickey Sperlich and her colleagues on the publication of their guide, "A good practice guide to support implementation of trauma-informed care in the perinatal period" via the National Health Service (NHS) in England.

From the website: "This guide applies to all staff (clinical and non-clinical) working with perinatal women in maternity and mental health services, although it may be more pertinent to certain roles. All staff can play a part in ensuring women and their families feel safe and secure in the care setting. This guide is also for parents to help them understand what good trauma-informed practice might look like."

Law, C., Wolfenden, L., Sperlich, M., & Taylor, J. (2021, February). A good practice guide to support implementation of trauma-informed care in the perinatal period. White paper for the National Health Service England. 

Introduction

Who is this guide for?

This guide is universal and applies to all staff (clinical and non-clinical) working with perinatal women in maternity and mental health services, although it may be more pertinent to certain roles. All staff can play a part in ensuring women and their families feel safe and secure in the care setting. This includes - but is not limited to - midwives, obstetricians, sonographers, anaesthetists, psychiatrists, psychologists, nursery nurses, mental health nurses and maternity support workers. The principles in this guide equally apply to non-registered staff, those in supportive or administrative roles and those who provide direct professional or clinical care, advice and support.

This guide does not intend to supersede or replace regulatory or practice requirements already in place for a professional group or role, but aims to be additionally supportive.

The guide is also for parents to help them understand what good trauma-informed practice might look like.

It is also recognised that the guide will aid the workforce to strengthen trauma informed practices and policies as part of a recovery response to COVID-19, and also enable them to more effectively support and engage with service users at an understandably more difficult and stressful time.

Aims of the guide

This guide aims to help staff and services understand the impact of psychological trauma on women in the perinatal period and respond in a sensitive and compassionate way. It aims to support staff to ensure they ‘do no harm’ through care delivery that, without thought or intention, could retraumatise individuals. This includes examples of how to:

  • recognise and understand the impact of psychological trauma and how experiences may present during the perinatal period
  • respond to disclosures and tailor care to needs of women and families so that services do not retraumatise individuals
  • best support staff working in maternity and mental health services, acknowledging the effects of vicarious trauma and that staff may have their own experiences of trauma, which could impact on their capacity to deliver trauma-informed care