Pre and postnatal depression
support services

0121 301 5990
Acacia Family Support - Ante and postnatal depression support services

Help for Professionals Working With Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Families

Welcome to Acacia's dedicated section for professionals working with mums and dads from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.  Here we have tried to pull together some resources and information to help you.  Please click links to find BAME specific video's, information and free downloadable stuff.

PND in BAME mothers is around 13% higher than others because of additional factors related to culture and ethnicity.  Despite this fact fewer than expected BAME mothers receive diagnosis or treatment for maternal mental health issues. The additional factors affecting BAME parents can include:

• Unaware of healthcare support a mother could receive
• Lack of support of where to go
• Family expectations and responsibilities
• Differences in child rearing practices
• Language barriers
• Unemployed
• Caring for others in the family (elderly, partner’s parents)
• Traditions and cultural barriers
• Stigma attached to mental health
  And there could be many more

It is important to understand that different cultures have many different beliefs and practices, and we need to try to understand these and to maintain a person centred and flexible approach to care.  This is vitally important to ensure that BAME mothers receive proper and timely support.  Acacia is committed to breaking down and reducing the barriers which exist in our own service and in the wider perinatal mental health sector.

f you have any questions please call 0121 301 5990 or click here to email us

Acacia Secure Online Referral Form
If you would like to make a referral to Acacia please click on the Agency Referral button below to access our secure online referral form

Agency Referral
Acacia BAME Project
This is a new service launched in May 2017 and funded by The Big Lottery for 3 years, covering the whole of Birmingham.   Birmingham is a diverse ethnic community and the aim of this project is to:

Raise awareness of perinatal mental health in BAME communities
Promote access and awareness of PIMH services for mothers within the BAME communities
Provide training for services and organisations which support BAME groups to have an increased knowledge to address PND
Develop training & resources for BAME groups
Provide volunteer training and cultural awareness

Why focus on BAME groups

•In general, BAME groups are more likely to have poorer health outcomes and access to mental health support.
•Higher prevalence of anxiety among South Asian women, and psychotic disorders in Afro-Caribbean men compared with White   British population (general mental health issues).
•Prevalence of PND in BAME is 13% higher because of additional factors that need addressing.
•Higher in ethnic groups who face additional cultural and linguistic barriers.
•In the last 2 years, Acacia has had an increase in referrals from BAME groups (14%).
•NICE guidelines suggests there needs to be more culturally appropriate information and support for these women.
•Acacia wishes to address this inequality.

This service provides free information/awareness raising sessions for individuals, families, community groups, professionals and anyone else who would like to receive information/training regarding perinatal mental health and BAME.  We can provide anything from a short half hour session to full programs over several weeks.  If you would like to speak to someone about this and/or book us to come and visit you/your group please ring 0121 301 5990 or email
Acacia's Printed Leaflets
Acacia produces two leaflets specifically aimed at BAME groups.  They can be downloaded below.  We also produce hard copies.  If you would like to obtain any of our leaflets or booklets please get in touch.  Please note that for larger quantities we may need to make a charge.
PHQ9 Forms in other languages
PHQ forms in various languages are available for download here 
Basic information sheets about PND in various languages
Please click on the links below to access two basic information sheets for BAME families in many languages which are available from Medline Plus. 

Emotional changes after birth
Postpartum depression (PND)

Both of these fact sheets provide very brief overview of some of the feelings and emotions a mum can face after giving birth.  The sheets both point out that if the feelings are severe and/or endure longer than a couple of weeks they may indicate a more serious problem.  

Common themes within the pre and postnatal practices amongst different cultures:
When working with BAME families it is useful to be aware of the following common themes:

Organised Support

The idea around organised support, is for female family elder to provide care to the mother and baby, usually in the form of practical support (household duties). They may also advise the mother on how to care for their newborn.

Rest Periods

Organised support and rest periods can be seen to correspond together and during the rest period a mother would be restricted in performing her usual duties, which can span between 21 days to 5 weeks. In many cultures, certain diets are also followed to prevent ill health.

Prescribed foods

Certain foods are believed to carry certain properties during the postnatal phase. For instance, in some cultures hot foods (i.e. those high in protein) such as milk, ghee, nuts are all thought to help regain balance after giving birth along with a salty and acidic diet. However cold foods such as yogurt and cold water will be avoided as it is thought to be associated with body pain. Contrastingly, in other cultures salty foods are avoided as it is thought to be associated with lower back pain. A high protein diet (hot food) is recommended throughout most Eastern Asian cultures.

Hygiene Practices

In some cultures, postpartum women are seen as contaminated and therefore would need to follow hygiene and warmth practices. For instance, some women may take a bath ‘ghusl’ after they have stopped bleeding and in some cultures cold baths are prohibited as it is believed to cause fevers and infection.

Infant care & breastfeeding

There can also be specific practices related to breastfeeding. Some religious and cultural practices only allow women to initiate breastfeeding after the 2nd day or the 6th day after a naming ceremony, and others may wait up to three days postpartum. For some, breastfeeding is a religious and holy practice.  
Bethel Doula Service for vulnerable and isolated pregnant women

The Bethel Doula service provides support to vulnerable and isolated pregnant women in Birmingham during their pregnancies, their childbirth and after their babies have been born. Our staff and team of experienced Senior Doulas and Volunteer Doulas help service users by:
  • meeting with and listening to each new service user to assess their needs
  • being a supportive and friendly birth partner
  • helping women to attend medical appointments
  • arranging essentials such as baby clothes, nappies and Moses baskets
  • providing breast feeding support
  • hosting a weekly Mother & Baby group
  • running a fortnightly Parent Education & Health class
  • providing friendly emotional and practical support
  • helping to access other local support services

For more information click on this link:
or ring 0121 306 0111

Evidence based parenting courses for Muslim families
Approachable Parenting offers a variety of services, including recognized evidence based parenting courses, for the needs of Muslim families.  Click here to visit the website.

BAME Videos

Perinatal Positivity in Arabic
Perinatal Positivity in Urdu
Shabina's Story
Joshna's Story
Perinatal Positivity

Need help?

Need Help? If you need help or support or have any questions please call.
0121 301 5990
or click here to email us

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