A MIDWIFE who has a special role in supporting women with their mental health has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

Yasmeen Akhtar is a mental wellbeing midwife who works at Barnsley Hospital.

Her role means she supports women who have any mental heath concerns or anxieties in pregnancy, giving them one-to-one advice in helping bond with their ‘bump’ and using distraction techniques to help relieve day-to-day stress.

The 48-year-old, who has worked in the NHS for 20 years and at Barnsley Hospital for nine years, said she is glad to support new mums and help them break the stigma surrounding mental health.

“My favourite part of my job is having the privilege to be a part of the women’s journey,” said Yasmeen, who lives on the outskirts of Doncaster.

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“At the beginning they may struggle, but with support, advice and some TLC, they can see their journey turn into a positive experience, while we also let them know it’s ‘okay not to be okay’ sometimes.

“If I can support just one woman then I know I have done my job and if I can support many women, well, no words can describe how I feel.”

As well as offering one-to-one advice, Yasmeen facilitates a group called TLC 4 Mums and Bumps which takes place every Monday except on bank holidays.

The group is for pregnant women and mums with a baby up to 12 months of age to have a space to talk about their worries and any problems they are facing.

Speaking about being nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award, Yasmeen said: “I am humbled to have been recognised. Over the years doing this role I have learnt so much from the brave and strong women that struggle in this period.

“I am very passionate about my role and determined to make changes and a difference with the support of the maternity unit.

“I am really honoured to be nominated. I love my job as the mental wellbeing midwife and just knowing I can make a difference is enough for me.”