When is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week?

Monday 3rd – Sunday 9th May 2021.

What are Perinatal Mental health problems?

A ‘perinatal’ mental health problem is one that you experience any time from becoming pregnant up to a year after you give birth.

Having a baby is a big life event. This is understandably a difficult and stressful time for many people. And it may be particularly so if you are pregnant or have recently had a baby due to the added stress of Covid19.

It’s natural to experience a range of emotions during pregnancy and after giving birth. But if any difficult feelings start to have a big effect on your day-to-day life, you might be experiencing a perinatal mental health problem.

This may be new mental health problem, or an episode of a problem you’ve experienced in the past.

If your partner is pregnant or recently gave birth, you may also experience mental health problems around this time.

This is why it’s important to take care of yourself and use support services if you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s health.

Who are effected by Perinatal Mental health problems?

In the UK, up to 1 in 5 mums and 1 in 10 dads experience mental health issues in the perinatal period – during pregnancy and a year after birth.

During the perinatal period, from pregnancy up to a year after birth, women can be affected by a number of mental health problems. These include: depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders and postpartum psychosis.

What support and services are there?

There are various organisations, support services and health professionals who can support your mental health during pregnancy and after having a baby.

These may include general health and pregnancy support services like:

  • your GP
  • antenatal care (with your midwife or obstetrician)
  • your health visitor

There are also more specialist services to support you if you are at risk of becoming more unwell, or if you become more unwell. These include:

  • perinatal mental health services
  • community mental health teams (CMHTs) and crisis teams
  • hospitals, and mother and baby units (MBUs)

Other organisations who can help are;

Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP)


Information and support for anyone affected by postpartum psychosis.

Anxiety UK

03444 775 774 (helpline)

07537 416 905 (text)


Advice and support for people living with anxiety.

The Association for Post Natal Illness

020 7386 0868


Provides support for women experiencing postnatal depression.

Birth Trauma Association


Support for anyone affected by birth trauma, including partners.

The Breastfeeding Network

0300 100 0212


Support and information about breastfeeding and perinatal mental health.

Child Bereavement UK

0800 028 8840


Support when a baby or child of any age is dying, or a child is facing bereavement.

Family Action

0808 802 6666


Supports families of any kind, including with mental health problems.

Fatherhood Institute


Information, research and training to support fathers and their families.


0808 802 0925


Advice and practical support for single parent families.



Support for families with young children, including details of local services.

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service


Support and psychological therapies prioritising women and partners in the perinatal period

The Lullaby Trust

0808 802 6868 (Bereavement support)

0808 802 6869 (Information & advice)


Information and support for people affected by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Maternal OCD


Information and support for people experiencing perinatal OCD, and their families.



Information and self help resources for anyone in the perinatal and postnatal period

The Miscarriage Association

01924 200799


Information and support for anyone affected by miscarriage, molar pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy.

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

0808 801 0331



Supports adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse. Offers a helpline, email support and local services.

No Panic

0300 7729844


Provides a helpline, step-by-step programmes, and support for people with anxiety disorders.

OCD Action

0300 636 5478


Information and support for people affected by OCD and hoarding, including online forums and local support groups.


03332 127890


Charity run by and for people with OCD.

PANDAS Foundation

0843 28 98 401


Information and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem during or after pregnancy.

Pink Parents


Information for gay and lesbian parents.

Postpartum Men


Information and support for new fathers experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, including an online peer support forum.


0808 164 3332


Information and support for anyone affected by the death of a baby.



Information on pregnancy, breastfeeding and parenting from the NHS.



Information and support for people affected by stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth.