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.
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.
0808 802 6666
Supports families of any kind, including with mental health problems.
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).
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
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.
Provides a helpline, step-by-step programmes, and support for people with anxiety disorders.
0300 636 5478
Information and support for people affected by OCD and hoarding, including online forums and local support groups.
Charity run by and for people with OCD.
0843 28 98 401
Information and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem during or after pregnancy.
Information for gay and lesbian parents.
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.