Tag Archives: perinatal mental health

Specialist perinatal mental health community teams: maps

MMHA maps

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance has published new maps showing access of pregnant women and new mothers to specialist perinatal mental health services which meet national guidelines.  The Royal College of Midwives press release states that there have been improvements in services since the last maps were produced in 2015 but 24% of pregnant women and new mums still do not have not access to specialist mental health services.

Read the RCM press release with comment here

Download the maps from the MMHA site here


Sussex Perinatal Service Film – maternal mental illness


Sussex Perinatal Service has produced a short film, put together with the voice of a parent, which acts a gentle 5 minute introduction to the difficult topic of maternal mental health problems.  The Association for Infant Mental Health UK (AIMH) feel it may be of use to raise the subject during pr-natal classes.

The link to the film from the AIMH site can me found here.


Eating disorders in pregnancy – animation

eating disorders
Image source: IHV

Eating disorders affect approximately 7.5% of pregnant women and can impact on maternal and infant outcomes. Researchers at King’s College London have translated research on eating disorders during pregnancy and motherhood into practical training resources to help healthcare professionals provide the best care for pregnant women and mothers. This animation aims to raise awareness of eating disorders amongst all health professionals working with women in the perinatal period.

For more information and to see the animation visit the Institute of Health Visiting here

Perinatal mental health community services development fund wave 2

NHS England has announced that applications are now open to STPs for the second wave of the Perinatal Mental Health community services development fund.  The purpose of the fund is to develop specialist perinatal mental health community services, and increase the availability of high quality interventions and support for women, their babies and families.

A total of £23 million is available through the wave two fund this year and from 2019/20 funding for specialist perinatal mental health community services will be allocated through clinical commissioning group baseline (CCG) budgets.

Download guidance documents here

Read the NHS England Press release here

Developing a Perinatal Mental Health Indicator in England (PMHI)


The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) has updated information about their work on developing a perinatal mental health indicator in England (PMHI). Four indicators have been selected: the Apex indicator; contact with mental health professional during perinatal period; attended contact with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) during perinatal period; and perinatal IAPT referrals showing reliable improvement/recovery.

The Apex indicator will require new data collection and is thus several years away from implementation. The other three indicators could in principle be created now and adoption depends on the wishes and needs of policy makers. The overarching purpose of the indicator set is: to ensure that maternity and postnatal care services are identifying women with perinatal mental health problems, offering appropriate and accessible mental health services and achieving outcomes acceptable to women and clinicians which minimises potential harms to the woman, her family and the development of her child.

More information available here

Over 1 in 10 women have depression during pregnancy or postnatally

Depression pexels-photo-262102
Image Source: Pexels

This Mental Elf blog post is about a recent systematic review and meta-regression of the prevalence and incidence of perinatal depression. The blogger concludes that the systematic review estimated that the prevalence of perinatal depression is approximately 12%. Estimates of prevalence are important for increasing awareness of depression during pregnancy and the postnatal period, and informing the allocation of health resources. In particular, this study highlights that depression is equally prevalent during pregnancy as in the postnatal period, and that there is a higher prevalence of perinatal depression in low and middle income countries than in high income countries.


Woody C, Ferrari A, Siskind D, Whiteford H, Harris M. (2017) A systematic review and meta-regression of the prevalence and incidence of perinatal depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 219, 86-92. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.05.003

Read the Mental Elf blog post here



NHS commits to better care for expectant and new mums with mental health

The Chief Executive of NHS England has announced four new Mother and Baby Units which will allow women to stay with their babies while receiving the specialist care they need. These new units will provide in-patient support for women and their babies with the most complex and severe needs who require hospital care, who are experiencing severe mental health crisis including very serious conditions like post-partum psychosis

“Having a baby should be one of happiest, most life-changing experiences and every mum should have the opportunity to bond with her baby, while receiving the care she needs and remaining as close to her families as possible”

Simon Stephens, Chief Executive at NHS England

Read the full press release here