Up to one in five women will experience a mental health problem in pregnancy, or the first year after birth, with up to three to five per cent experiencing a serious psychiatric disorder.
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS has committed to continued investment in perinatal mental health care for mothers and their partners who need specialist support during and following pregnancy.

NHS England and NHS Improvement in the North are supporting health professionals to ensure that they have access to guidance and advice, so that women with, or at risk of developing, perinatal mental health issues are fully supported throughout pregnancy and following birth.

Some women, with pre-existing mental health conditions may benefit from pre-conception advice, or a woman may start to feel anxious and depressed during her pregnancy: if professionals spot the early signs of a perinatal ill-health issue, women can be fully assessed, to ensure any red flags are not missed.

Perinatal mental health issues can be brought on by many things; such as the experience of a traumatic pregnancy and childbirth, history of mental health or lack of support, and it can sometimes go under the radar because of feelings of shame, embarrassment and fear of the consequences.There is support there, for all mums, whether it be from a perinatal mental health community team, a perinatal mental health specialist midwife or even a psychiatrist. But it is vital that those early signs are recognised, especially by a midwife, health visitor or GP.
With the right care at the right time, mums have the best chance of staying well during pregnancy, and afterwards.

If you want to find out more about raising awareness of perinatal mental health in your organisation, there are lots of fantastic resources below.

Further resources
Peer Support Resources: https://www.app-network.org  

Support for fathers/ partners and wider families: https://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/baby-buddy  

Professional advice on medication in this period: UKTIS.org

PMH animation videos developed by the West Midlands clinical network are available:
• youtu.be/3xTfgAMjC7Q (This video covers birth trauma, postnatal depression and a partners perspective of antenatal depression, postnatal anxiety & bonding difficulties)
• youtu.be/Unid96ezWwI (This video covers antenatal anxiety, maternal obsessive compulsive disorder, postnatal anxiety, postpartum psychosis, & postnatal depression)

The NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan: https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-mental-health-implementation-plan-2019-20-2023-24/