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Maternal Mental Health – Together in a Changing World

Mother kissing child

The Perinatal Mental Health Programme at TPHC is supporting Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2023. 

The Perinatal Mental Health programme works with partners and NHS teams across London to support the implementation and ambitions within the NHS Long Term Plan for Mental Health. The key focus is in improving access to the range of support available to women/ birthing people, working to ensure they receive timely and appropriate care and support for themselves and their families.

The perinatal period

The perinatal period is the time between conceiving a baby and a year after giving birth – we know that about one in every five women/birthing people experience mental health problems during this time. These may occur prior to pregnancy and/or develop during pregnancy or in the postnatal period. When left untreated, these issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on both women and their families

We are supporting Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, by helping to shine a spotlight on the mental health issues women/birthing people may experience during the perinatal period, as well as some of the resources and support available to help.

Supporting thousands of people across London

The London Perinatal Mental Health programme was established in 2013 and has supported the development of specialist perinatal mental health services within every London borough.

Between February 2022 and January 2023 these services supported 8,425 women/birthing people experiencing moderate to severe perinatal mental health problems.

The programme also works in collaboration with Primary Care and Maternity services to identify and support women/birthing people experiencing mild to moderate perinatal mental health problems.

Over the last two years the team have supported the creation of four new Maternal Mental Health services in London. These specialist services provide support and treatment for women/birthing people experiencing issues relating to Birth Trauma; Tokophobia (fear of Childbirth); Loss due to Safeguarding issues; Loss as a result of still birth, miscarriage, or termination.

An evaluation of the services in 2022 – Regional Evaluation of The London Pilot of Maternal Mental Health Services highlighted the positive effects and benefits that this type of specialised, tailored support has had:

‘It has massively supported and changed me and it’s also made me look at the relationships I have, but also the experiences that I’ve grown up with and everything. [That] has helped me move forward in being a mother and trying to figure out this new phase in my life’
MMHS service user

We recognise the importance of women/birthing people and their families receiving care from perinatally competent practitioners, and during 2022/23 received workforce funding for over 600 training places to enable healthcare professionals to be able to deliver a range of interventions across services.

Women thinking BAME
Mother holding baby

We know that mental health is different for everyone, people can be affected in different ways and sometimes it may be difficult to recognise worsening symptoms in the busy days of parenthood.  We are proud to be part of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, as we understand the importance of both beginning and continuing the conversations around mental health. By raising awareness of the impact that mental health problems can have for women/birthing people and their families and continuing to show the effect that the right care can have, we hope that we will be able to reach more people, challenge perceptions and change attitudes towards accessing help and support.

For more information on any of the conditions or services above, please contact the Perinatal Mental Health team at:

Other organisations offering support and advice