Perinatal mental health

Parent and baby

We support parents in developing a relationship with their infant in order to reduce any impact of their mental health problems, and our work on mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period is world-leading. We have informed methods for early identification of problems in pregnancy and provide support for postnatal depression, post partum psychosis, or a relapse of serious mental illness following the birth of a baby.

Our clinical work
We offer a holistic treatment programme and encourage the involvement of partners in the process. We admit mothers with babies where it is the wish of the mother and it is clinically safe to do so. We are also able to take mothers without their babies, and offer a programme of gradual reintroduction to the mother on the ward.

Our parenting assessment service provides a unique and highly specialised service to local and national authorities across the UK. This service assesses women or couples and their infant where there is potential risk or safeguarding issues due to a parent’s mental health problems.

Our research
Our studies seek to understand how both mental and physical health can affect mother-infant relationships and child health. We identify and analyse mental health problems in pregnant women, as well as the related risk factors (such as age, smoking, etc). We also exploring how perinatal mental illness can affect related conditions such as self-harm and response to life-threatening situations.

We also evaluate the effectiveness of current and potential treatments, interventions and services for parents facing  negative life experiences such as childhood sexual abuse and/or domestic abuse.

Find out more
Read more about our research and key publications here.

Our partnership work
Through our partnership, in particular our clinical academics, we can ensure that clinical research questions can be addressed in our research, and our research findings can inform clinical and commissioning decisions.

Furthermore, with our partnership’s strong connections to partner organisations, such as local maternity services, we are also able to include service users’ voices in the shaping and driving of our research.

Our future vision for children and young people
We will continue developing new interventions, alongside our studies evaluating and improving services, which will reduce adverse outcomes for parents and children. Our plans also include developing tools to help women with mental health conditions in the planning of their pregnancies.

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