1 in 5 UK mums experience perinatal mental health problems

Mother with baby

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 birth1.

Mental health issues during this critical time can make it difficult for parents to look after and connect with their baby. This can potentially affect a child's overall development.

In response, we've launched our 'Fight For a Fair Start' campaign - supported by Jo Malone London - to give babies the best start in life.

We're calling for all families to receive the support they need no matter where they live.

Join our campaign

What we're calling for

    • The UK government to guarantee the funding, workforce, and accountability that’s needed to ensure parents receive quality support at every stage – from the first check-up through to specialist help if needed.
    • Local Authorities and local NHS to listen to mums and dads to understand their particular needs, champion the healthy child programme, and invest in the hard-working community care teams so that all mums and babies can receive the best in specialist care when they need it.
    • each maternity unit to have access to support from a perinatal mental health midwife to help identify and support women and their families affected by poor maternal mental health
    • specialist support for mother-infant attachment and bonding to be available to all who need it across all tiers of service delivery
    • NHS boards to ensure that the recent Scottish government investment is spent on transforming perinatal mental health services.
    • all women and their families to receive care from a health visitor and midwife who has received appropriate and up-to-date training to detect perinatal mental health needs
    • all areas of Northern Ireland to be covered by high-quality, specialist community perinatal mental health services and a mother and baby unit, so that where a woman lives doesn’t determine her access to support
    • investment to be secured and spent on facilitating these changes, in order to transform perinatal mental health services in Northern Ireland.
    • dedicated perinatal mental health midwives and health visitors to help identify and support women and their families affected by poor maternal mental health in each health board area
    • all women and their families to be able to access a mother and baby unit that meet national standards, when needed
    • additional funding to eliminate the disparity in access to specialist perinatal mental health services for women and their families across Wales, and to ensure services meet national quality standards.

Mike McGrath, NSPCC Head of Partnerships, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have teamed up with Jo Malone London for such an important campaign. We know that mental health problems for parents during pregnancy and the first year of their child’s life can make it difficult for them to look after and bond with their baby, potentially affecting the child’s overall development.

 “We have launched the Fight for a Fair Start campaign because we believe all mums and their families should receive the perinatal mental health support they need during pregnancy and after birth, both for themselves and so that they can give their babies the best start in life. We are incredibly grateful to Jo Malone London for their support in helping us to do this.”