Mums report lack of consistent care during pregnancy and post-birth

Only 6% of mums could recall seeing the same health professional in health reviews that take place during pregnancy and up to their child's 1st birthday1

Mum and babyOur survey asked over 2,000 mothers with children aged 1 to 3 in England about their experiences of health reviews. The survey revealed:

  • nearly a quarter saw a new person each time
  • over a quarter had a letter, phone call or text message instead of a face-to-face visit
  • 40% said their health professional didn't establish a relationship where they could share concerns about their wellbeing
  • over a quarter reported rarely being asked about their mental health2.

All families in England are legally entitled to receive 5 check-ins from qualified health professionals through the Healthy Child Programme. However, cuts to the public health budget and a decline in NHS health visitors raises concerns that families across the country aren't getting the support they need3.

Perinatal mental health problems affect up to 1 in 5 mothers and up to 1 in 10 fathers4. Ahead of the upcoming budget and spending review, our Fight for a Fair Start campaign urges government to invest in the public health grant so families get the care they need.

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Andrew Fellowes, Public Affairs Manager at the NSPCC said:
"We know that when parents experience poor mental health, as well as this having a detrimental impact on them it can seriously affect their child’s development too. The Healthy Child Programme provides a vital opportunity to pick up on perinatal mental health problems early and provide the necessary support for the whole family, but successive cuts to the public health grant mean local areas are struggling to provide the care they know people need."

"An investment of £700m in services for children under 4 will ensure every area of England is able to provide the standard of public health service all families are entitled to. This is essential if we are to guarantee mental health problems don’t slip under the radar."

Get support if you or someone you know is struggling

We're here to support you, no matter your worry. Call us on 0808 800 5000, email [email protected] or fill in our online form

Some of our services are specially developed to help parents during pregnancy and after birth. Find out more about our working with families services, including how to get in touch with ones in your area.

Jo Malone logoThis campaign has been developed as part of our partnership with Jo Malone London which is focused on supporting parents with their mental health to help develop secure and healthy relationships with their children.


  1. 1. The NSPCC conducted a survey with YouGov Plc of 2,004 mothers in England, with children aged one to three years. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th - 10th February 2020.  The survey was carried out online.

  2. 2. When answering questions in the survey, mothers were asked to think about the first 4 reviews that make up the Healthy Child Programme. The first 4 reviews take place during the critical perinatal period which starts during pregnancy and ends when the child reaches their 1st birthday. The survey found:

    - 6% of the mothers surveyed could recall seeing the same health professional during pregnancy and up to their child turning one

    - Nearly a quarter (22%) saw four different health professionals

    - Over a quarter (26%) had a letter, phone call or text message instead of a face-to-face review

    - Almost two thirds of mums who had the first four reviews (64%) received all face-to-face reviews

    - Over a quarter (27%) of mothers were rarely asked about their mental health

    - Two fifths (40%) of mums disagreed that their health professional was able to establish a relationship where they could share concerns about their wellbeing

    - Nearly a third disagreed that the health professional had enough time each visit to discuss their personal wellbeing.