All Babies Count: spotlight on perinatal mental health - prevention in mind How mental illness affects women before and after pregnancy, and what can be done to help

Baby playing on grassOur spotlight on perinatal mental health looks at what is known about mental illnesses that women can experience during the antenatal and postnatal period and what can be done to ensure better prevention, identification and treatment of these illnesses.

This report is part of our All Babies Count spotlight series on issues that affect families from pregnancy through the first years of life.

Author: Sally Hogg
Published: 2013

  • Perinatal mental illnesses affect at least 10% of women
  • Access to mental health services is currently a postcode lottery
  • Pregnant women and new mums at risk of or suffering from mental illness should be identified as early as possible and given appropriate and timely expert care to prevent illness from occurring or escalating and minimise the harm suffered by them and their families.
Executive summary 3
Introduction 6
The issue 8
The way forward 15
Part 1: Universal services 18
Part 2: Tier 1 and 2 services 26
Part 3: Tier 3 and 4 services 31
Part 4: The whole-family approach 37
Part 5: Commissioning 40
Conclusion 43

All Babies Count Spotlight series

Our Spotlight reports are a series of papers on the developmental importance of pregnancy and infancy published as part of the NSPCC’s All Babies Count campaign.

All Babies Count aims to raise awareness of the importance of pregnancy and the first years of life to a child’s development. The NSPCC is calling for better early support for parents during this period to ensure all babies are safe and able to thrive.

Each Spotlight focuses on a different issue that affects families with babies and looks at what can be done to support parents to keep their infants safe and give them the care they need.

View All Babies Count Spotlight series

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Other research and resources

Getting it right for mothers and babies

Report outlining current provision of postnatal and antenatal mental health services in Scotland, and making recommendations for future developments.
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Breakdown or breakthrough?

5 short films showing how to support parents affected by mental health problems develop secure a relationship with their baby in the perinatal period.
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All Babies Count: prevention and protection for vulnerable babies

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All Babies Count: support for parents

Guide for new parents on how to calm babies, manage stress and spot the signs of post-natal depression.
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