Perinatal Mental Health

Key Terms

  1. Perinatal - The term perinatal relates to the period immediately before and after birth. The perinatal period is defined in diverse ways. Depending on the definition, it starts at the 20th to 28th week of gestation and ends 1 to 4 weeks after birth.

  2. Select Committee -  Select Committees check and report on areas ranging from the work of government departments to economic affairs. The results of these inquiries are public and many require a response from the government.

Did you know?

  • From birth to age 18 months, connections in the brain are created at a rate of a million per second!
  • A pregnant mother suffering from stress can sometimes pass on the message to the unborn baby that the world will be dangerous, so that as a child, he or she could struggle with many social and emotional problems.

Government Action: The First 1001 Critical Days - The Importance of Conception to Age Two Period

  • The government has recognised the importance of the first 1001 critical days from when a baby is conceived until the age of two. This period of life is critical to increase children’s chances as they progress within life, whilst doing as much as possible to ensure a sound level of mental and physical well-being. 
  • The Government is committed to improving perinatal mental health services for mothers during pregnancy and in the first postnatal year, so that women can access the right care at the right time and close to home.
  • The Department of Health has invested £365 million from 2015 to 2021 in perinatal mental health services, and NHS England is leading a transformation programme to ensure that at least 30,000 more women each year are able to access evidence-based specialist mental health care during the perinatal period. This includes a holistic approach by Midwives, Health Visitors, GPs and Children’s Centre, who will engage with families as soon as possible in the pregnancy.
  • Over £1.2 million was provided in 2017 to enable the training of primary care, maternity and mental health staff to increase awareness and skills related to perinatal mental health.
  • The Commons Health Select Committee is holding an inquiry into maternity services following the publication of the National Maternity Review report ‘Better Births’. The Committee plans to implement the recommendations contained in the review.

Family Assist

  • Family Assist is a fantastic platform that has information about support for parents and other family members/friend
  • Available by clicking HERE

For Fathers

  • The Fatherhood Institute Think Tank has pledged support to the 1001 days campaign because this period is a golden opportunity for fatherly engagement.
  • Moreover, father’s attitudes and behaviours impact hugely on their baby and the mother. A summary of their report can be found here.

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