What is the project doing?
The Mums and Babies in Mind project support local leaders in four areas of England (Blackpool, Haringey, Southend and Gloucestershire) to improve care and quality of life for mums with mental health problems during pregnancy and the first year of life and their babies.
In each area, we aim to identify service improvement barriers and inform and support effective solutions. This will result in good quality, evidence-based care pathways, including information, support and treatment, for all mums who need it at the right time.
We capture our work and share our learning through online tools and communications that inform and inspire those who commission and provide services across the UK.
Why do we need Mums and Babies in Mind?
Between 10% and 20% of women develop mental health problems during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth (referred to as the ‘perinatal’ period). These illnesses include antenatal and postnatal depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and postpartum psychosis.
Around 50% of perinatal mental health problems are untreated or undetected, which can devastate women and their families. They are one of the leading causes of death for mothers during pregnancy and the year after birth. Women in around half of the UK have no access to specialist perinatal mental health services, and services are inadequate in other geographical areas. Perinatal mental health is, therefore, a significant public health issue.
Yet, with the right help, women can make full recoveries from these illnesses, allowing them and their families to lead much more fulfilling lives.
How will mothers benefit from the Mums and Babies in Mind project?
Improving local services will improve care and outcomes for women who experience perinatal mental health problems in the four areas each year and their babies. Over time the project will accelerate improvements for more women and babies across the country.
Who is involved?
Mums and Babies in Mind is a Maternal Mental Health Alliance project hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and funded by The National Lottery Community Fund (formally the Big Lottery Fund). It lasts for three years, until September 2018.