Mums and Babies in Mind
What is the project doing?
The Mums and Babies in Mind project supports 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 the barriers to service improvement, and to inform and support effective solutions. This will result in good quality, evidence-based care pathways including information, support and treatment, at the right time, for all mums who need it.
We capture the work we do 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). Examples of 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 and this can have a devastating impact on 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 in other geographical areas, services are inadequate. Perinatal mental health is, therefore, a major 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?
The improvement of local services will lead to better 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 and 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 Big Lottery Fund. It lasts for three years, until September 2018.