The NHS has confirmed that extra funding will be made available to improve the mental health of at least 3,000 pregnant women and those who have recently given birth.
The £23 million funding is part of a major programme of improvement and investment by NHS England which will see a total of 30,000 additional women getting specialist mental health care, in person and through online consultations including over skype, during the early stages of motherhood, supported by a total of £365m, by 2021.
Perinatal mental ill health affects up to 20 per cent of women during pregnancy and in their first year after giving birth. As well as being crucial to new mothers, newborns and their families, perinatal services, alongside other treatments for common mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, can play an important role in ensuring mental health is integrated into overall healthcare at the earliest possible stage of life.
Perinatal mental health – wellbeing related to pregnancy and the first year of motherhood – has become an increasingly prominent issue in recent years, with high-profile figures including the Duchess of Cambridge speaking out about its impact.