Perinatal 4

Perinatal 4

Information for parents and parents-to-be

If you are struggling with difficult-to-manage thoughts and feelings during your pregnancy, or after your baby (or babies) are born, you should make an appointment to see your GP to talk things through.

You could also talk to your midwife or health visitor to let them know how you are feeling. They will help make sense of your difficulties and offer you options for support. If they think you might need more specialist support, they will refer you to our service or ring us, with your consent, to discuss your situation.

Here is Emma's story (please click on the resources tab below for more films and other support materials).

Useful websites
ree evidence based resources for new parents
Excellent free resources for supporting pregnancy, birth and parenthood after childhood sexual abuse
AIMS (Association for Improvements in Maternity Services). An organisation that supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all. Its helpline offers information and support on pregnancy and birth is-sues to help people make informed decisions, support them to have their decision respected by their health care providers, and provide a listening ear and practical support for women who are unhappy with their experiences.
Association for Post-Natal Illness. An organisation for women suffering from any type of perinatal illness.
The Lullaby Trust. A charity that offers emotional support for bereaved families, as well as raising awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and providing expert advice on safer sleep for babies.
PANDAS Foundation UK. Support and advice for any parent who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness.
Action on Postpartum Psychosis. A national charity for women and families affected by Postpartum Psychosis (PP), a severe mental illness that begins suddenly following childbirth. It offers a moderated forum and one-to-one messaging.
Best Beginnings. A charity aiming to empower parents with the knowledge and confidence to look after their own health and their children’s long term development and well-being.
The Birth Trauma Association. A charity that supports women who have had a traumatic birth experience or are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after birth.
Make Birth Better. A network of parents and professionals who aim to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of birth trauma through clinically-led education, campaigning and re-search.
Mind. A leading national mental health charity with local branch-es, which offers information, advice and support about mental health issues and treatment choices.
PETALS: The baby loss counselling charity.
Royal College of General Practitioners. A medical royal college that provides a perinatal mental health toolkit for women and their families with websites, information leaflets and literature recommendations.
SANDS. The stillbirth and neonatal death charity, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby, working to improve the care bereaved parents receive, and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.
Tommys. A charity funding research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage, and providing pregnancy health information for parents
Unfold Your Wings. Supporting people affected by birth trauma and PTSD.

Support for mums by mums

Maternal OCD. A charity co-founded by two mothers, which provides information and support for those who suffer from extreme perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

PND and Me. An online blog set up by a woman with personal experience of postnatal depression. Also on Twitter @PndandMe

Mind Charity Peer Support Group Networks:

Support for dads

If you are a partner, friend or relative of a new mum or mum-to-be and are concerned that she is becoming mentally or emotionally unwell you should support her to make an appointment to see her GP. You can also support her to talk to her midwife or health visitor. You might also like to encourage her to look at our Mums’ network - perhaps you could look at it together. 

What to do if you are worried

If you feel she is in mental health crisis and needs urgent support, please call the NHS 11 helpline and select option 2 for crisis support.

Support for yourself

It can be very distressing seeing someone you care about struggle, especially when they have a new baby. And partners can experience perinatal mental health challenges too. Make sure you have support for yourself too. Have a look at our Useful Links page – support for partners. [Link to Useful Links #partners]

Further information

Dr Andrew Mayers. An academic psychologist specialising in mental health, particularly perinatal mental health (Including fathers) and young people’s mental health. His website includes information on support for fathers’ mental health:

Dads Matter UK. Support and information for dads worried about or suffering from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder

The Fatherhood Institute. The UK’s fatherhood think-and-do tank.

Fathers Reaching Out. The website of Mark Williams, a campaigner, author and speaker on fathers’ men-tal health

PANDAS Foundation. Amongst other support, offers closed Facebook groups for Dads:

Suggested reading

  • Postnatal depression using Compassion Focused Therapy to enhance mood, confidence, and bonding, by Michelle Cree.
  • What Mothers Do: especially when it looks like nothing, by Naomi Stadlen.
  • The book you wish your parents had read, by Phillipa Perry.
  • Good moms have scary thoughts: A healing guide to the secret fears of new mothers, by Karen Kleiman.
  • How to heal a bad birth: Making sense, making peace, and moving on, by Melissa Bruijn.
  • Raising a secure child: How Circle of Security Parenting can help you nurture your child’s attachment, emotional resilience, and freedom to explore, by Kent Hoffman.
  • Why love matters, by Sue Gerhardt

Information for carers

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.

At Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, we value the often life-long support carers provide and recognise them as equal care partners. We want to offer as much guidance and reassurance as possible, to help you in your caring role. You can find general information and support for adult carers, young carers and parent carers by following this link

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust