Delivering Excellence in Perinatal Mental Heath Care

Enabling frontline professionals to identify, effectively interact with, and appropriately manage women suffering with their mental health


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The Need For Training

Up to one in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth. (NHS England, 2019).

Maternal suicide is the leading cause of direct deaths occurring, during or within a year after the end of pregnancy, and the third largest cause of direct maternal deaths occurring during or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy. In the last review of maternal mortality (2018), it was found that over half of mothers that died by suicide may have had a different outcome if their care had been improved (54%). It was found that only 15% of those women had “good care”. (Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care. 2018).

The Baby Lifeline Mind the Gap report 2018 found that in 1 out of 4 organisations perinatal mental health training was not mandatory for any group of staff.

 Currently the NHS is focusing on increasing capacity of In-Patient Mother and Baby Units. With this increase, all professionals who care for women in pregnancy and postnatal care need to be able to identify, effectively interact with, and appropriately manage women suffering with their mental health.

Aims and Objectives
  • Gain an overview of the context of perinatal mental health and how it impacts women and their families.
  • Recognise current skills and develop these further to identify women with perinatal mental health problems and how to interact effectively.
  • To recognise when and how to appropriately escalate the care of a woman suffering with her mental health.
Relevant For

All maternity health care professionals and the wider team responsible for the antenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal care of a woman. The programme will also be relevant for GPs and Paramedics.

  • The empirical and experiential context of perinatal mental health
    • Main themes from national reports (e.g. MBRRACE-UK; National Maternity Survey).
    • The service user’s perspective.
    • Latest research and guidance.
  • Identifying & assessing perinatal mental health (screening)
    • Role of the practitioner in screening.
    • Interpersonal dynamic consultation.
    • Effective and appropriate communication.
    • Types of assessment.
    • Using measures to aid clinical decision making.
    • Birth trauma and tokophobia.
  • Management
    • Appropriate and effective escalation.
    • Service pathways.
    • Reflection on local services and service development.
  • Professor Colin R. Martin
    Course Director
  • Dr Rebecca Moore
    Course Director