Today is World Maternal Mental Health Day. More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or soon after giving birth.
Perinatal mental health refers to a woman’s mental health in pregnancy and in the 1st year after birth. It includes mental illnesses that existed before pregnancy, as well as illnesses that develop for the first time, or are greatly exacerbated in the perinatal period. Even though this is experienced by many women, they often find it difficult to speak about and share, 7 in 10 women will hide or underplay the severity of their perinatal mental illness.
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance is a coalition of UK organisations campaigning for equality: ‘In the UK, we take it for granted that all women will receive the support they need to look after their own physical health and that of their babies during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
Despite the importance of mental health for a mother and her baby, we know that a woman’s mental health will be treated very differently.
This inequality is leading to extremely serious problems that have a huge impact on women, their babies and their families.’
We call for the mental health of all women to be monitored, discussed and treated in the same way as her physical health during this crucial time. We also call for the same standard of perinatal mental health services to be available throughout the UK. Currently, women in large areas of the UK are not receiving the support they need.’
In support of UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 2019, 29th April to 5th May 2019.
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is a coalition of UK organisations with a vision to see all women across the UK get consistent, accessible and quality care and support for their mental health during pregnancy and in the year after giving birth.