Understanding Perinatal Mental Health: Essential Resources

Perinatal mental health, encompassing the emotional and psychological wellbeing of parents from conception through the first year of a child’s life, is a critical aspect of overall family health. Conditions such as antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety, postpartum psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can profoundly impact new and expecting parents. Early recognition and treatment are crucial for the wellbeing of both parents and children.

To support the mental health of expecting and new parents, the Bump, Baby & You campaign has launched in collaboration with Central and North West London Perinatal Mental Health Services.

Recognising the Signs and Symptoms

Understanding the signs and symptoms of Perinatal Mental Health conditions is the first step towards seeking help. These may include feeling constantly down or emotionally detached from your baby, as well as experiencing excessive worry about parenthood. You might also notice changes like difficulty sleeping, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, or feeling irritable without reason. Seeking help is important if you find yourself struggling with these feelings and is the key to making a significant difference in your wellbeing.

Key Resources for Perinatal Mental Health

Below are some essential resources to help you recognise the signs, understand the symptoms, and seek the necessary support:

CNWL Perinatal Mental Health Services

  • Comprehensive information on perinatal mental health services available through CNWL.

Brent and Harrow Perinatal Community Mental Health Team

Maternity Trauma and Loss Care Service, North West London

  • Specialised support for trauma and loss during the maternity period.

Healthline: Perinatal Depression

  • An in-depth guide to understanding perinatal depression.

PANDAS Foundation

  • Support and information on perinatal mental health from the PANDAS Foundation.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

  • Detailed publication on perinatal depression.

Maternal Mental Health Alliance

  • Advocacy and resources for maternal mental health.

Moreland OBGYN: Perinatal Mental Health

  • Insights on diagnosis and treatment of perinatal mental health conditions.

Start for Life | Brent Council

  • Variety of resources and support for new parents in the Brent area, focusing on health and wellbeing from pregnancy through early childhood.

Mental Health and Pregnancy – Start for Life – NHS

  • Provides information on the impact of pregnancy on mental health and tips for managing emotional changes during this period.

Your Mental Health – Start for Life – NHS

  • Guidance on maintaining your mental health after your baby is born, including coping strategies and where to seek help if needed.

Taking the First Step

Recognising that taking the first step to seek help can be daunting, the Bump, Baby & You campaign aims to make this process easier. Our team are ready to provide personalised support throughout the referral process.

Your mental health is important. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you are experiencing any symptoms of Perinatal Mental Health conditions. With the right support and resources, you can navigate this challenging time and ensure the wellbeing of yourself and your family.

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