News & Blog

For the latest industry and case news

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

By Alexandra Goodall-Munroe

Shining a Light on Perinatal Mental Health

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (April 29 – May 5) is a week-long campaign dedicated to talking about and raising awareness of mental health problems before, during and after pregnancy.


Photo of woman with hands in front of her stomach

Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK (PMHP UK) launched Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (MMHAW) in 2017 to ensure all new parents receive the support and care they need. PMHP UK is a small group of individuals, including parents with lived experience, and clinicians, who have come together to raise awareness of maternal mental health. As a group they are committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of mums and their families.

The aim of MMHAW is to help break down the stigma surrounding perinatal mental health issues, such as postnatal depression, anxiety, and (PTSD), which are common during and after pregnancy but often go undiagnosed and untreated. The theme this year is “Rediscovering you” and aims to challenge attitudes, raise awareness and advocate for individuals impacted.

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance website provides access to valuable resources, toolkits, and information about perinatal mental health, including how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions and where to seek help.

In December 2023, new NHS guidance stated that “all new mums in England will receive a more comprehensive mental and physical check-up from their GP in the weeks after they give birth”, in addition to the newborn check-up. This check-up is an opportunity for GPs to assess and support women in not just their physical recovery, but also with their mental health. The overall aim to ensure that any woman needing extra mental health support can be referred if required to a specialist Doctor straight away.

Dr Claire Fuller, NHS Medical Director for Primary Care and the NHS’ lead GP in England said: “More than 600,000 women give birth every year in England, and so it is vital that they can get the right NHS mental health and physical support at what can be a hugely pressured moment in their lives.

“GPs are perfectly placed to offer new mums a welfare checks 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth for not only their physical health but also their mental wellbeing and this new NHS guidance published today ensures that family doctors have the resources to provide this comprehensive support.

 “If you are a new or expectant mum and struggling with your mental health, the NHS is here to help so please come forward through your GP practice or midwifery team”.

 In Yorkshire, the NHS offer Pregnancy in Mind services to parents who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing anxiety or depression during pregnancy. Mental health problems before, during and after pregnancy affect more than one in five mums and around one in ten dads. The services being made available by the NHS teach parents mindfulness, active relaxation techniques and coping skills.

 If you or someone you know is struggling with perinatal mental health issues, it's essential to reach out for support as early as possible. Please do not hesitate to speak to your GP, midwife, or health visitor about your concerns, as they can help you access the appropriate services and treatment.

Back to News & Blog
Share this post
photo of Alexandra Goodall-Munroe

Alexandra has six years’ experience and is a Paralegal in our Medical Negligence team.

News, views and information from us and the industry

Related posts

Contact us