Perinatal mental health


In Lancashire and South Cumbria Local Maternity System, perinatal mental health is an important part of our service-development plans and priorities. Collaborating with the North-West Coast Clinical Network for perinatal mental health, local maternity, mental health and voluntary services we are striving to improve mental health outcomes for all families in the perinatal period.

What is perinatal mental health?

Perinatal mental health (PMH) problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the two years following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 27% of new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions such as pre and postnatal anxiety and depression, post-partum psychosis and postnatal OCD.

If left untreated, mental health issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on the parents, the child, and the wider family. Across Lancashire and South Cumbria, there are a range of services that can support families through these times depending on the level of need.

  • GPs, Midwives and Health Visitors can all provide support for Perinatal Mental Health throughout the perinatal period and play a key role in identifying mental health needs.
  • NHS Talking Therapies services provide perinatal friendly services for families and parents in the perinatal period are prioritised for service access.
  • Specialist Perinatal Mental Health services provide care and treatment for women with moderate to severe or complex mental health needs and support the developing relationship between parent and baby. They also offer women with mental health needs advice for planning a pregnancy.
  • Find out more about Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Services in Lancashire and South Cumbria: Perinatal Mental Health :: Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (
  • Maternal Mental Health Services provide support to families who have suffered trauma or loss through the maternity journey.
  • In Lancashire and South Cumbria this service is called the L&SC Reproductive Trauma Service. Find out more about this service here:
    LSC Integrated Care Board :: Reproductive Trauma Service (
    Reproductive Trauma Service – Maternity Resource Hub
  • Mother and Baby mental health units provide specialist in-patient care for women with the most severe mental health needs and allow parents to remain with their babies whilst accessing their treatments. Find out more about our Ribblemere Mother and Baby Unit here: Ribblemere Mother and Baby Unit :: Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (
  • Parent Infant services support relationships and bonding between parents and children, which is the foundation for mental health. The provision of the services varies across Lancashire and South Cumbria with some services being offered through NHS organisations and others through charities and community groups.
  • Support is often also available through local community groups and third sector providers.
The Lancashire and South Cumbria Reproductive Trauma Service are conducting a consultation with fathers, partners, and co-parents (i.e. non-birthing partners) who have experienced a loss, traumatic birth, fear of childbirth, challenging NICU experience, or separation from a baby following birth due to safeguarding concerns to help inform and co-design how partners will be consulted around their support needs.

Without the voices of those with lived experience, it is difficult to create an effective process. As such we would be grateful for any amount of involvement – the link below is a concise and anonymous questionnaire, which asks the most important questions. There is also the option at the end of the survey to include contact details to be invited to deeper focus group conversations around this co-design process, though this is completely optional and not required to submit the questionnaire.

Visit the Consultation for fathers, partners, and co-parents

Closing date for the Father’s questionnaire – Monday 29th May

Perinatal Mental Health Downloads for Staff


North West Coast Pathway for mental health in the antenatal and postnatal period


North West Coast Pathway for Perinatal Psychiatric Emergencies for Universal Services:


North West Coast Parent Infant Relationship Assessment Care Pathway:


North West Coast Perinatal Mental Health Resource Pack for IAPT Services 2020


North West Coast Clinical Network information for the use of psychotropic medication in the perinatal period

Training and learning opportunities

Institute of Health Visiting Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Champions training

We have over 20 iHV PIMH Champions across Lancashire and South Cumbria. Look out for upcoming training and for more opportunities to join the local Champions group.

Find out about becoming a iHV PIMH Champion here


July 2024
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