Event Summary

Perinatal mental health (PMH) problems affect around 1 in 4 new or expectant mothers*, covering a wide range of conditions. The leading cause of direct maternal death in the UK is suicide, and 40% of deaths within the first year after pregnancy are related to mental health.

Despite significant increases in funding for specialised Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) services since 2016, clear gaps in services remain and women facing multiple adversities still struggle to engage with health and social services. Each agency involved with new families must prioritise PMH to ensure the health and safety of both mother and child.

Westminster Insight’s Perinatal Mental Health digital conference will raise awareness of perinatal mental health and share best practice and the latest expertise. Leaders and expert practitioners across perinatal and maternity services, mental health, social services, and the third sector will focus on early intervention and the provision of holistic PMH support.

Early access to PMH treatment is important. We will spotlight how to prevent vulnerable mothers from falling through the gaps, including those facing multiple adversities. How can you provide individually tailored services and improve access to support?

With clear disparities in access to services based on ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age, hear how services can adopt anti-racist and culturally sensitive approaches to build trust with families in underserved communities.

Experts will share good practice for implementing compassionate trauma-informed care to improve outcomes for children and parents. Explore guidance for supporting families experiencing the loss of a baby or pregnancy. Understand the impact of child removal, and how to provide continuity in mental health support.

30% of domestic abuse cases start in pregnancy and the severity of abuse can often increase during the perinatal period. * We will spotlight ways to provide tailored and sensitive physical and mental support for mothers and babies experiencing domestic abuse.

*MBRRACE-UK “Saving Lives Improving Mothers’ Care” report, November 2022

*Women’s Aid, Supporting women and babies after domestic abuse, 2019

Key Points

  • Identifying risk factors for perinatal mental ill health
  • Unpicking the findings from the latest MBRRACE report 2022 and key messages for health professionals
  • Identifying gaps in services: latest policy, funding and resources
  • Lessons learnt from lived experiences: listening to women and prioritising individual needs
  • Working together across services to prevent families from falling through the gaps
  • A spotlight on women facing multiples adversities, including domestic abuse, poverty, substance misuse/addiction
  • Building trust among underserved communities
  • Addressing ethnic inequality in access to PMH services and implementing anti-racist approaches
  • Best-practice for trauma-informed care and safeguarding
  • Bereavement support for families experiencing loss of a child or baby, including appropriate language