Perinatal Mental Health

If you have any concerns around your pregnancy please call our Triage Helpline
Tel: 0300 131 5341

Perinatal Mental Health (PNMH) refers to mental wellbeing during the perinatal period, which includes; pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period up until your baby reaches one year of age. It is a very important aspect of your care and wellbeing.

At your initial booking appointment with your midwife she will ask you about your medical history including past and current mental health issues. You will be asked about your emotional wellbeing at each antenatal and postnatal contact. It is really important that you share any relevant mental health history with your community midwife at the earliest opportunity. Anybody can be affected by a mental health disorder during pregnancy and following childbirth; whether you have suffered in the past or not. Pregnancy is an emotionally and physically changing time and having a baby comes with new challenges and demands.

Within Maternity we have a Consultant Obstetrician who specialises in Perinatal Mental Health and we also have a Perinatal Mental Health Specialist Midwife. These professionals have a close network of support available to you if required, consisting of the Perinatal Mental Health Team, Psychiatrist, Health Visitors and a counselling service.

The most common mental health problems in pregnancy and after the birth of a baby are depression and anxiety. During pregnancy depression can affect approximately 12% of women and anxiety can affect around 13% of women. This figure increases to around 15 to 20% of women affected by depression and anxiety during the first year following childbirth.


The baby buddy app is a personalised and interactive app full of information throughout your pregnancy and following the birth of your baby for the first 6 months.

Health in Mind is an NHS organisation providing courses and therapies to help with stress, anxiety and low mood.For courses and an online self-referral visit:

Drop in sessions are also available called ‘Walk in to Wellbeing’ – please see flyers below for details of these sessions held in St Leonards-on-Sea and Rye:

The following website has information about all medications and their risk within pregnancy or during breastfeeding:

If you are pregnant and taking medication for your mental health, then please do not suddenly stop your medication. Please continue taking this as normal until you speak to your Doctor or Midwife. You can search your medication using the above website for information regarding pregnancy and breastfeeding.