It has been estimated that up to half of all pregnant women in Camden are affected with perinatal mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders and psychosis. The peak incidence is around 4–6 weeks postnatally, but can occur any time in the perinatal period.
1 in 25 men also experience depression – most likely at 3 to 6 months after delivery, and there is an association with maternal depression. Poor paternal mental health may impact on the relationship with the mother and cause stress to the child.
Psychological therapies for perinatal mental-health problems need to be coordinated with supporting infant development and strengthening family relationships, such as support for parenting and creating healthy parent-child bonds.
In 2017/18, NCL will be introducing a new service for severe perinatal mental health, including the provision of a specialist perinatal psychiatrist.
Locally, the Camden Perinatal Mental Health Group has developed a pathway for mild-to-moderate perinatal mental health, with a service directory to help clinicians to refer to appropriate services.