Supporting maternal mental health

Best Beginnings is in the process of creating Out of the Blue - a series of engaging and evidence-based films to improve and support maternal mental health. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Maternal Mental Health Stakeholder Day event in June 2014.

There will be films uploaded into our Baby Buddy app and onto our website, as well as longer films on a DVD which professionals can use with families and in staff training.

Integral to the project is collaboration and co-creation with expert stakeholders including parents, representatives from relevant royal colleges and charities, and with significant involvement from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance. Through this collaboration, we have pinned down the film content and dissemination plan, and have ensured that the highest number of mothers, fathers, families and professionals across the UK have viewed the films in ways that will maximise their impact.

More information about the terminology, impact, classification and further support is available on our Helping Parents with Mental Health Issues page.

Why a national resource to support maternal mental health is needed

The physical aspects of pregnancy are widely discussed, yet by comparison the emotional changes during this time attract less attention and are less well publicised.

Read The Cost of Perinatal Mental Health Problems Report - by the LSE and Centre for Mental Health, part of the work from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance's 'Everyone' Business' campaign. The infographic below is taken from the report:

Perinatal mental health problems can have a devastating impact on women, their babies, fathers and their families. Up to 20% of women will suffer from mental health issues that can occur during pregnancy and in the year after birth. These illnesses include anxiety, postnatal depression and postnatal psychotic disorders. Mental illness can result in a wide range of symptoms which mean women can struggle to understand that they are ill.

Health and social care professionals need to have enough knowledge of these issues to be alert to a wide array of symptoms. Without this support, there is strong evidence of significant adverse outcomes for women, their babies and their families. However, with the right information, professionals and families can make a real difference.

The onset and escalation of perinatal mental illnesses can often be prevented through early identification and expert management of a woman’s condition, and prompt and informed choices about treatment. Even if the illness itself is not preventable, it is possible to prevent many of the negative effects of perinatal mental illness on families.

Best Beginnings fully support the Prime Minister's recent pledge for a ‘revolution’ in mental health treatment.

For more information on the Out of the Blue project please contact

Follow the campaign on Twitter @BestBMMH

Video lectures - Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

In May we were privileged to get Kathleen Kendall-Tackett to speak at a seminar we hosted in London. Kathleen is a leading authority on depression in mothers and on the relationship between breastfeeding and depression. We are pleased to let you know that the videos we made on the day are now available to view online. Please feel free to share these videos with your colleagues and through your networks.