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Analysis

Mother and baby units in perinatal mental healthcare

In February, NHS England announced a £23 million additional investment in perinatal mental health services. It is hoped this development will overturn concerns about the use of effective interventions for women at risk of developing mental illness during or after pregnancy.

In February, NHS England announced a £23 million additional investment in perinatal mental health services. It is hoped this development will overturn concerning statistics around the use of effective intervention for women at risk of developing mental illness during or after pregnancy.

Having a baby is often described as a time of joy and hope and, fortunately for many families, it is just that. But for women who develop a perinatal mental illness, the experience can be very different.

Between 10% and 20% of women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or in the first year after having a baby, according to research from Public Health England (2017) . Without prompt and effective intervention problems such as antenatal and postnatal depression, perinatal anxiety and postpartum psychosis can have a long-lasting impact on the woman, her baby and the whole family unit.

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