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Lancashire and Cumbria Perinatal Mental Health Services

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation trust is the provider for Specialist Perinatal Community Mental Health in Lancashire and South Cumbria and for inpatient Perinatal Mental Health care in Lancashire and Cumbria.

Ribblemere Mother and Baby unit opened in October 2018 and is an inpatient facility for mothers with serious mental health problems to access support and treatment whilst remaining alongside their babies.

The Specialist Perinatal CMHT launched in January 2019 and provides support to women experiencing mental health difficulties related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. We also work to minimise the risk of relapse in those women who are currently well but who have a history of severe mental illness.

What does 'perinatal' mean?

Perinatal mental health problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Between 10% and 20% of women develop a mental illness during their pregnancy or within the first year after having their baby. If left untreated, it can have significant and long lasting effects on the woman and her family.

'Perinatal' means the period of time covering your pregnancy and up to roughly a year after giving birth. It's made up of two parts:

  • peri meaning 'around'
  • natal meaning 'birth'

What are perinatal mental health conditions?

Women can experience any kind of mental health problems during and after pregnancy, but there are some that are particularly common or are specifically linked to pregnancy and childbirth including:

  • perinatal depression
  • perinatal anxiety
  • perinatal OCD
  • postpartum psychosis
  • postpartum PTSD

If you are looking for information or support concerning maternal mental health, and particularly in relation to postpartum psychosis, we are working closely with the organisation Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP). APP's online forum contains a wealth of discussion topics and gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn from others' experiences of postpartum psychosis.

Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) website is www.app-network.org where you can read their Insider Guides and other news and information which you might find helpful.