Women who have depression or anxiety during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth are not having their needs recognised and not getting the support they need as a result. This report uses survey data from women and GPs to find out why so few women get timely help and what would help to ensure more get access to support when they need it. It finds that women fear disclosing distress to their GPs or other professionals. GPs have fewer and shorter consultations with women during and in the year after pregnancy. Many doctors do not know how to respond effectively or lack confidence in their ability to achieve timely access to local psychological therapy services.
This report makes recommendations for action from the next government, NHS England and clinical commissioning groups across England to invest in improved perinatal mental health support nationwide.