The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) report The Hidden Half: bringing postnatal mental illness out of hiding found that up to half of women experiencing mental health difficulties during pregnancy and in the year after did not have their needs recognised by health professionals. It called for GPs to be resourced to ensure they make use of the mandatory six-week checkup to enquire about a mother’s wellbeing as well as the health of their baby.
The cost of perinatal mental health problems is estimated at £8.1 billion a year in the UK. At least half of women with mental health problems at this time do not receive any help for them. For many women, this leads to problems escalating to the point of a distressing and costly crisis.