Perinatal support – Pregnancy and early parenting
This page is dedicated to perinatal support including information about children and family support, parent and carer mental health support and general information about support, activities and resources.
If you have landed on this page and you need urgent help please see here:
Perinatal mental health difficulties – what does this mean?
Anytime from becoming pregnant and up to a year after birth you might hear about ‘perinatal mental health’. Perinatal mental health difficulties is the term used for anyone struggling with their mental health during this period of their life.
During any big life event, it’s completely natural for anyone to struggle with their mental health. Although having a baby can be a special and joyous time, it can also be challenging.
If difficult thoughts or feelings start to have a negative effect on your day-to-day life during this period, you might be experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties. It’s important to know that this can happen to anyone, whether or not they have experienced mental health problems before.
Who can be affected during this time?
The focus and language around perinatal mental health tends to be around women who are birthing for, and caring for their new child. Perinatal mental health can also affect surrogate mothers and partners who develop mental health difficulties around this time. If someone’s mental health is affected due to becoming a parent or carer, then doctors may term this as postnatal depression – or paternal depression.
Reasons why someone might struggle with perinatal, postnatal or paternal depression
Sometimes other things can affect how you feel about yourself and your baby, such as a traumatic pregnancy or birth, mental health problems (such as depression or anxiety), loss and bereavement, breakdown of relationships, hormone changes, or events from the past or present. It is important to know that this can happen to anyone whether or not that have experienced mental health difficulties before.
We want you to know that you are not alone, and that there are a range of different people and organisations you can speak to for help.
Support that is available to you:
Children and Family Support
Health Visiting is part of the 0-19 Service through which there is support for children and their families at home and at school from birth to 19 years old. If you are experiencing low mood, please talk to your Health Visitor about how you are feeling. They will be able to offer you advice and support for both you and your baby.
Telephone: 0114 305 3224. Website: www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/services/health-visiting/ Resources: Resource Library this is all free to access and is available in a wide range of languages through an inbuilt Google Translate option.
The Sheffield Perinatal Mental Health service provides specialist assessment and treatment to mums and their families living in Sheffield. You can access this through being referred by a health and social care professional working in Sheffield (such as your GP, community mental health team, midwife or health visitor).
They offer confidential, non-judgemental care and treatment to women with mental health problems who are planning to have a baby, are already pregnant or have given birth in the last 12 months.
The Sheffield Parent-Infant Relationship Service (PAIRS) team are a small multidisciplinary team including Infant Mental Health Practitioners, psychologists, psychotherapists and a Specialist Emotional Health & Wellbeing Practitioner.
They support parents and caregivers of all ages with their own and their baby’s wellbeing so that they can build a strong and nurturing relationship with their baby or young child.
They work with parents and carers and their babies from conception to age three and can provide services to those who prefer to communicate in a language other than English via translator.
Phone: 0114 305 3659 Website: https://library.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/parent-and-infant-relationship-service-pairs/ Email: [email protected]
Parent and Carer Mental Health Support
Maternal Mental Health Service has a range of different options to support you with your maternal health, with these including antenatal classes, Birth in Mind, support groups, and support through the Emotional Wellbeing team. You can find out more from your midwife, or from the link below.
Light Peer Support is a perinatal peer support charity offering emotional and mental health support to mums, dads, birthing people, partners and their families in South Yorkshire. Support is available from when a birthing person is pregnant through to up to two years post-natal.
Steel City Dads is for any Dad or co-parent of children from pregnancy to 2 years old.
We are open to all Dads and Co Parents – young dads, LGBTQIA+ Dads and Dads who are supporting mums with perinatal mental health issues, birth trauma, child loss and miscarriage.
Other relevant and helpful support
The Sheffield Mental Health Guide website has information on mental health services, activities and resources that are available to you, or someone you are supporting. You can contact them via the information below, or use their LiveChat function on their website.
There is a wide range of support available on the website, including support around the following:
- Abuse and Trauma Support
- Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction Support
- Culturally Specific Support
- Employment, Debt and Benefits Support
- Families and Carers Support
- Housing Issues Support
- LGBTQIA+ Support
- Pregnancy and Parenting Support
- Problems with a Service (if you need to make a complaint)
- Relationship Support
The above links will take you to a range of different support that is available for those categories. If you want to discuss which support might be most relevant to you then please contact the Sheffield Mental Health Guide team.
The Sheffield Directory has a wide range of resources about local groups, activities and services. This also includes support for childcare, housing, finances and care leavers.
In any circumstance talking about suicide is upsetting and sometimes triggering but it is important that we recognise there is an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or feelings during mental health declines. This does not mean everyone is at risk of feeling like this during this period, it just means that we need to be aware.
Pregnant women and new mothers have been highlighted as a priority group within the Department of Health Suicide prevention strategy for England: 2023 to 2028 alongside:
- children and young people
- people who have self-harmed
- people in contact with mental health services
- people in contact with the justice system
- autistic people
Is your life or another’s in immediate danger?
Do you need someone to talk to?
- Call Samaritans on 116 123
- Email [email protected]
- Text “STEEL” to 85258
- Call Sheffield Adult Helpline on 0808 801 0440
- Call Sheffield Under 18s Helpline on 0808 8010 612