Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 1 – 7 May 2023

A new signposting resource is set to launch this Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, to assist new and expectant parents in finding support for their emotional wellbeing.

Parents will receive a text message around 3 months after their baby is born, asking them how they are feeling and directing them to a web page to find support, should they feel they need it. There are also postcards which will be given out to new mums after the birth of their baby, containing ‘conversation starter’ phrases to help with that initial contact.

The resources have been co-produced between Gloucestershire NHS organisations, and people who have recently used maternity services in the county, with support from Gloucestershire Maternity Voices Partnership.

The web page lists support services provided by the NHS, as well as offers from a range of local community organisations and charities within the county.

The project is a result of feedback from new and expectant parents saying that they often found it difficult to find out where to get support, and which support was the right fit for their needs. They also highlighted difficulties in knowing what to say when they make that first contact.

Dr Mala Ubhi, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Lead for Mental Health says:

“Around 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or within a year or so of their baby being born.

We know that new and expectant parents can be reluctant to reach out for support with their mental wellbeing.

We want to reassure parents that it can be common to feel low during this time, and that support is out there for them.”

Hannah Wilderspin, Vice-Chair for perinatal mental health with Gloucestershire Maternity Voices Partnership, has been involved with the project:

“One of the main issues we hear from new or expectant parents who have experienced low mood is that they didn’t know where to go to find support.

Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to reach out and tell someone that you are struggling. We also know that sometimes, you can reach out and a particular service might not be the right fit for your needs.

Our hope with this resource is that it will make reaching out easier.”

Ri Ferrier, Director of Home-Start Stroud and Gloucester has also been involved in the project:

“At Home Start, we know that having the right support as early as possible is the key to making a difference to a person’s emotional wellbeing, especially in that postnatal period. This resource aims to make it much easier for people to find the right support at the right time.”

The web page listing support sources can be found at

Further information

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week information –

Gloucestershire Maternity Voices Partnership is an independent organisation working to help improve maternity care in Gloucestershire, by working with staff, service users and other stakeholders. Find out more at