Posted on: 14 April 2023

“Up to 1 in 4 women experience mental health difficulties in the perinatal period. Psychologically it can be a very complex time. There is joys of becoming a parent but we also recognise that for some it’s not the case. It’s important to hold in the mind the different aspects of the journey to pregnancy and parenthood.”

Dr Rose Spencer (Deputy Lead Principal Perinatal Psychologist) and Claire Hargrave (Perinatal Nurse Consultant) facilitated this Year of the Child session, discussing the risk factors in developing a perinatal mental illness and why this matters for infants.

Watch back the session below

At the session, Claire said:

“Some of the women we support have been trafficked or abused, and pregnancy may bring up past trauma or painful memories of these negative experiences. It’s also known as ‘ghosts in the nursery’ and they reappear when you become a parent for the first time and that can be quite difficult.”

“If we don’t support maternal mental illness that can have a significant impact on that child as they grow up. Although we are an adult service, the intervention we offer does have a massive impact on the family as a whole.”

CNWL provides a wide range of perinatal services in the boroughs of Brent and Harrow, Hillingdon, Milton Keynes, Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster. We also offer specialist perinatal inpatient services such as Coombe Wood. Find out more.

  • Download the information pack
  • CNWL’s Perinatal Mental Health Service also facilitated a session on Infant Mental Health and why it's important, see here
  • See the upcoming Year of the Child events by visiting this page