Most of us expect to feel happy, excited and positive during pregnancy and when our baby is born. But it doesn't always happen like this. It is normal to feel many different emotions during pregnancy and after birth. Whilst this period can be a joyful time, it can also be a stressful time with many changes that come about with the arrival of a new baby. Changes to our bodies, hormones, emotions, relationship and lifestyle that occur over this relatively short space of time can sometimes cause our mental health to suffer.

Up to 1 in 5 people have mental health problems in pregnancy or after birth. Some of these are mild and some are more severe. You may:

  • Already be experiencing a mental illness when you become pregnant.
  • Feel worried due to having experienced mental health difficulties in the past, and anticipating that this may make it more likely that you will become unwell during your pregnancy or after birth. However, with the right help, this can often be prevented.
  • Develop a mental health problem for the first time in pregnancy or after birth.


What is the Staffordshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team?

Staffordshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team provides specialist assessment and support for people across South Staffordshire, providing both support to those people experiencing mental health difficulties and those at risk of developing mental health difficulties up until a year after baby's birth. The service supports people experiencing moderate to severe mental health problems.

Our multi-disciplinary team involves a group of professionals who work together to provide a package of care and treatment most suitable for you. The team includes:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Advanced Clinical Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Nursery Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Peer Support Workers
  • Administrators
  • Operational Team Leader
  • Service Manager

Our service aims are:

  • To provide the best possible care, treatment and support to you and your baby.
  • To help you stay as well as possible during the perinatal period.
  • To support you and others around you to understand and recognise if you become unwell, and to know where to go for support.
  • To help you enjoy your pregnancy and your baby.
  • To support you in developing your confidence as a parent.
  • To provide information on mental health conditions and treatments.
  • To provide evidence based treatments.


Is Staffordshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team the right service for me?

The service is right for you if you are pregnant or planning to be and have a moderate to severe mental health condition such as:

  • Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder
  • Moderate to severe anxiety
  • Moderate to severe depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • An eating disorder
  • You have experienced previous severe perinatal mental illness such as Postpartum Psychosis or Postnatal Depression

You may already be seeing a community mental health team but you should still be referred to a perinatal service for expert advice and support. The teams can work together with you, your family and any other professionals involved.


What can I expect from Staffordshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team?

  • Assessment within six weeks or less.
  • Preconception advice to people with moderate to severe mental health conditions.
  • Guidance and signposting to most suitable service for your needs.
  • Evidence-based treatment.
  • Individual or group support.
  • Support in promoting wellbeing and recovery.
  • Advice on using medication while pregnant or breastfeeding (if applicable).
  • Support in building a positive relationship and attachment with your baby and developing a sense of confidence in being a parent.
  • Support you to access specialist inpatient services (Parent and Baby Unit), if this is required.
  • Referring you to other services which offer practical help and support for families.
  • The team works closely with midwives, health visitors, adult mental health teams and GP’s across Staffordshire to ensure that you get the right help at the right time.
  • Our multi-disciplinary team involves a group of professionals who work together to provide a package of care and treatment most suitable for you.


What can I expect at an initial assessment appointment?

Your initial assessment appointment will be a virtual appointment, using a video call. The details of the appointment and link to the virtual 'OneConsultation' waiting room will be sent to you by text message. This link is easy to follow and the video call can be accessed from most devices including laptop, PCs, tablets, and smart phones (as long as the device is connected to the internet and you use the Google Chrome web browser).

If you require a face to face appointment please contact the team and this can be arranged in a clinic setting.

The appointment will be with a Perinatal Community Mental Health Nurse. This appointment will last about an hour and will give you the opportunity to discuss your current and past mental health, how you and your family are coping, and any worries you may have. We will explore how pregnancy or becoming a parent has affected your wellbeing.

Following assessment, you will receive a letter which outlines the details of the assessment and plan of care. It may be determined that the Perinatal Mental Health Team is not the most suitable service for you; in these instances we will refer you to the most appropriate service and provide you with the necessary information.

We understand it can be a difficult time and for some people, talking about the past and future worries can feel daunting at first. We also understand that there are many reasons why parents might worry about seeking help. Here are some of the barriers we know can stop parents accessing support when they most need it:

  • Thinking that your worries and concerns are not important enough to ask for help.
  • Thinking that by seeking help will reflect badly on your ability to parent.
  • Thinking that talking about how you are feeling will make you feel worse.
  • Thinking that admitting you are struggling will make others assume that you do not love or enjoy your baby enough.

We would like to assure all parents who use the service that we are here to help and support you. Struggling with emotions during the perinatal period can happen to anyone and it does not reflect badly on you as a person or a parent. We are here to help with the struggles experienced by many parents and babies, to ensure that you can feel as well as possible and enjoy life with your baby during this special time.


Confidentiality and Information Sharing

Everyone referred to Midland Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has an electronic heath record. This is confidential and can only be accessed by professionals involved in your care. We hold information on basic details such as date of birth and address. It also has contact details for your GP and other professionals that may be involved in your care. Details of your care and treatment are also recorded, including details of letters sent and received. This information is available to ensure that you receive the best possible care.

After your initial assessment, at discharge and at other periods of your care the professional involved will send you a letter. This will reflect discussions and plan of treatment. These letters will be written to you, unless you tell us that you do not want these. These letters are usually shared with your GP and other professionals involved in your care. This promotes a seamless informed approach to your care, and prevents you having to repeat information. Please let the professional who sees you know if there is any information that you do not want to share.


How can I be referred to the Staffordshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team?

Please talk to your Midwife, GP, Health Visitor, or other healthcare professional for a referral to our service. They will be required to complete a referral form, further details can be found in information for professionals section on this page.

We are unable to accept self-referrals.


How can I get help in a crisis?

If you, or a family member, believe you are in a crisis and require urgent response out of hours, please call South Staffordshire Access on Freephone 0808 196 3002 for telephone support, advice and triage.

If you are concerned about an immediate risk of harm to yourself or someone else, call 999 or attend A&E.


Information for Professionals

The Staffordshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team is a specialist service is commissioned to support people who experience high-risk mental health problems during and after pregnancy and for their infant up to the age of one year.

The team will work to provide assessment, care and treatment including the prevention, detection and management of maternal mental health problems that complicate pregnancy and the postpartum year. Poorly managed perinatal mental health problems can have serious consequences for the parent, the infant and other family members.

Perinatal mental health problems affect at least 1 in 5 women, with 3-5% of women experiencing a serious psychiatric disorder and the single greatest indirect cause for UK maternal deaths in the perinatal period.

We have a shift coordinator available from Monday to Friday between 1:30pm and 5:00pm to provide advice to any health or social care professionals working with people who are receiving support from either primary of secondary mental health services and are either pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or have a baby under 12 months of age.

Mental Health Perinatal Community (Staffordshire) Contact Details

Phone numbers, fax and email


Parent and Baby Unit,
St. George's Hospital, Corporation Street,
ST16 3AG