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At the outset of Maternal Mental Health Month we reflect on the need for effective support for women around issues of pregnancy and motherhood

Pregnancy and new motherhood are times of significant change that bring intense challenges with them. Perinatal mental illness in England can affect up to 27% of pregnant and new mothers and 20% of women who suffer with perinatal mental health conditions will experience suicidal thoughts or engage in self-harm.

Research from the Maternal Mental Alliance shows that 70% of women will hide or underplay maternal mental health difficulties. Startlingly, suicide is the leading cause of maternal death in the first postnatal year.

The encouraging news is that maternal mental health problems are very much treatable. Services such as Shout can provide ‘in the moment’ support for women at times when other support might not be available, paving the way for the longer term care needed for recovery.

Since launch in 2018, Shout Volunteers have taken around 40,000 conversations with texters mentioning their pregnancy and maternity journey. We work with sector partners such as MumsAid and Baby Buddy to ensure we are reaching people who might be struggling with maternal mental health.

"Thank you for supporting me and letting me know I can try and contact a midwife at a hospital. I feel more relaxed being reminded that everything I'm feeling is normal.”

Shout texter

Signposted from Baby Buddy

Shout data shows that 42% of people texting about maternal issues also talk about stress and anxiety and 41% about low mood or depression. Of these texters, 25% talk about relationship difficulties and 14% say they are suffering with loneliness.

Conversation outcomes are overwhelmingly positive with 86% of texters contacting Shout about maternal mental health issues finding their conversation helpful and 68% feeling calmer after their conversation.

"The Baby Buddy app places parents' mental health and wellbeing right at the heart of our offer. Baby Buddy gives access to mums, dads and caregivers to a range of films and articles to support them with their relationships and emotional health, and signposting to additional support such as Shout text support and local health services.

The collaboration with Shout has benefited hundreds of Baby Buddy users and we are grateful to the Shout Volunteers and team for all the wonderful work they do."

Clare Lyons-Collins

CEO, Baby Buddy

Get in touch

Please use the form below to contact our team and find out how you could to partner with us to provide crucial mental health support to people who need it most.