New report: Mental health and the journey to parenthood

Take a look at just some of the stories people shared with us, and at the resources you can use to encourage local people to speak to you about their experiences of mental health as new parents.
A women holding a newborn

More than 1,700 women told us about how having a baby affected their mental health and the support they received.

Our latest report looks at the experiences of women who had mental health problems before, during and after birth, drawing on national research, as well as work undertaken by eight local Healthwatch.

What were the common issues?

  • People feel their mental health problems are triggered by a variety of issues

  • People don't know where to turn for help
  • People feel scared about how people will respond if they speak up

Read the report

If you haven't had a chance, take some time to read through the experiences that women and their partners shared with us, the support they received, and the changes they would like to see to services. 

Read more

How can you get involved?

As well as the report itself, we have produced nine case studies about people's experience of mental health support during pregnancy and in the months after they gave birth. 

Share the report and the case studies with your network and encourage people to share their stories - whether with you, or a health professional for support. You can find the collection of case studies on our website

Support on social media 

Our plan is to make space to share one case study a day over the next two weeks, as well as findings from the report.

Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook page and be sure to spread the word in your local area - we've had nearly 100 organisations share our content already.

Top tip: tag relevant organisations to encourage them to share the content too.


We have two videos you can share, showcasing how important it is for people to get the support they need, when they need it. 

Kristy and Tim's story

Rachel and Andrew's story

Download our toolkit

Download our toolkit to raise awareness of the issues and encourage more parents to share their experiences with you.

The toolkit has:

  • An email for stakeholders
  • A press notice you can localise
  • Social media messages and graphics
  • A short item for your newsletter

Share your ideas and questions on Workplace.

Whether you want to ask a question or share something with the network, Workplace is our online community for Healthwatch staff to network and work with one another.

Remember, if you haven't got a Workplace account please don't try to set one up, contact

Go to Workplace