Perinatal mental health: Live Q&A

Throughout this month, there has been a focus on celebrating women, with events such as International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. Becoming a mother is a huge transition for many women and we know there is a growing need for mental health support for new mums. Paired with a global pandemic, motherhood can be an overwhelming experience for many.

Perinatal mental health refers to a woman’s mental health during pregnancy and the year after birth. Examples of perinatal mental illness include antenatal depression, postnatal depression, anxiety, perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder, postpartum psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. We know this can be a very isolating experience and we hope that by opening up conversations about the challenges faced by new mums and the support that is available, we can help you feel that you are not alone.

For this month’s Q&A, we’re delighted to be joined by the following panellists:

  • Elizabeth Sankey is a filmmaker, musician and writer from London. For the past 11 years she has been one half of the band Summer Camp, and in 2019 she released her first film, ROMANTIC COMEDY, a documentary about the genre which was distributed by Mubi in the UK. After the birth of her first son in August last year she suffered from severe postpartum anxiety and was hospitalised for a month – with her son – in a mother and baby unit. She is now working on a documentary exploring perinatal mental health issues. 

  • Sandra Igwe is a maternal health advocate, inclusion consultant, content creator, co – chair of the National inquiry into Racial injustice in Maternity Care and is the Founder of The Motherhood Group, a social enterprise that delivers workshops and large scale events interacting with thousands of black mothers. The Motherhood Group raises awareness of black maternal issues, reduces the stigma of mental challenges within the community, provides peer-to-peer support, free doula support and free counselling support. Sandra also delivers digital training workshops to healthcare professionals, higher education institutions and other organisations to ensure black mothers voices are amplified, recognised and cultural competency is implemented in their work ethos.

  • Karren Miller-Carson is a Mums Wellness Worker for The Mums Wellness Project. The Project means a lot to Karren, as she previously experienced anxiety and depression during perinatal and postnatal stages. When trying to seek help, it was clear that her local area lacked in providing support for mums. By working for many years in the childcare sector, Karren was always drawn to supporting families and seeking the best help for them. This sparked her interest in the Mums Wellness Project and each day she continues to see the benefits it provides to mums and families. As a Mums Wellness Worker, Karren supports mums to become more emotionally aware of their needs and supports them on their journey of wellbeing.

This session will be hosted by Charlotte Tidbury, Programme Support Officer at Mental Health UK.

To tune into the session, you’ll first need to create an account on Clic, then simply log in on Wednesday 24 March at midday and come back to the event page for the Q&A.

If you have a question you’d like to put to our experts, you can either submit one in advance or ask it in the live chat function while the event is happening.