Half of the 260 women surveyed in the The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Netmums study revealed that antenatal depression affected their relationship with their baby.
This survey shows that there is an urgent need to identify and help women with depression in pregnancy and after the birth of their baby. If we can identify women as early as possible then we could prevent them declining into much more serious mental health problems.
The Government has made a promise to women that they will be offered better support postnatally and that more will be done to spot and support postnatal depression. However, we know that antenatal and postnatal services are suffering as a result of budget cuts and a shortage of midwives.
– Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM
This is in addition to the postcode lottery of service provision for women with postnatal depression. If this situation is not rectified, the NHS will continue to fail women with mental health problems during pregnancy or birth and the Government's pledge would be judged to be an empty promise.