Call for better support for women with PND from RCM responding to research

on 07 November 2018 Postnatal Depression Midwifery Continuity of Carer - MCOC

Today the University of Kent has released the results of research into postnatal depression (PND). The research found the odds of developing PND increased by 79% when mothers had baby boys compared to baby girls. The research also found that women whose births had complications were 174% more likely to experience PND compared to those women who had no complications.

Commenting on the research, Joy Kemp, Global Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “This is interesting and useful research and any information that contributes to our knowledge about PND is useful.

“What is important is that our maternity services are able to offer women the support they need throughout and after their pregnancy. Improving continuity of carer will support this. This is when women see the same midwife or group of midwives throughout and after their pregnancy. With this way of caring for women midwives will know the woman better and be better able to spot problems such as PND developing, and then take action to support the woman and organise the care they need.

“There is also a need to invest in specialist mental health midwives and maternal mental health services. Every Trust and board with maternity services should have a specialist midwife in post to enable women who are unwell to get the very best care and support they need. Currently only around half of NHS trusts in England provide a specialist maternal mental health service to women and this is simply not good enough.”*

Note to editors

*See the RCM report ‘Every mother must get the help they need’ published last year.

Useful information can also be found on the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (of which the RCM is part) website at

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at