Launched online today by the National Lottery funded Mums and Babies in Mind project, the mapping tool is designed to help professionals who are trying to transform perinatal mental health (PMH) services for mums with mental health problems during pregnancy or the first year after birth.

Using this unique mapping tool, professionals will be able to rate their local services against national standards to identify strengths and gaps where more work is needed. The tool has seven themed areas, which set out key standards for the different services and processes that should ideally exist in each local area. It also pulls out cross cutting themes, like support for new dads.

Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director iHV, said: “The Institute of Health Visiting, a member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, is delighted to support the launch of this new mapping tool which will help local PMH leaders, many of whom are health visitors, to identify any concerns in their local PMH support systems and what they need to do to address them to ensure that every mum and her family get the support that they need.”

Between 10 and 20% of new mothers will experience a mental health problem. These women need support from a range of services, including GPs, midwives, health visitors and mental health services. Evidence shows that there are shocking gaps in services across the system. For example, there is no specialist mental health service in more than 40% of areas in England[1].

Dr Adams continued: “We, at the iHV, are also extremely pleased that the new tool includes recommendations for iHV Champions and Specialist Health Visitors in every service, as well as mandatory training in PMH and IMH (infant mental health). This strengthens the work that the iHV has done and continues to deliver in PMH and IMH training and ensuring standards for health visitor professionals and the families they work with.”

Download and use the mapping tool:

Explore new Mums and Babies in Mind online hub:

Read Sally Hogg's blog on the MABIM mapping tool: