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Midwife Meetup

Perinatal Mental Health: The Importance of Supporting Parents During Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond

Date: 8 May 2017
Times: 19.30-22.00
Venue: Bluebell Place, 2 Quay Street, Bristol BS1 2JL

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Around 85% of new mothers will experience a short episode of the baby blues for up to 10 days after birth. However, around 10-15% of women and 10% of men will develop more serious perinatal mental health problems during pregnancy or after birth.

A recent report carried out by the London School of Economics and Centre for Mental Health ‘The costs of perinatal mental health problems’ found that failure to fully address mental health problems carries an economic and social long-term cost to society of £8.1bn for each one-year cohort of births in the UK. It also found that about half of all cases of perinatal depression and anxiety go undetected.

“Perinatal mental health problems are common and costly. They affect up to 20% of women at some point during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth and are a major public health issue impacting on both women and baby. The good news is that women recover when they get the right treatment. It is vital that all women, wherever they live get the specialist help they need.” Dr Allan Gregoire, Maternal Mental Health Alliance Chair.

It is also important to recognise that fathers are vulnerable to mental health issues associated with pregnancy and birth. Indeed, 1 in 10 men in the UK are diagnosed with depression and anxiety related to pregnancy and birth. Although it is believed this figure is underestimated, as it is still not commonly understood that men are at risk too. They may also be supporting their partner through a period of perinatal mental illness, which can be extremely stressful. As health professionals, we need to recognise this and provide the necessary support.

Our programme

We’re delighted to deliver a Midwife Meetup in partnership with Bluebell, at the start of World Mental Health Week. Our panel of speakers will discuss their personal and/or professional experiences of supporting parents at risk or suffering with perinatal mental health illness. They will give you practical tips on how to best support parents in your care and referral routes for specialist support in Bristol. There will be lots of time for discussion and questions too.

As well as delivering high quality content, the Midwife Meetup offers you the opportunity to network with midwives from different teams, units and NHS trusts in Bristol. You’ll also get the chance to see Bluebell’s new base in central Bristol, whilst enjoying nibbles and a glass of bubbly!

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Our speakers

Paula Bentley
Buddy and Group Co-facilitator, Bluebell
Paula is a Bluebell Buddy for the central area of Bristol, and co-facilitates the Mums’ Comfort Zone group sessions at St Paul’s Nursery and Children’s Centre. She offers mums who attend this group the option of further help during the week, as well as supporting those mums in the community who are unable to attend a group. Paula has experienced postnatal illness herself and has a young son.

Louis Dunn
Dads Worker, Bluebell
Louis is the new Dad’s worker at Bluebell. He runs Bluebell’s Facebook group ‘Dads in Mind’ and offers one-to-one support to dads experiencing anxiety or depression related to their new role as a parent. As a dad of one himself, with experience of managing mental ill health, Louis is keen to give fathers the opportunity to have their voices heard too.

Rachel Liebling
Consultant in Fetal Medecine and Obstetrics, Fetal Medicine Unit, St Michael’s Hospital

Rachel is the local lead for perinatal mental health in maternity at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust and runs a weekly specialist antenatal clinic. In 2007 she presented the confidential enquiry report into maternal deaths 2003-2005 at a Southwest SHA event and was invited to join the SHA oversight group which culminated in a co-authored SHA strategy document, published in 2011. In the last 5 years she has been a member of the perinatal mental health work stream for the Southwest Clinical Network and the Bristol Health Improvement Team (HIT) for perinatal mental health, supported by Bristol Health Partners. Nationally she has been invited to act as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists representative for the NHS England workstream to improve access to perinatal mental health services.

Who should attend?

Whilst this event is primarily aimed at midwives, anyone working within the maternity services in Bristol is welcome:

  • Midwives (antenatal, intrapartum, postnatal and community)
  • Obstetricians
  • Anesthetists
  • Maternity health care assistants
  • Student midwives
  • Medical students

“Brilliant evening! Very well planned and extremely informative. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to all my midwifery and MSW buds! Looking forward to the next Midwife Meetup.” Vicky Carne, Midwife

Why attend?

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest research
  • Gain practical tips that help you deliver the best service to parents in your care
  • Get to know the local mental health service providers
  • Get to know other midwives and health professionals working in Bristol


  • Standard Ticket: £10
  • Student Discount: £8

Event details

Bluebell Place
2 Quay Street
Bristol, BS1 2JL

Networking and drinks: 19.30-20.00
Speakers and discussion: 20.00-21.30
Networking and drinks: 21.30-22.00

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Image depicting Bluebell Place, Bristol




Organised in partnership with:

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