This project is now complete.
Why do we need this research?
As many as one in four women will experience mental health problems during pregnancy. It’s important that mental health issues are picked up early, so that mothers can receive the support they need. Midwives ask women questions about their mental health during antenatal appointments. However, we don’t know enough about how women feel about being asked questions about their mental health.
What’s happening in this project?
Our researchers conducted interviews with an ethnically diverse group of 52 women about their experience of discussing mental health with their midwives. The results of their study showed that most women were comfortable with being asked about their mental health. A small number of women, who had previous experience of mental illness or abuse, found it difficult to discuss their mental health with their midwife.
The researchers found that women wanted enough time in appointments to discuss mental health issues. They also wanted midwives to be well-informed and respond appropriately to disclosures about mental health problems.
What difference will this project make?
The findings of this research demonstrate the need for more training for midwives on how to handle conversations about mental health, and dealing with any distress that women might feel. This work could lead to better support for women experiencing mental health issues during pregnancy.
Thanks for your interest in our research
Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. We can keep you updated on ways you can support our work. If you would like to join our fight against baby loss and premature birth, click here.
More research projects
A recently published article, co-authored by Professor Catherine Williamson from Tommy’s Research Centre at King’s College London, suggests that certain pregnancy complications can indicate future health issues for women.
Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.
Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, scientists at Tommy’s Research Centres across the UK are still hard at work, supporting women and families in our specialist clinics and sharing their latest studies with academic journals.
The day before Mother’s Day, and two days before the UK officially went into coronavirus lockdown, Zara Dawson found out she was having a miscarriage. Her third consecutive miscarriage in less than a year, and fourth consecutive loss, after losing her second son Jesse in 2018 to termination for medical reasons.