Bedfordshire and Luton
Bedfordshire and Luton
John Bunyan House
3 Kimbolton Road, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 2NT
Tel: 01234 290130
Opening hours: 9am-5pm Monday to Friday
Clinics for services users take place at John Bunyan House and at other locations across the county
The Perinatal Mental Health Team provides specialist care for people with mental health problems who are pregnant or in the first post-partum year, or who are considering pregnancy.
The team hold outpatient clinics in a number of locations around the county and provide joint psychiatric and obstetric appointments at the antenatal clinics at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, And Bedford Hospital.
Home visits can be arranged in late pregnancy and the early postpartum period.
What we offer
We provide specialist outpatient and community care to people who are pregnant or in their first year after having a baby. We also provide one off pre-conception counselling to people who have a history of severe mental illness and who are considering having a baby.
Your first appointment with us will either be with our consultant psychiatrist or a member of our team. This could be a Specialist Nurse, Social Worker, Occupational Therapist, or Nursery Nurse.
In certain cases before you give birth we will hold a pre-birth planning meeting with you and the other professionals involved in your care to discuss how you will be supported during and after your labour.
After pregnancy then depending on the level of need you may also have home visits with one of our nurses in addition to outpatient clinic appointments.
How to Refer
You can make a self referral by filling in the online form or we do accept referrals from the following professionals:
- Health and social care professionals
- Community psychiatrists
- Health visitors and social workers.
Confidentiality and consent
At ELFT, we understand the importance of confidentiality in your healthcare experience. When you speak with a healthcare professional in private, you can trust that what is discussed remains confidential. Your care details and any information you share with us are kept confidential and shared only with our clinical team when necessary.
Our healthcare professionals are bound by legal and professional obligations to maintain patient confidentiality. While there may be situations where information needs to be shared to address risks, we always prioritize keeping your information confidential.
Your privacy and trust are paramount to us as we provide exceptional care and support throughout your journey with ELFT.
Making a Referral
If you live in the boroughs of Bedfordshire, City & Hackney, Newham or Tower Hamlets, and you are pregnant or have recently given birth and find you are suffering mentally or emotionally, please do not suffer alone.
You can fill in the Referral form by clicking on the link below and it will be sent to the team in your local area who will be in touch within 7 days.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency and you or someone you know is in danger, you can contact our free phone Mental Health Crisis Support teams who are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Find the team where you live here>>
Peer Support Workers
Here at ELFT we are very lucky to have perinatal peer support workers as part of our team.
Our peer support workers are individuals with lived experience and have the accredited Royal College of Pyscharitity quailification, whilst also using their experience and empathy to help support a women’s wellbeing.
If you are supported by a Peer support worker, you will feel heard and understood as your sessions will be led by an individual with lived experience the approach is more holistic than medical.
Dad, 39, Bedfordshire & Luton
As a husband it was heart breaking and scary seeing my wife so ill, some days were so dark and scary I didn't recognise the person starring back at me. The hardest part was when you are ill any other time you're told go to a doctor, but when someone has thoughts and feelings so dark and worrying you almost hide away too scared to ask for help in fear of outcome to mother and baby.
It was a fear of being judged too, and on top of this I didn't know where to go or who to call for help that felt safe and who understood or would know that these feelings and thoughts can happen to a mum, to say: 'Its okay we can guide and support you.'
We did eventually get help but later than we should of. We are so grateful for the help we received in the end. Some days are still rocky but we know now where to go for help and we are weathering any dark days together as a family.
Find a collection of all the events that are being held within the Perinatal Team across East London and Luton & Bedfordshire.
Made for Mums
It’s very common for new mums to feel overwhelmed, low and even a bit weepy in the first couple of weeks after birth. So common, in fact, that there’s actually a name for it, the baby blues. And it’s not surprising: You’re knackered, you’re sore, you’re bleeding (whether you had a caesarean or not) and, instead of being able to sleep it all off, you’re faced with the 24-hour responsibility of caring for a whole new – and right now very needy – person. While the weepiness and blues should be quite short-lived, it may take a while longer before you can ditch the overwhelmed bit.
Parents in Mind
Local volunteers to support women experiencing emotional health difficulties in pregnancy.
Postnatal mental health - Talking about mental health
Sara, Holly and Kate talk about their experience of mental health problems after pregnancy and becoming mothers.
Checking your pregnancy and maternity rights
Pregnancy Sickness Support
Our national support network is for sufferers of NVP and HG and their carers, which is growing and developing constantly and making a huge difference to women all around the country. Our leaflets and website also provide a valuable resource for those suffering. We are also working hard to raise awareness about Nausea and Vomiting in pregnancy and Hyperemesis Gravidarum with the public, the media and Health Care Professionals (HCP's) and are involved in ongoing research into the cause and treatment of NVP and HG and the psychological impact for sufferers and their families.
Useful articles about perinatal health from the Guardian newspaper 2020-21
Parents in MIND, 1st 1000 Days New Parent Support
Our mission is to support parents through the first 1,000 days, to have the best possible experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.
We do this through three interconnected aims:
- Sharing knowledge - informing parents' decisions
- Creating networks - forging vital friendships
- Harnessing voices - changing public policy and attitudes for good.
Website with helpful and friendly information that explains postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health problems, including possible causes, treatments and support options. Also has information for friends and family, including support and advice for partners.
Action on Postpartum Psychosis
Peer led organisation with lots of helpful info on perinatal mental health illnesses
PANDAS is a community offering peer-to-peer support for you, your family and your network.