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Partners and families

Have you noticed a change in your loved one’s mental health since they became pregnant or since giving birth? Does it seem like they’re not coping and seem to be suffering? Let us help them and you.

Support for Partners and families

It can be very difficult watching your loved one struggle mentally and emotionally, especially when having a baby is meant to be such a happy occasion. You are not alone, around 15% of people who are expecting a baby or who have given birth can suffer with moderate to severe perinatal mental health symptoms.

As a family member or a partner you could be thinking some of the following thoughts:

  • Have I done the right thing having a baby?
  • I feel overwhelmed and just don't know where to turn.
  • Why is my partner not bonding with the baby?
  • I want to help them but I don't know how.
  • Why is this happening to us, when everyone else seems really happy after having a baby?
  • No-one prepares you for this!
  • We need some help, who we do we go to?

We understand that you are looking for a safe space to voice your concerns without being judged or it leading to negative encounters with local services.  You want to know whether your loved one will get better and how long the recovery will be?   

You want to be able to enjoy your time with your new baby and we want that too. Don't suffer in silence,  there are support services and help out there for you, the family and your loved one.

Update for Newham and City & Hackney Partners:

The Newham and City & Hackney Perinatal Health Teams are pleased to announce that they are now offering assessments to partners and co-parents that may be struggling with their mental health. The assessment will be a one off appointment where we discuss any challenges and difficulties that you may be experiencing. We will then signpost and refer to any relevant services for any further treatment or resources that may be of interest.

If you feel this would be beneficial for your partner/co-parent, please discuss this with your current professional in the team or call the Newham office on 0207 363 8801 and City & Hackney office on 0208 510 8151 and ask to speak to the duty worker.

Signs to look out for

If you do notice your loved one showing some of the signs below, you can get them to fill in a self-referral form, speak to their GP, midwife or health visitor or fill in the referral form in for them.

  • Low moods and crying
  • Severe anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Thoughts of harming the baby or themselves
  • Lack of bonding and attachment with the baby

As a partner you may even feel some of these symptoms yourself, in which case, it is important for you to seek help for yourself. You can do this by contacting your GP and there are also some helpful

Parents with a baby

Get Involved

Find a collection of all the events that are being held within the Perinatal Team across East London and Luton & Bedfordshire.


Little Village

Little Village has hubs in north & south London. They collect clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of 5. They accept donations of excellent-condition, pre-loved items, which are passed on to families who need support. The items are a gift, given with love, from one family to another.

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Lloyd Park Children's charity

Our baby bank supports families in Waltham Forest and beyond who are in urgent need of help. We rely solely on donations from the community, a gift from one local family to another.

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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.

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Parents in Mind

Local volunteers to support women experiencing emotional health difficulties in pregnancy.

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Postnatal mental health - Talking about mental health

Sara, Holly and Kate talk about their experience of mental health problems after pregnancy and becoming mothers.

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Checking your pregnancy and maternity rights

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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.

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Guardian Society

Useful articles about perinatal health from the Guardian newspaper 2020-21 

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Grow baby

A welcoming and relaxing space for Hackney based children and their carers, where everyone can make friends and find support. We welcome parents, childminders, nannies, grandparents and anyone else looking after under-fives. There is always plenty for toddlers to play with and lots of chat amongst the parents and carers.

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Online Information for Expectant Families

An A-Z of parental concerns. 

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Contact details for an outpatient service for women during pregnancy and up to a year postnatally who live in Tower Hamlets. For women who have a pre-existing or new-onset mental illness.

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Maternity Mates

Maternity Mates is currently open to pregnant women living in Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest who do not have a suitable support network, or have specific needs or healthcare issues. Please click here to read more about the women we support, and to make a referral to the service.

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With 35 years’ experience of working with families through the medium of play, Toyhouse fosters attachment between parents and children, enabling them to interact together and share experiences. Toyhouse empowers individuals, families, volunteers and employees to develop the skills and resilience.

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We help people with a wide range of worries, common mental health problems and emotional difficulties.

Even though many of these problems are not unusual, they can become overwhelming, distressing and make day-to-day life a struggle.

Difficulties we can help with include:

  • Low mood – depression, stressful life events, loss of motivation, low self-esteem, problems at work, relationship distress
  • Anxiety – worry that is difficult to control, anxiety about social situations, panic attacks, traumatic events, obsessive thoughts and behaviours

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Bump Buddies

Bump Buddies brings together pregnant women in Hackney and experienced local mums, for support and sharing through times of change.

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E5 Baby Bank

The E5 BABY & CHILDREN BANK offers families in need essential items such as clothes, shoes, toys, books, food and baby equipment. All items are generously donated by the local community.

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Sure Steps

Support Through Early Parenting Scheme - is a Tower Hamlets project that offers one-to-one peer-support for pregnant women or new mothers.

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Unplanned Pregnancy support

Choices supports women and their partners through unplanned pregnancy, with concerns following abortion, and gives practical and emotional help with parenting. We provide counselling for women in prison, and we offer relationships courses.

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Community Parents

Trained volunteers provide emotional and practical support during pregnancy and up to a baby's first year of family life.

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At MadeForMums, we've got the best, and most honest, advice – from experts and from parents who've been there – on pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, and school-age children.

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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.

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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.

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The Best Start with HENRY service in City & Hackney is supporting hundreds of local families with children aged 0-5 – from shortly after birth, right through to starting school – to provide a healthy, happy start in life for their children and the whole family.

Providing a healthy, happy start for young children helps lay the foundations for a brighter future where children flourish throughout childhood and beyond.

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The Homerton Health Visiting Service

The Homerton Health Visiting Service is here to support you and your family in Hackney and the City during pregnancy, birth and parenthood. The service will now be offering video appointments in addition to face to face and telephone appointments.

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Best Start in Life

Our Family Support Workers help families to tackle issues having an impact on the family. This includes issues such as domestic violence, mental health, housing, and financial struggles. Many mums find it difficult to open up about how they are feeling and continue to suffer in silence. Parents in Mind aims to improve women’s emotional wellbeing and to reduce isolation within the community, by providing a safe space to talk and good quality support from a trained volunteer.

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Action on Postpartum Psychosis

Peer led organisation with lots of helpful info on perinatal mental health illnesses

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The Salvation Army Ilford

Ilford Salvation Army is a Church and Community Hub based in the heart of Ilford. We run a wide range of activities, and in everything are motivated by showing God's love to the people of Ilford

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The Small Project

We started giving out clothes bundles in 2015. We're a small team of volunteers who want to make sure that good quality baby clothes and equipment, which are no longer needed by one family can easily be passed on to another.

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