Nursing Standard carries a freely-available article by Thomas Currid, lecturer at London South Bank University. (2004 19:3 40-43)
Pregnancy and the puerperium can bring many emotional, physical and social changes to the mother, her partner and the rest of the family. While many mothers find these changes – such as the experience of pregnancy or the addition of a new member to the family – joyous, some do not share these positive feelings and often undergo emotional upheaval resulting in severe biopsychosocial distress. This period of distress does not only subject the mother and her family to increased risk of psychological crisis, mental illness and developmental disturbances, but may also, if untreated, result in the fatalistic outcomes of infanticide or suicide. In this article, the author calls for a more robust, co-ordinated and interdisciplinary approach to perinatal mental health services.