MSPs launch inquiry into perinatal mental health


An inquiry has been launched into the perinatal mental health of new mothers in Scotland by the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.

The Committee will explore the key issues facing new mothers, and parents, during
pregnancy and following the birth of a child that can impact mental health. It will consider aspects such as new mother care, breastfeeding support and specialist training.

The inquiry will analyse the current provision of perinatal mental health services in
Scotland and how these can be improved so that all new parents have the support they need.

It will also consider the mental health impact of bereavement from miscarriage and the death of an infant.

Speaking as the inquiry launched, Gillian Martin MSP, Convener of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, said:

“The period following childbirth is the period of greatest risk for developing severe mental illness in a woman’s life, with statistics showing between 10 and 20% of women experience mental illness issues during pregnancy or in the first year of birth.

“We want to hear the experience of any parent or caregiver during this critical time, so that we can make sure suitable support structures are in place and that high quality perinatal mental health services are available throughout Scotland for everyone who needs them.

“We are also seeking to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of new parents, and the level of services available to them.”

You can let the Committee know your views here:

Individuals who have been affected by perinatal mental health issues will be able to provide confidential information to the Committee.

The call for views will close on 24 November 2021.



Perinatal mental health problems are mental health problems which occur during pregnancy and up to one year after a child’s birth.

You can learn more about the work of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee on the Scottish Parliament website.

Media information

Nick Connelly: 0131 348 5453 / 07866 125623
Text Relay calls welcome


Committee information

For further information on this inquiry please contact Susan Brown, Assistant Clerk to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee –


Public information

• Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
• Text 07786 209 888
• Ask a question online through  live chat
• We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL


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