Who we are

One in five women experiences mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year after birth.

The Cheshire and Mersey Specialist Perinatal Service provides important mental health assessment and support for local women experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues during this time.

Working in partnership as part of a Cheshire and Merseyside-wide service, we have a team covering Liverpool and Sefton and a team covering Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington.

We can help in a number of ways:

One-to-one assessment and support

We provide one-to-one assessment and ongoing support for women who are pregnant or have a baby who is under 24 months, and:

  • Are currently experiencing complex or severe mental health problems
  • Have a history of or are at risk of developing severe or complex mental health problems during the perinatal period, even if they are currently well.

Preconception advice

We offer one-off preconception appointments to provide advice, guidance and signposting to support women who are thinking about or planning to have a baby, who:

  • Have a history of complex mental health problems or are taking medication for mental health problems
  • Are worried about the impact having a baby will have on their mental health
  • Have anxiety around pregnancy, childbirth or becoming a parent.

Phone consultation and advice for health professionals

We provide advice over the phone for any health or social care professionals working with women who are receiving support from primary or secondary mental health services and are either pregnant, planning a pregnancy or have a baby who is under 24 months.

Our Specialist Perinatal Service works with women with mental health problems in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Warrington, who:

  • Are thinking about or planning to have a baby
  • Are pregnant
  • Have a baby who is 24 months or younger

Our team works as part of a Cheshire and Merseyside-wide service in partnership with Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

We work closely with other healthcare professionals including midwives, health visitors, social workers and early help workers. We also work with our colleagues in adults' and child and adolescent mental health services. 

You can be referred to our team by a healthcare professional such as your midwife, health visitor, GP or a mental health professional.

If you are a GP, midwife or other health professional looking to make a referral for one of your patients, view our handy one-page guide to the service for guidance. Healthcare professionals can also contact the team directly for advice.

Your first appointment is the start of building a relationship with your healthcare professional. The appointment will either be at a venue in your local area or in your own home. Children and family are welcome to the first appointment, however, we can also see you alone if you prefer. 

The first appointment will be an opportunity to talk about your current and past difficulties, as well as any future worries you have. It can be helpful to be prepared for this appointment - perhaps by writing down your concerns and bringing an up-to-date medication list and birth plan, if you have one.

We understand it can be a difficult time and for some people, talking about the past and future worries can be distressing. The appointment can be stopped at any time and continued again at a later date if necessary. 

Hannah's story

Below you can watch a video with Hannah, a mum from Warrington who has used our Specialist Perinatal Service. In the video, Hannah shares her experience of postnatal depression after the birth of her son, and how our service has helped her.