Perinatal peer support is an active intervention where people use their own experiences to work directly with women/birthing people and their families. Perinatal peer supporters or peer support workers have experienced some form of perinatal mental ill-health and recovery which they draw upon to offer a safe space, a listening ear and support to others going through similar experiences. Accessing peer support during the perinatal period has been shown to have a positive impact on women’s overall health and wellbeing.
There are several peer support options in London provided by both the third sector and the NHS. NHS services such as Community Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health Services provide this support to women with moderate to severe mental ill-health. Women and birthing people can access mental health and emotional wellbeing support flexibly through the third sector.
To help support women and professionals to understand and access peer support, HLP and London’s third sector organisation have developed a directory of organisations that offer perinatal peer support across London.
Third sector organisations working with specific groups
Certain organisations from those already listed above provide support to women with special circumstances:
- Support in multiple languages – Manor gardens (NCL), Parents in Mind (NEL), Newham Nurture Programme (NEL), Maternity mates (NEL), The Ectopic pregnancy trust (Citywide)
- Support for women from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds – The motherhood group (SEL), Prosperity’s birth companion (SEL)
- Support for women in prison – Birth companion (Citywide)
- Support for women living with HIV – 4M Network (Citywide)
- Young mothers – YoungMumsAid (SEL)
- Women in high deprivation – Newham Nurture Programme (NEL)
Listening to experiences and voices
To ensure women and birthing people on the maternity pathway are allowed the opportunity to have their voice heard, a team of women and their families, commissioners and providers work together through Maternity Voice Partnerships (MVP) to review and inform the development of local maternity care. To launch your voice and contribute to developing your local maternity care services, click here to find your local MVP and their contact details.
Support across London
Below you’ll find a list of services available across London.