Maternal Health and Wellbeing

Perinatal mental health and wellbeing 

One in five perinatal women are likely to have perinatal mental health problems; this constitutes a serious public health issue and extremely adverse impacts for families.

The long-term economic cost of perinatal metal health problems in the UK is £8.1bn. This serious burden for women, infants and society requires attention to prevent the progression of intergenerational problems and to reduce the huge financial burden to the NHS and society.

The Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group, we are carrying out novel research that aims to support women’s mental health and prevent perinatal mental health problems.   

Research that makes an impact

Nature in Pregnancy

Contact: Dr Gina Sands (

Project duration: March-Sept 2022

Funder: NIHR

Background & Aims:

The prevalence of mental health and wellbeing issues among young women is increasing. Pregnancy is a time when new mental health challenges may arise, or existing conditions can be exacerbated. The aim of this project was to conduct preparatory work on how nature-based interventions may help to support the mental health and wellbeing of young pregnant women (aged 16-24 years) in a future study.


This project was formed of three main phases:

1. Mapping nature activities available across the East Midlands region and focus groups with providers of nature activities.

2. Public Participation and Involvement (PPI) work to inform future research. This included focus groups with young women, leading to the formation of a new young women’s panel (Research Influencers Group).

3. Networking and stakeholder engagement to support future research.

Stage of development:

Completed, with further evaluative research planned.


Contact: Dr Kerry Evans (

The RAPID 2 study. Reducing Anxiety in Pregnancy: Intervention Development phase 2. A feasibility study of a midwife facilitated supportive intervention

The RAPID-2 study was completed in September 2023. RAPID-2 involved completing a randomised feasibility trial of a midwife facilitated intervention for pregnant women with symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety. This study was conducted across two NHS Maternity Sites and recruited 50 participants.

The study findings are being prepared for dissemination. 

Discover more research

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PhD opportunities in maternity research

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Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group

The University of Nottingham
School of Health Sciences
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA