Perinatal mental health: preparing the future nursing workforce
evidence and practice    

Perinatal mental health: preparing the future nursing workforce

Caroline Morton Teaching and learning intern, School of Health and Society, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, England
Rebecca Rylance Assistant head of school, School of Health Sciences, University of Liverpool, England

Perinatal mental health (PMH) problems occur during pregnancy and up to a year after giving birth. They can have a significant effect on the mother and family, and can affect the social, emotional and cognitive development of the child. PMH nursing is gaining increasing recognition in national policy; additional funding has been announced to align national perinatal services with agreed standards and the perinatal workforce has been identified as an area of growth.

The PMH competency framework published by Health Education England and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London, is aimed at training staff to deliver high-quality care to women who experience mental health problems during the perinatal period. However, the framework does not address the competencies required from the emerging workforce: nursing students. The pre-registration nursing curriculum must align with PMH competencies to ensure that nursing students become competent practitioners who are adequately prepared to care for the PMH needs of the mother and family.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1339

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Morton C, Rylance R (2019) Perinatal mental health: preparing the future nursing workforce. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1339

Published online: 09 April 2019

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to the website and the online archive
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student
Already subscribed? Log in

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now