Help and emotional support

Having a baby can be joyful, exciting and rewarding. However, it is also common for pregnant women and new mothers or fathers to experience anxiety, depression or emotional distress.

As many as one in five women experience emotional difficulties during pregnancy and in the first year after their baby’s birth. This can happen to anyone.

Every London borough has an IAPT service which offers free, confidential talking therapy for people who have symptoms of anxiety or depression.

IAPT stands for ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapy’. They give priority to pregnant women and new parents. This leaflet explains more about the service and the help we can offer you if you need it.

It is common for pregnant women and new parents to experience:

  • Low mood, sadness and tearfulness  
  • Anxiety, worry and tension
  • Irritability and anger
  • Difficult or unexpected feelings towards your pregnancy or baby
  • Poor sleep even when your baby sleeps well 
  • Feeling unable to cope or enjoy anything 
  • Thoughts that you are not a good enough parent
  • Worrying thoughts about your baby
  • Anxiety about labour or struggling to come to terms with a difficult labour.

Asking for help

It can be difficult to talk about how you are feeling and ask for help. Common reasons for this are:

  • You may not know what is wrong 
  • You may feel ashamed that you are not enjoying your baby or coping as you believe you should
  • You may worry that your baby will be taken away.

Struggling emotionally at this time can happen to anyone. It is not your fault.  

Asking for help doesn’t mean you can’t cope or are not able to care for your child.  It’s the start of getting the right help and support to ensure you can be the parent you want to be. It is very rare for babies to be taken away from parents, so you should not worry about this.

How an IAPT service can help you

IAPT offers short-term talking therapy to give you space to talk. The types of therapy offered will vary depending on your local IAPT service. These may include guided self-help sessions with a therapist, cognitive behaviour therapy, couples therapy and counselling.

How to contact IAPT

You can refer yourself to IAPT by phoning your local service directly. Contact details for all London services can be found at the end of this leaflet. You may find it hard to contact us yourself. In this case, ask your midwife, health visitor, friends or a family member to help you make that first call.

Your GP can also make the referral. We know that pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s birth is a very important time. We will offer you an assessment and treatment as soon as possible.

What to expect when you contact IAPT 

When you first telephone you will be asked for some brief details. A time will be arranged for you to speak to one of the therapists. This appointment will be booked as soon as possible, usually within a few days. The first appointment is to find out about your current difficulties. This helps us decide how we can best help you. At the end of the appointment, we will discuss the support options available and agree a plan. 

All IAPT services aim to be flexible. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the help you need. You can often bring your baby to sessions if you want to. Services usually offer you a choice of locations for your appointment, sometimes in antenatal clinics or children’s centres.

You can save and print all this information here.

Find your local IAPT service in London:

Your local IAPT service
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Improving Access to Psychological Therapy
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Your local IAPT service

0300 300 1554 option 3

nelft.nhs.uk/services-talking-therapies

  • Barking and Dagenham

Your local IAPT service

0300 222 5940

mindmattersnhs.co.uk

  • Barnet

Your local IAPT service

020 8303 5816

mindinbexley.org.uk

  • Bexley

Your local IAPT service

020 8206 3924

cnwltalkingtherapies.org

  • Brent

Your local IAPT service

0300 003 3000

talktogetherbromley.co.uk

  • Bromley

Your local IAPT service

020 3317 7600

icope.nhs.uk

  • Camden

Your local IAPT service

020 3228 4040

slam-iapt.nhs.uk

  • Croydon

Your local IAPT service

020 3313 5660

ealingiapt.co.uk

  • Ealing

Your local IAPT service

020 8342 3012

lets-talk-iapt.nhs.uk

  • Enfield

Your local IAPT service

020 3260 1100

oxleas.nhs.uk/gttt

  • Greenwich

Your local IAPT service

020 7683 4278

cityandhackneytalkingtherapy.nhs.uk

  • City and Hackney

Your local IAPT service

0300 123 1156

backontrack.nhs.uk

  • Hammersmith and Fulham

Your local IAPT service

East Haringey - 020 8808 5833

West Haringey - 020 3074 2299

lets-talk-iapt.nhs.uk

  • Haringey

Your local IAPT service

020 8515 5015

cnwltalkingtherapies.org

  • Harrow

Your local IAPT service

0300 555 1082

mytalkingtherapies.org.uk

  • Havering

Your local IAPT service

01895 206585

cnwltalkingtherapies.org

  • Hillingdon

Your local IAPT service

0300 123 0739

hounslowiapt.nhs.uk

  • Hounslow

Your local IAPT service

0303 123 1000

icope.nhs.uk

  • Islington

Your local IAPT service

020 8206 8700

cnwltalkingtherapies.org

  • Kensington and Chelsea

Your local IAPT service

020 8339 8040

kingstonwellbeingservice.org

  • Kingston

Your local IAPT service

020 3228 6747

slam-iapt.nhs.uk

  • Lambeth

Your local IAPT service

020 3049 2000

slam-iapt.nhs.uk

  • Lewisham

Your local IAPT service

020 8475 8080

newhamtalkingtherapies.nhs.uk

  • Newham

Your local IAPT service

0300 555 1220

mytalkingtherapies.org.uk

  • Redbridge

Your local IAPT service

0208 548 5550

richmondwellbeingservice.nhs.uk

  • Richmond

Your local IAPT service

020 3228 2194

slam-iapt.nhs.uk

  • Southwark

Your local IAPT service

0800 032 1411

suttonuplift.co.uk

  • Sutton

Your local IAPT service

020 7791 3667

healthservices.org.uk

  • Tower Hamlets

Your local IAPT service

0300 5551267

mytalkingtherapies.org.uk

  • Waltham Forest

Your local IAPT service

0203 5136264

talkwandsworth.nhs.uk

  • Wandsworth

Your local IAPT service

030 3333 0000

cnwl-iapt.uk/wm1-westminster

  • Westminster

Your local IAPT service

Improving Access to Psychological Therapy

Find your local IAPT service in London