• University of Exeter

Addressing Postnatal Depression as a Healthcare Professional

Learn how postnatal depression affects parental mental health and how to provide support on this BPS-approved course.

14,446 enrolled on this course

A woman and newborn
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info

Learn how to offer effective support to new and expecting parents

During pregnancy and the year after birth, many women can be affected by mood changes, anxiety disorders, and depression. Women report that a key barrier to seeking help is the lack of perinatally-informed treatments and practitioners.

On this course, you will understand the symptoms of postnatal or postpartum depression, how to support clients, and improve their mental health and wellbeing. You will identify the patterns that contribute to the depression cycle and explore how to combat them with coping strategies. This will help your clients stay well during the perinatal period and beyond.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds I’m just not enjoying this.

Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds I’m missing my old life.

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 seconds I’m lonely and stuck.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 seconds I’m exhausted.

Skip to 0 minutes and 31 seconds Will it always be like this?

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds I don’t know how to cope.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds I can hear the birds tweet again.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds I feel like I’m getting better.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds I feel I know how to ask for help.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 seconds I can see my baby looks at me and wants to be with me. I feel like I know what I need and the steps to get there.


  • Week 1

    Getting Started & Identifying TRAPS

    • Working With Post-Natal Mothers

      Here we are going to understand the course structure, support available and understand the symptoms of PND.

    • Getting Started: Introduction to understanding the depression cycle

      Here we are going to introduce and explain the cycle of depression to you.

    • Identifying TRAPs: Identifying patterns that help maintain the depression cycle.

      Here we are going to identify the origins and difficulties that clients face.

  • Week 2

    Turning TRAPs into TRACs, Breaking Patterns & Good Communication

    • Turning TRAPs Into TRACs & Breaking Patterns

      Here we are going to understand how to break patterns by developing alternative coping strategies.

    • Support And Communication

      Here we are going to explore strategies for good communication and look at how to go about asking for support.

  • Week 3

    Being a "Good Mum", Coping Strategies & Staying Well

    • Being a ‘Good Enough’ Mum, ‘Mummy Goals’ and Alternative Coping Strategies

      Here we will look at what is to to be a ‘Good Enough’ Mum, identifying your own ‘mummy goals’ and using alternative coping strategies to meet them

    • Strategies for Staying Well

      Here we will look at strategies mum can use to help them stay well in the future and help to give them some resilience.

Who is this accredited by?

British Psychological Society
British Psychological Society:

Approved by The British Psychological Society Learning Centre for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain what post-natal depression is, when you should treat it and when you should refer
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of how the postnatal transition and postnatal health may affect parental mental health
  • Demonstrate the ability to adapt evidence based behavioural principles for perinatal- specific concerns
  • Demonstrate an ability to promote effective communication strategies
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of how to deliver treatment with baby in the room

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for current healthcare professionals or those training to provide perinatal support or mental health care services. It is also beneficial for maternity, general practice, and supervised lay and peer support workers.

Who will you learn with?

I am an academic clinical psychologist at the University of Exeter. My research and clinical work focuses on improving access to effective treatments for perinatal parents with mental health problems

Who developed the course?

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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