Online course in Health & Psychology

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

  • Duration 3 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $69 Find out more
  • Accreditation Available More 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.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsI'm just not enjoying this.

Skip to 0 minutes and 14 secondsI'm missing my old life.

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsI'm lonely and stuck.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 secondsI'm exhausted.

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

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 secondsI don't know how to cope.

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

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 secondsI feel like I'm getting better.

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

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsI 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.

What topics will you cover?

  • Understanding Postnatal Depression, symptoms and cycles
  • Identifying Perinatal TRAPs - Identifying patterns that help maintain the depression cycle
  • Turning Perinatal TRAPs into TRACs - Breaking patterns by developing alternative coping strategies
  • Support and Communication - Strategies for good communication and asking for support in a postnatal context
  • Being a ‘Good Enough’ Mum - Identifying ‘mummy goals’ and using alternative coping strategies to meet them
  • Staying well - Strategies for staying well in the future

Who is this accredited by?

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

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.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 9 Sep 2019

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?

heather O'Mahen

heather O'Mahen

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?

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

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks


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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
$239 $179 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.
Available until 31 October 2019. T&Cs apply.

Get a taste of this course

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