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Understanding mental health and wellbeing during the transition to parenthood: LGBTQI+ parents

25th June 2024

Marking Pride 2024, we are delighted to publish our brand-new iHV Good Practice Points resource Understanding mental health and wellbeing during the transition to parenthood: LGBTQI+ parents, written by research experts, Zoe Darwin and Mari Greenfield.

Any parent can experience perinatal mental health difficulties, regardless of their gender or whether they carried their baby. Mental health difficulties can have significant short and long-term impacts for parents, their babies, and the wider family. These impacts are not inevitable or irreversible, and health visitors are well placed to promote mental health and offer timely support.

LGBTQI+ people are a growing group accessing perinatal services, but research into the experiences and needs of LGBTQI+ parents is lacking. Rates of mental health difficulties in LGBTQI+ parents are unknown but may be higher for birthing lesbian, gay and bi women, and birthing trans and non-binary people, than for cisgender heterosexual birthing women.

As registrants under the Nursing and Midwifery Code, health visitors must prioritise all people and ensure they:

  • Treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity
  • Avoid making assumptions and recognise diversity and individual choice
  • Listen to people and respond to their preferences and concerns

This resource provides health visitors with an overview of key aspects relating to perinatal mental health and wellbeing in LGBTQI+ parents, including vulnerability factors, barriers to accessing support, and good practice tips for working with LGBTQI+ parents.

“We hope that this resource will help to develop health visitors’ knowledge and confidence for working with LGBTQI+ families, helping to improve care experiences and outcomes. This includes through supporting thinking about some of the distinct considerations within the LGBTQI+ community, including with birthing and non-birthing parents.” – Zoë Darwin, co-author.


Want to learn more about how to improve your practice to support LGBTQI+ parents? Click here to take a look at our LGBTQI+ and Perinatal Mental Health training programme


Please note that GPPs are available to iHV members.

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

So do join us now!

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