The college has published a new report ‘Every mother must get the help they need’ inspired by a petition after a new mother, Emma Holland, died six months after giving birth to her first son.

The petition went viral with thousands of signatures, and many people left heartfelt comments about their own experiences.

The RCM and its partners have analysed and collated all the comments to form the report which will be launched and discussed at a Perinatal Mental Health roundtable event today.

Janet Fyle Professional Policy Advisor at the RCM said: “The comments left on Lucie’s petition speak of the devastation suffered by some women and their families and more crucial is the fact that mental ill health continues to carry a stigma for most sufferers.

“The RCM has said time and time again that there is an urgent need for the Government to invest more into funding services for women suffering with pregnancy related mental health problems.

“Every Trust with maternity services should have a specialist midwife in post to enable women who are unwell to get the very best care and support they need.

Dr Alain Gregoire, Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) said; "Emma’s tragic death as a result of a severe perinatal mental illness offers us all an urgent wake-up call.

“We must act now to prevent more women from suffering or dying unnecessarily.

“Recovery through good support and care should be the norm if women and families everywhere have access to high quality specialist services, but it is still a postcode lottery. This has to change."