Nottingham Maternity Research Network
University of Nottingham

Nature in Pregnancy Nature in Pregnancy-logo with text (465)



“It was great to see that Network members were so enthusiastic about this topic when it was discussed in one of our meetings. For me, as a researcher, it was really helpful to know that this was a topic of interest to women and (as always) members were invaluable in adding extra insight to the study”.

Dr. Gina Sands


What is the project about and why is it important?  

The mental health and wellbeing of young women has been getting worse since the 1990s. In particular, young women are more likely to get depression or anxiety when pregnant or after giving birth. This can have long term effects for them and their children. It also costs a lot of money for the NHS and social services. We know that support from family, friends, and community groups can help to protect people against poor mental health and wellbeing. Research has also shown that access to nature may be linked to better mental health and wellbeing. However, we need more studies to check this.  What are we doing?We are finding out more about community groups that offer group wellbeing activities in nature. This is to explore how these may work to support the mental health and wellbeing of young pregnant women (aged 16-24). We are mapping the activities available in the East Midlands and will ask young women to choose which ones they feel would be most appropriate and helpful to them. We then hope to partner with some of these community groups to develop a further study testing whether these activities are effective in helping to promote young women’s mental health and wellbeing during the maternity period. 

How is the Network involved?

Network members have been involved in developing the ideas for this study and will continue to contribute throughout. We are also setting up a new ‘Research Influencer Group’ for young women (aged 16-24) who are pregnant or recently had a baby, and those who have experienced pregnancy at that age. This is open to existing members and those who have not joined the Network, so please get in touch if you are interested. You will be offered reasonable expenses and a contribution for your time. Email Gina Sands at to find out more. (This opportunity will be open until July 2022 or until we have enough members for the study)

Findings from Nature in Pregnancy

A summary of the findings from our work mapping nature-based activities in the East Midlands

A list of nature-based projects/organisations in the East Midlands region

This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [PHR programme, grant number 135167]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

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