Extended family often have an important role in caring for women experiencing perinatal mental illness; but rural women's perspectives are under-researched. We explored women's experiences of living in rural northern England and receiving care from extended family during periods of perinatal mental illness through 21 qualitative interviews. Key findings were that companionship, practical support - informal childcare and transport, and emotional support were important forms of care - filling gaps in formal service provision. Findings highlight women's needs for support from extended families in rural areas. The rural infrastructure and inequity in formal services can create vulnerability for women.