Mental Health and Pregnancy
At the Women’s Wellness Centre, we recognise that it’s equally as important to have excellent care for your mental health as it is for your physical health during pregnancy and after birth. As many as 1 in 5 women have mental health concerns during this time.
It can happen to anyone. Whether or not you have needed mental health care before, it is vitality important to make sure that you have the right care to prevent and treat mental health problems.
Emotional wellbeing and good mental health care during pregnancy are more important than people realise
Making the decision to have a baby is one of the most important choices you will make and becoming a parent is one of the biggest life changes you will experience. It’s normal to have many different emotions during this time. You may feel excited and happy, but women often feel anxious and overwhelmed. There are lots of reasons why trying to conceive, being pregnant, birth and having a baby may be more difficult and emotionally stressful than you expected. These include difficulty conceiving, pregnancy loss, pregnancy related complications, relationship difficulties, childhood experiences and previous traumatic events.
For women with mental health problems there are often additional worries. Just like at other times, women can have many different types of mental illness in pregnancy and the postnatal period. You may have had previous mental health problems or you could have symptoms of mental illness for the first time. Even if you’re well, you may be worried about the risk of becoming unwell in pregnancy or after birth. Some women are at particularly high risk. You may need help to make decisions about using medication in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Reasons to meet our consultant perinatal psychiatrist at our clinic in London
Whether you have had mental health problems before or not, with specialist advice and care you can have a personalised plan to ensure you stay as well as possible and that you and your family know how to access help and support should you need it. The earlier you seek help the more time you have to make important decisions about your care and treatment.
Our Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, Dr Lucinda Green, is a highly respected expert who provides evidence-based, compassionate, individualised care. She offers assessment and care for women with a range of mental health problems before, during and after birth. These include:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Bipolar Affective Disorder
- Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and other psychotic illness
- Emotionally Personality Disorder
- Mental health problems associated with infertility, pregnancy loss and pregnancy related complications
- Other pregnancy-related emotional distress
What will happen at my appointment?
- Your comprehensive assessment will include a discussion about: your previous mental health problems and treatments; current or previous stressful events and other factors which have contributed to the development of your mental illness; and other issues which may impact on parenting. Clarifying your diagnosis and helping you gain a better understanding of why you may have developed these difficulties helps to inform decisions about your care and treatment. It also ensures you have individualised information and advice about:
- How pregnancy can affect your mental health
- Any risk you may have of developing mental health problems in pregnancy or after birth and how to prevent these
- The risks and benefits of taking medication in pregnancy and breastfeeding to help you decide whether to make any changes to your treatment before trying to conceive
- The help and support you and your family might need during pregnancy and in the first few months after birth
- Care and treatment to make sure that you are as well as possible
- Websites and resources that you, your partner and family may find helpful for further information and support
If you are seen for an assessment during pregnancy our Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist will develop a written plan with you for your care during pregnancy, birth, and for the postnatal period. You can decide together what information it would be helpful to share with your obstetrician, midwife and health visitor so they can best support you during this time.
The first appointment is for assessment, advice and care planning. You can opt just for this, or you can have ongoing care throughout pregnancy and until your baby is one year old. The frequency of appointments is completely flexible, depending on what you need.
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We offer the range of healthcare packages to support you with all your healthcare needs.