The perinatal period encompasses the time from conception until after your baby is born; particularly the first few months and year. It is a sensitive time full of mixed emotions about the changes in yourself, the progression of your pregnancy, the birth of your baby and the and the impact of having a baby on your relationships and growth of your family. Often times, past memories of your own childhood may resurface and can haunt your present relationships. This applies to both expecting and new mums and dads.
During this time, it is very important for any mental health concerns, anxiety symptoms or mood disorders to be addressed sooner rather than later so as to not compromise the growing relationship and bond between you and your baby.
Psychotherapy, particularly with a focus on attachment theory, can be greatly beneficial during this period and may allow you to develop the relationship you desire with your infant and family.
It is also often important to see a perinatal psychiatrist if you have a known pre-existing mental health concern and are planning to conceive or start a family.
Please see the following resources/links for further information:
- A website of the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick that has factsheets about medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Centre of Perinatal Excellence: a resource about the perinatal period
- Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia has good resources on postnatal depression
- Beyond Blue website dedicated to perinatal mental health
Dr Jennifer Chan has experience and expertise in the treatment of perinatal mental health concerns and is equipped with both psychotherapeutic and psychiatric skills to be able to assist in your care. Please contact her to arrange a consultation.
If you have concerns that you or someone you know has a mental health condition and that there are serious immediate concerns for that person’s safety, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Emergency help can be accessed through your nearest hospital or by dialling ‘000’ in Australia.