Perinatal Mental Health

We are a small team of mental health professionals who work with women, their infant’s and their family/support person to help stay as well as possible during pregnancy and after birth. The clinical team has a range of clinical experience and expertise to support you with your mental health needs during pregnancy and up to six months postnatally.

  • We work together with you, your family/support person and other healthcare professionals and services involved in your care.
  • We have expertise in working with women with complex, serious mental health difficulties who are pregnant and after birth.
  •  We also offer preconception advice on request.
  • We offer an assessment and intervention service for any woman attending the hospital who is suffering from, has suffered from, or is at a significant risk of developing mental health problems during her pregnancy or in the postnatal period e.g. bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression or major anxiety, eating disorders, etc.
  • This can include women who are suffering emotional and psychological difficulties following a normal birth or following miscarriage, stillbirth or other unsuccessful pregnancy outcomes.
  • We can advise on the benefits and risks of psychiatric medication during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
  • We can support and advise on the mother baby relationship

We will agree a plan with you to try to keep you well. Individual plans may vary and will depend on the level of support you need. However sometimes we may need to refer you to an appropriate service outside of the hospital.

Service Providers
Prof. Anthony McCarthy:  Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist
Deirdre Madden: Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANP) Perinatal Mental Health
You may be seen by another psychiatrist on behalf of Prof. McCarthy

Administration Hours
Monday - Thursday: 08.00-16.00hrs
Friday: 08.00 -15.30hrs
Tel: (01) 637 3128 / (01) 637 3100 (switch)
Direct Fax: (01) 637 3340

Referrals

Any woman attending the hospital can be referred to the service at any stage of their pregnancy and up to six months postnatally.

External referrals are accepted from a range of our community partners including GP’s and Public health Nurses and can be posted or faxed to the PMHS.

We also accept internal referrals from clinics and staff within the hospital. Referrals are screened by a clinician on a daily basis and appointments are posted to women directly. We utilise a mobile text service too to remind women of their appointments. We do not accept self-referrals.

Positive Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of enormous change and can be a wonderful, special, unique time. However, for some women pregnancy can be a time when they may develop mental health or emotional difficulties or psychological distress.

Most women have good mental health during pregnancy but for some they may already have mental health difficulties when they get pregnant. Others worry about mental health difficulties they have had in the past. They fear relapsing during pregnancy or after childbirth. Some women experience mental health difficulties for the first time in pregnancy.

Please click here to view or download this article in full.

You and Your Baby

The first few weeks of getting to know your baby can be a huge adjustment in so many ways.  In the first few weeks and months of their life your baby needs to feel safe, secure and comforted. As you engage with your baby and observe them you will learn how to respond to their cues.

Babies are attracted to faces. Even shortly after birth, when they are alert, babies have the capacity to be social. They have a sense of sound and smell and may turn to familiar voices and people. Their eyes are slowly adjusting to seeing the world, appreciating difference and distance. They begin to mimic.

Try this: when your baby is alert and gazing at you, open your eyes really wide and stick out your tongue, now wait.... chances are your baby will try and mimic you. But remember this may take a few minutes, as they are learning how to use their brain. Each baby is different and the birth, health and alertness of your baby may affect how quickly they respond to you.

Remember that getting to know your baby is a process. If you are a first time parent you have not done this before, if you already have children this time may be a completely different experience too.

General Information
  • We do not provide a general counselling or psychology service.
  • Unfortunately, the service does not have the capacity to accept emergency walk in attendances.
  • The team are available for telephone advice/consultation regarding medication etc.
  • Emergency referrals should be referred to local catchment mental health services or Emergency Department/Liaison psychiatric service.

 

Useful Links

COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence
High quality, practical information – to help YOU work through all the emotional challenges of becoming and being a parent.

ZERO TO THREE
works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development.

Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK)
improving the lives of people with mental illness.

beyondblue
Provides information and support to help everyone achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.