Perinatal Mental Health Team

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About the service

We specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of women affected by moderate to severe mental health problems during and after pregnancy.

We offer specialist advice about the use of mental health medications during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding.

We also offer pre-conception advice for women planning a pregnancy who have concerns about their mental health. Read our Perinatal Mental Health Service – preconception advice.

We offer specialist treatments that can help you and your baby’s bond.

For everyone who is accepted into our service, we aim to make contact within 14 days.  In an emergency, we would aim to see you within 4 hours.  If you are planning a pregnancy, we would aim to see you within 28 days.

We will work together with you, your family and other services involved in your care. This will include midwives, obstetricians, health visitors and GPs, as well as social care, other mental health teams and voluntary sector organisations.

We will agree an individualised plan of care for you during your pregnancy and in the postnatal period.

We realise that it can be difficult to travel to clinics.  Therefore, if you have difficulty leaving home for whatever reason, all of our clinical team can see you at home or another location acceptable to you, as long as it is safe for us to do so.

You are very welcome to have your partner, a family member or a friend to be with you at any appointment.

We also run antenatal and postnatal therapy groups in all our local areas.

Find out more in our Perinatal Mental Health Service leaflet.

We’ve also developed a guide focusing on mental health support for new and expectant mums in Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. Covering a broad spectrum, the guide provides examples of emotions and behaviours and signposts to the relevant support – from voluntary and community organisations through to emergency help. The guide expresses the importance of seeking help early to prevent mental health difficulties worsening too.

Useful links:

Acacia – six multilingual perinatal mental health awareness films

Why would someone choose the service?

If you are reading this, either you or a loved one is probably struggling at a time which is very important for you and your family.

Often people can feel shame and guilt about asking for help, or fear that their baby will be removed from their care.

We would like you to know that it is absolutely OK to ask for help at this time and that you will not be judged for contacting us…

  • You might be screaming inside, but having to put on a brave face to the world, in order to let everyone else think you are fine.
  • You are probably suddenly feeling very different from your normal self, and not know where to turn, who to ask for help, or where to go.
  • You might be fearing for your and your baby’s future and safety.
  • You might be wanting to run away, be feeling that you are a terrible mum, or that baby would be better off with someone else
  • You might be struggling to bond with your baby
  • You might be anxious about anything and everything, especially about baby
  • You might be getting terrible pictures and thoughts jumping into your head, which you are frightened of telling anyone about

If reading the above sounds just like you, PLEASE ask for help!

If you are scared or have doubts about what it might be like to get help from our service, please read below some of the following comments from women who we have helped:

‘Home visits really helped. Fast, compassionate – non-judgemental support’

‘I got the help I needed’

‘I think that the service has really helped me and I feel that I would not be where I am today without the help and support I have had.’

‘Excellent service. Highly recommend.’

‘It was absolutely amazing! I can’t thank then enough.’

Staff you may meet