Perinatal FAQs

Why have I been referred?

  • You may have struggled with your mental health in the past and may want to plan your pregnancy now or in the future.
  • There may be a significant family history of certain mental health illnesses, which can increase the risks during and after pregnancy.
  • You may already be cared for by another secondary mental health services. In this case we would usually work alongside you with your team
  • Professionals involved with your care during your pregnancy or following the birth may be concerned about your mental health and feel you need some extra support/assessment

How can I access the service?

Professionals from other trusts and organisations can refer you to our service; we currently do not accept self-referrals. If you are concerned about your mental health, please discuss this with your GP/midwife/health visitor.

If you are already involved in secondary mental health services, it is likely your current team will discuss a referral to the perinatal team with you.

We encourage referrals between 12 weeks gestation and 9 months postnatal but will accept referrals from pre-pregnancy to 12 months postnatal and will triage on an individual basis dependant on need.

What to expect?

If you are referred to the perinatal team the team will triaged your referral and either offer you an assessment or provide you and the referrer further advice/guidance and signposting to appropriate support.

If you are offered an assessment it would be carried out by a member of our team. An assessment would involve exploring with you your current thoughts, feelings and history. This helps us get the best understanding of what is going on for you and what support might be helpful moving forward.

We will work with you, your partner, your family and/or other professionals to identify the most appropriate support and treatment plan for you.

We will take our lead from you on who you think should be involved in your assessment and treatment plan.

How long will I wait to see someone?

If a face-to-face or telephone assessment is indicated, we would aim to arrange for you to be seen or contacted as soon as possible. This is usually within 2-3 weeks from when the perinatal team received your referral.

Involvement of partners and significant others

You can bring your partner, friend or family member with you to appointments for support. We will ask for your consent before sharing any information with friends, family members and carers.

Dads / partners /carers

Dads / partners and carers play an important role in your recovery. We know that it can also be a difficult time for those closest to you and their own wellbeing may need supporting. With consent we work closely with them and their partner to support their individual needs.

We offer a dads, partners and carers an assessment of their own wellbeing needs with advice, guidance and signposting to services and networks for ongoing support.

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How long will the perinatal team be involved?

The perinatal team are commissioned to work with you and your baby until your baby is 1 year old. Your support and treatment pathway will be discussed with you throughout your journey and so can be more frequent or less frequent depending on your need.
Some women only need a short period of support and treatment from us and your discharge form the perinatal team can be planned with you anytime within a year if this was felt appropriate.

Care and treatment

If you are under the care of the perinatal team you will be allocated a key worker to look after your care. Your keyworker will develop care plans with you and any people you feel are significant in your care. You individual care plans will identify your treatment interventions, how frequently this will happen and who is involved.
Some of the interventions that might be discussed and offered are:

  • Your allocated key worker can offer specific individualised interventions where appropriate
  • Nursery nurse interventions 
  • Psychology
  • Groups (perinatal specific skills based and practical groups antenatally around preparing for motherhood)
  • Advice and guidance around medication in pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Medical reviews
  • Pre-pregnancy planning (for woman who are planning pregnancy and professionals feel they would benefit from a review of complex medications and discuss risk)
  • Parent infant therapy (your key worker can refer if its felt this would be helpful)
  • Signposting to other appropriate services
  • Liaison with maternity services and a 32 week planning meeting around the birth and postnatal care.
  • Support to access mother and baby inpatient units where this is needed.
  • Adjunct working with your care co-ordinator from other secondary or tertiary services

We also work closely with charitable organisations who can offer a wide range of support and interventions. At times to ensure there is adequate support in place for the parents and their child/children, we may work alongside social care.

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