Rokeby GP’s Better Beginnings Program for Expectant and New Mums
Pregnancy and childhood is a period in life traditionally associated with great happiness and celebration. However, the transition to parenthood can be overwhelming, bringing dramatic physical, emotional, and social distress to many women.
Despite the prevalence and awareness of antenatal and postnatal depression and other related disorders, most women remain unidentified and untreated. Postnatal depression can often be used as a broad term to cover all postnatal disorders, such as postnatal anxiety, bipolar, and post-partum psychosis. These more complex conditions require early detection as they require specialised management and treatment.
Around one in four postnatal mothers in Australia will experience a depressive symptom/disorder in the first twelve months following birth.
Our physicians therefore believe it is paramount to treat a woman’s mental health to the same level of importance as her physical health. Pregnant women are routinely checked for iron levels, diabetes, and blood pressure – yet their emotional health is often overlooked.
Early detection of mental health disorders through screening and assessment can reduce the serious damage depression may have on all women, and consequently negate the negative effects depression may have on the baby’s development, and family life.
Management of antenatal and postnatal mothers include:
- Consultations with our physicians specialising in “Detecting and Managing Perinatal Mental Health Disorders in Primary Care.”
- Medicare funded routine and universal screening for perinatal depression and anxiety.
- Medicare funded routine psychosocial assessment.
- Follow-up support and mental health treatment plans for women assessed as being at risk of or experiencing perinatal disorders
- Pharmacological and non-pharmacological management.
- Collaboration between our GP’s and treating obstetricians, hospitals, therapists, and postnatal support groups.
- Continuity of care during the antenatal and postnatal period.