Our Community Perinatal Services provide treatment and support to women experiencing problems with mental illness throughout the perinatal period (from 13 weeks of pregnancy, once the pregnancy is confirmed, and up to two years after birth) across Nottinghamshire and Bassetlaw.
We are part of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Perinatal Quality Network. As our service was one of the first of its kind, many of our staff have extensive training and experience of supporting women over the perinatal period.
We are based in Green Haven at Hopewood. Although we offer many appointments here, clinics are held across the county and follow-up appointments, unless with a doctor or the psychologist, are more likely to be in a patient’s home.
We are a multidisciplinary team, each bringing our diverse skills, training and expertise to the treatment we offer our patients. Our team includes psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, a mother infant therapist, specialist nursery nurses, psychologist’s, peer support workers, family / carers peer support workers, social worker, and an occupational therapist. We also work closely with staff on the Mother and Baby Unit and some of our team work across both inpatient and community perinatal services.
Although patients may only meet with certain members of our staff, we all work together to discuss care plans and consider treatment options to make sure we develop the best plan to meet each woman’s needs.
We offer a range of support for patients. This includes advice on suitable medications to use in pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and different psychological therapies.
We support patients to make sense of their role as a mother and use occupational therapy to help them to access groups or return to activities they used to enjoy. Our peer support workers play an important role in our service, using their own experience of recovering from mental health problems to support the recovery of the women we look after.
Most of the support we offer is one to one, but we hold therapeutic groups at different community centres around the county with childcare provided to help women to attend.
A Perinatal Psychiatrist is medical doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and management of mental health disorders in women in the perinatal period.
As part of their role they will:
The Mental Health Nurses in our team use their nursing skills with specialist knowledge of the emotional and mental health difficulties women can experience while pregnant or in the postpartum period.
We work alongside you, your family, and the different support services involved in your care. This is to help you with your emotional adjustment to pregnancy and motherhood support the parent-infant bond and ensure you understand your mental health needs and what can help you to feel more empowered and more hopeful in improving your mental health.
As nurses, we are often the staff member who will assess you once you have been referred by your GP, health visitor, midwife or other staff member. This is usually a face to face appointment where we talk through your pregnancy or experience post-birth. We give you an opportunity to tell us about your life as a whole. This helps us gain an understanding of everything which impacts your mental health, and gives us an opportunity to talk with you about what would help support you in the future.
We also have one to one appointments, either in the home or in a clinic. During these appointments we can use a number of different methods to improve your mental health depending on what is right for you. This can include among other things:
We also attend team meetings and appointments with other members of the team, or partner services for the family, to ensure your family is getting the right support. We often advocate on your behalf to help you make your voice heard.
Additionally, we also work on the duty line, open during office hours, where you can speak to someone in short notice when you are experiencing distress between appointments.
Occupational Therapy considers everything we want, need, and are expected to do on a day to day basis, and focuses on the things which matter most to you. We call these occupations.
We understand that welcoming a new baby into the family changes how we spend our time. It also changes our roles and our responsibilities and this can be difficult to adjust to for any family particularly when you are struggling with your mental health.
An occupational therapy assessment will consider how both your health and the demands of a new baby impacts the things you do. It can also assess how what you do impacts your health and well-being.
We will support you to think about your goals, both as a parent and in other areas of your life which are important to you.
We work in a practical way with you, your baby and significant others to identify and overcomes barriers to you reaching your goals, identifying and building on the strengths and resources you already have.
Clinical psychologists work with people with a wide range of psychological difficulties. This can include, but is not limited to, difficulties with anxiety, low mood, phobias, trauma, and relationships.
A clinical psychologist will spend time talking with you about your current difficulties, where they may have originated from, what keeps them going, what worsens them, and what helps. This is known as a psychological formulation.
Clinical psychologists are trained in a wide range of interventions. Your individualised treatment plan may include aspects from one or more of the following therapeutic approaches:
Regardless of the type of therapy, sessions will focus on building on your existing strengths and coping strategies.
You may also be asked to complete tasks between sessions to maximise the benefits gained from therapy.
All the staff in the Perinatal Psychiatric Service work to support parents and babies as part of their roles However; the Mother Infant Therapist is available specifically to offer support to mothers in their relationship with their baby.
Each family is different, and there may be many reasons why a mother might feel she needs help in understanding or developing her relationship with her baby. The Mother Infant Therapist will work with mother / parents to try and learn what the difficulties. This helps them to decide with you the best approach. Some of the interventions available are:
We are nursery nurses specially trained in mental health, We can support by providing a safe space for;
Peer support workers are people who have personally experienced mental health challenges themselves or as a carer. They are employed by the Trust to use their experiences to support others on their recovery journey.
How a peer support worker may help you: