Specialist Perinatal Community Mental Health Service
The Perinatal Mental Health Teams specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and short-term treatment of those affected by a moderate to severe mental health illness in the preconception, antenatal and postnatal period. The team promotes wellbeing during pregnancy, prevention of relapse and assists with birth planning. The team works with those who have a previous history of serious mental health difficulties and those who are experiencing mental health difficulties for the first time during the perinatal period.
We provide support for a range of mental health difficulties, including bipolar disorder, puerperal psychosis, depression, anxiety, OCD and bonding difficulties.
The Perinatal Mental Health Team is a secondary mental health service and therefore supports those who are antenatal and postnatal whose needs cannot be met by primary care professionals, such as GPs, specialist midwives, health visitors or primary care psychological services.
Black Country Healthcare's Perinatal Mental Health Service provides care and treatment to women experiencing:
- Antenatal and postnatal affective disorders including depression and bipolar affective disorder
- Antenatal and postnatal anxiety disorders impacting on pregnancy and childbirth such as tokophobia, perinatal onset OCD and PTSD arising from childbirth
- Severe and enduring mental illness in the perinatal period
- Postpartum/puerperal psychosis
- Mothers experiencing bonding disorders (infants under one-year-old)
There are various reasons why you may have been referred. Perhaps:
- you have been treated for a mental health problem in the past and you are planning a further pregnancy or are already pregnant.
- your GP, midwife, obstetrician or health visitor feels that you may be unwell and could benefit from our help.
- there is a family history of certain mental health problems, such as bipolar affective disorder or postpartum psychosis, which can sometimes increase the risk of mental health problems after childbirth.
- you have become mentally unwell after experiencing the loss of a baby.
- you have experienced birth trauma, which is significantly impacting on your mental health.
The specialist perinatal mental health service can help you or your loved one by providing expert help and support for a wide range of mental health problems or difficulties.
This could include the following:
- Providing advice about your risk of developing a mental health problem in pregnancy or the postnatal period - and how to reduce this risk.
- Helping you to weigh up the risks and benefits of using medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Providing psychological treatments (talking therapies). These vary quite a lot and will be tailored to your individual needs. We offer 1:1 psychological support and group interventions.
- Supporting and advising on how to help you build both a positive relationship with your baby and a sense of confidence in being a mum.
- We work closely with midwives, health visitors, adult mental health teams and GPs.
- Depending on your current situation you may benefit from a referral to other services which offer practical help and support for families. This could be a local voluntary service or charity.
- Help you to plan for your care during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.
- Giving advice and information about mental health problems to your partner and other family members. They will want to understand your illness, your risk of becoming unwell, and how best to support you.
- Arranging an admission to a Mother & Baby Unit if this is needed.
- Providing support for anyone discharged from a Mother & Baby Unit.
- Teaching and advising GPs, midwives and other professionals, so they can give better individualised care.
At your first appointment with the team we will complete an initial assessment and this will be with a specialist perinatal clinician. This appointment will take place in a space that you feel comfortable, this could be in your home, at a children’s centre, NHS setting or a mutually agreed space. In order to offer you a holistic assessment and understand how we can best support you we will ask you about your mental health, physical health, social circumstances, obstetric and personal history.
At the end of the assessment a plan of care will be formulated with you, your needs and wants will be at the heart of the plan of care.
Some examples of what the plan may include are as follows:
- Allocation to a specialist perinatal care coordinator
- Strategies for mental health recovery/management
- Access to advice regarding medication
- Access to advice regarding conception
- Support around infant mental health
- Support for partners/families
- Signposting to other relevant services
The above are all aimed at improving the perinatal experience/journey for you and your families.
If you are concerned about your mental health during pregnancy, or after having your baby, please speak to your GP, midwife, or nursery nurse. They will then refer you to our service when appropriate.
For health professionals, please see contact details below.
1. What are the first things that will happen when my baby is born?
2. How do I bath my baby?
3. Screening tests for you and your baby.
4. How to breastfeed comfortably.
This section is currently under development. Please check back soon for useful resources.
The Perinatal Mental Health Service is operational Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Dudley and Sandwell Perinatal Mental Health Team:
Henry Lautch, Bushey Fields
Bushey Fields Road
Telephone: 01384 314455
Walsall and Wolverhampton Perinatal Mental Health Team:
Dorothy Pattison Hospital
Telephone: 01922 607807
Meet The Team
"If I could say anything to the whole team it would be THANKYOU. Thank you for giving me my life back. Thank you for showing me why my heart beats and Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me and my family. You didn’t just cater to me, you catered to my husband and my children and you made my world right and full of love and now happiness. Thank you all!"
To read Emma's full story and hear her experience with the Perinatal Mental Health Services Team, please use the following link: My Experience of the Perinatal Mental Health Team - Wolverhampton
If you have any feedback about the Perinatal Mental Health Service, please contact the Black Country Healthcare Service Experience Desk.
Service Experience Desk
The Service Experience Desk is the central point of contact for all concerns, complaints, compliments or suggestions:
Tel: 0800 587 7720
This section is currently under development. Please check back soon for more information.