Glow

Optimise your health and wellbeing when planning to become pregnant

There are many definitions of perinatal. At GLOW, we define the perinatal period as starting from the moment you begin planning to become pregnant, through to when your child reaches kindergarten age.
This is a question many mothers-to-be ask. A number of factors have been shown to increase the risk of psychological difficulties during, and after, pregnancy, including:
  • past history of:
    • psychological illness at any time, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders or psychosis
    • psychological illness during or after pregnancy, such as antenatal or postnatal depression or anxiety and postnatal psychosis
    • significant childhood trauma.
  • family history of psychological illness
  • recent major life event, such as major illness; or a significant loss such as pregnancy loss or loss of a parent, partner, child or other close relative or friend.
  • stressful or adverse life events such as changes to, or loss of, work; renovating; moving house; relocating interstate or overseas
  • lack of practical, financial, social and / or emotional supports
  • relationship difficulties
  • perfectionistic personality style
  • assisted reproduction and IVF
  • intimate partner violence.
Women who are at particularly high risk include those with a past, pregnancy or family history of moderate-severe depression or anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and psychotic illnesses.

If you feel you may be at risk, contact us and book an appointment for a GLOW assessment and management plan.

book an appointment 
Women with a current psychological illness are at particular risk of becoming worse during their pregnancy. We recommend a pre-pregnancy consultation with your GLOW Psychiatrist or GLOW Psychologist to:
  • help you understand the risks to yourself, and to your developing baby
  • review your illness history; and,
  • together, decide upon the best plan to become well and stay well during your pregnancy.
If you feel you may be at risk, contact us and book an appointment for a GLOW assessment and management plan. 

book an appointment 
If you are on medication, you are at particular risk of relapse or deterioration if you suddenly stop your medications.

The management of psychotropic medications in the pre-pregnancy phase requires specialist expertise. We recommend a pre-pregnancy consultation with your GLOW Psychiatrist. Together, you will review your illness history and current difficulties. You will explore options such as:
  • the risks and benefits of ceasing, reducing or changing your medication in a safe and supervised manner;
  • psychological therapy which may enable reduction or cessation of your medication; and,
  • GLOW wellness services such as nutrition, yoga, pilates and massage.
If you feel you may be at risk, contact us and book an appointment for a GLOW assessment and management plan.

book an appointment 

Other resources available to help you make decisions when planning your pregnancy

Below is a list of organisations who can provide additional resources, information and support before, during and after, your pregnancy.

Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE)
An organisation dedicated to improving the emotional wellbeing of parents before and during pregnancy, and the year following the birth of a baby.
cope.org.au

beyondblue
A national initiative raising awareness of anxiety and depression, providing resources for recovery, management and resilience.
beyondblue.org.au

Beyondblue Helpline: 1300 22 4636

National Perinatal Depression Helpline: 1300 726 306
Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA)
A National telephone support and information service for women, men and their families with perinatal depression and anxiety.
panda.org.au

Action Postpartum Psychosis
A UK organisation of nearly 600 members in the UK and worldwide that informs, supports and advocates for women and their families affected by Postpartum Psychosis (PPP) and facilitates research on PPP.
app-network.org

In the case of a medical or psychological crisis

If you, or someone you know, is in need of urgent or crisis care and is unable to wait for an appointment please consider telephoning these crisis services:

Monash Health Psychiatric Triage Service
Phone: 1300 369 012

Peninsula Health Psychiatric Triage Service
Phone: 1300 792 977

Casey Hospital Monash Health Accident and Emergency
Phone: 03 9594 6666
Peninsula Health Accident and Emergency
Phone: 03 9783 8522

For immediate police or ambulance assistance, call 000.

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