Perinatal mental health conditions

CPD hours:

Perinatal mental health refers to mental health conditions experienced by mothers and fathers during pregnancy (antenatal) and after pregnancy (postpartum).

The latest available research suggests that in Australia, 1 in 5 mothers of children under 24 months of age have been diagnosed with depression, and 1 in 10 fathers experience postnatal depression.  New parents are also at high risk for other mental health conditions including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The following module provides background information on perinatal mental health conditions, and reviews therapeutic techniques that can be used by nurses and midwives to support individuals suffering from mental illness in the perinatal period.

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At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the mental health conditions that may affect women and men in the perinatal period.
  • Highlight risk factors for perinatal mental health conditions.
  • Perform a routine psychosocial assessment and understand pathways for follow-up and referral.
  • Describe psychosocial supports that may be useful for patients with risk factors and/or mild symptoms of a perinatal mental health condition, including non-directive counselling and motivational interviewing.  
  • Be familiar with psychological therapies and pharmacological treatments that may be recommended for patients with moderate to severe symptoms.

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

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