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Clinical Program

The major clinical focus of the WMHP is to provide care for women with emotional disorders as they progress through the childbearing years. We offer comprehensive education and treatment planning for women with a history of psychiatric illness as they consider family planning decisions, including women receiving assisted reproduction.

We specialize in the identification and treatment of mental illness during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The Emory WMHP is one of the few university centers providing clinical care AND conducting research in these areas. The combination of active research with clinical treatment planning provides access to the latest information. Evaluations include up to date information, articles published in major journals, and comprehensive treatment planning tailored to the individual. The typical situations that are our specialty include:

Pre-Conception Evaluation and Counseling: Assisting women who have a history of psychiatric illness and are considering starting their families.

Pregnancy Evaluation and Treatment Planning: Women who are already pregnant may benefit from on-going care during pregnancy.  An unplanned pregnancy for women with a history of psychiatry illness often requires timely decision-making.  In addition, the typical physical changes of pregnancy may overlap with the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric illnesses – creating diagnostic uncertainty.

Postpartum Prevention: Women with a history of postpartum depression or other psychiatric illness are at increased risk to have significant emotional distress following delivery. Not all prevention strategies include medications, and knowledge about medications and other interventions in breastfeeding provide these women with the best opportunity to have the postpartum experience they desire.

Postpartum Onset Illness: Postpartum depression has been documented since the time of Hippocrates, yet many women receive little information about postpartum mental illness before delivery. Effective, safe, and expedient treatment of postpartum illness has been a cornerstone of the WMHP since its inception.

Pregnancy Loss: We pride ourselves in our ability to help women with psychiatric illness deliver healthy, happy babies.  Unfortunately, miscarriages and other pregnancy losses sometimes occur.  New and expectant mothers who lose a child may experience not only the grief due to the loss but a sense of isolation from others who don’t seem to understand.  Supportive care during this sensitive time is especially important.

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