This past week, a colleague at UCSF, Dr. Anna Glezer, wrote to let me know about a new patient-centered informational website she is launching focused on issues related to pregnancy and mental health. It’s called Mind Body Pregnancy, and she started it because in her reproductive psychiatry practice she was finding many patients asking similar questions. She wanted to reach beyond just those she is able to see in clinic and help women achieve an emotionally rewarding pregnancy and postpartum time.
It is truly a wonderful resource, as is Dr. Glezer, who has a practice that includes a focus on reproductive psychiatry.
Other experts who we have referred to in the past include Vivien K. Burt, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychiatry and the Director of the Women’s Life Center at UCLA and the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health.
In our own work with many women with depression and bipolar who have had successful pregnancies, despite their mental health problems, we have found that it is very helpful to think of pregnancy as often one of the first introductions to the reality that there is much in life that is uncertain (if you search the web on the subject you will find strongly divergent information on the subject of the treatment of depression in pregnancy), but that it is nevertheless possible to develop a plan for approaching pregnancy that is a good fit with one’s own personal values and that “works” – that establishes the foundation for a happy pregnancy and the beginning of a new family.
In other words, pregnancy and mental health are manageable challenges with advanced planning and thoughtful discussion.