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Aust Fam Physician. 2014 Apr;43(4):182-5.

Perinatal mental health - identifying problems and managing medications.

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  • 1MBBS, MMed, MD, FRANZCP, Professor, Director Women's Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Austin Health and Northpark Hospitals, Melbourne, VIC.



Perinatal psychiatry has expanded from the traditional focus on mental health in the postpartum period to include a greater understanding that women may become unwell during pregnancy and that the risks to the infant from exposure to illness start before birth. One of the key roles for the general practitioner is to help women with known mental health issues to prepare for pregnancy, as well as identify those at risk and help to guide management choices.


This article reviews the issues to consider when managing perinatal illness, focusing on medication.


Perinatal mental illness is common. The illness poses a risk to mother and child through treating and not treating. The aim is to identify risks early, manage them assertively but sensitively, and ensure that the mother is as well as possible while minimising risk to the child.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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