Treatments tailored to your needs

Parenthood, pregnancy and family (PPF) service

Priory understands that starting a family can be exciting and challenging in equal measure. As such, we are committed to offering psychological support and treatment during this significant phase of life, as part of our new parenthood, pregnancy and family (PPF) service at our Priory Wellbeing Centre Harley Street, situated in the Marylebone area of central London.

The service is led by Dr Kathryn Hollins, (Consultant Child, Parent and Family Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist) and Dr Lucinda Green, (Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist), whose joint expertise enables a comprehensive service to be offered to families.

At Priory we are aware that the introduction of the PPF service is timely, as we find that 21st century women and couples are taking mental health problems that can affect both their own and their children’s lives, increasingly seriously.

Priory’s PPF service enables mothers and fathers to invest in their families’ current and future health and happiness by accessing expert psychological and psychiatric care, treatment and support, including relationship-based treatments and education and advice about a range of mental health concerns. Our consultation and treatment options include:

Preparation for parenthood

  • Support and specialist psychological treatment for women and men considering parenthood, who have concerns due to difficult relationships with their own parents, early childhood abuse or other distressing life events
  • Guidance in becoming the mother or father you want to be, by increasing understanding of yourself, your support network and what children need
  • Emotional processing of your new stage in life, enabling you to make informed choices about personal and professional commitments
  • Specialist psychotherapeutic treatments during pregnancy for women and couples who find being pregnant triggers previous or new emotional distress

Pregnancy Planning for women with current or previous mental health problems

Women who have current or previous mental health problems often find it helpful to have the opportunity to discuss their care with a specialist before they get pregnant. This includes:

  • Information and advice about how pregnancy can affect your mental health
  • Information about potential mental health problems after birth and how to prevent these
  • Information about the risks and benefits of medication in pregnancy and breastfeeding and helping you decide whether to make any changes to treatment before trying to conceive
  • Helping you and your family consider the help and support you will need during pregnancy and in the first few months after birth
  • Advice about care and treatment to make sure you are as well as possible before getting pregnant

Psychological support for infertility and pregnancy loss

  • Support and treatment for those going through fertility treatment which is often stressful, and can have significant effects on health, relationships and work.
  • Specialist support and treatment for individuals and couples making decisions about pregnancy complications. This may include complex antenatal medical or surgical assessments or treatments for foetus or mother, expecting a child with a disability or choosing a termination.
  • Treatment for individuals and couples who are struggling with the distressing experience of miscarriage and stillbirth.

Care and treatment for women with current or previous mental health problems or emotional distress during pregnancy and after birth

Specialist psychological and psychiatric assessment and treatment for:

  • Women experiencing distress associated with pregnancy related complications
  • Women who are ambivalent about their pregnancy
  • Women who are finding it difficult to deal with other life stresses during pregnancy or after birth
  • Women who are concerned about how they will cope with childbirth , either in a first pregnancy or following a previous traumatic delivery
  • Women with a wide variety of current or previous mental health problems, for example: Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and Personality Disorder. Even if you have been well for a long time it is important to make sure you have the right care and treatment so that you stay well during pregnancy and the postnatal period.

In addition:

  • Information and advice about the risks and benefits of medication in pregnancy and breastfeeding to help you decide whether to continue, stop or change your treatment.
  • Information and advice about the risk of developing mental health problems in pregnancy and the postnatal period (including Antenatal Depression, Postnatal Depression, Postpartum Psychosis, Perinatal Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and how to reduce the chance of becoming unwell.
  • Advice about what partners, friends and family can do to help.
  • Advice and support for partners of women with mental health problems in pregnancy and the postnatal period.
  • Information about websites and resources which you, your partner and family may find helpful
  • Discussion with your obstetrician, midwife, health visitor and GP when it is helpful for the other professionals involved to know about specific aspects of your care and treatment and how they can best support you.

Support in the development of early family relationships

  • Development of your relationship with your baby or young child, supporting bonding and getting to know your own child’s strengths and sensitivities
  • Guidance in creating a supportive network around you and your child
  • Support in making choices about childcare, work-life balance and your career, that are sustainable and healthy for you and your family
  • Support in dealing with the emotional intensity of your newborn baby e.g. excessive crying and difficulties with sleeping and feeding
  • Psychological and psychiatric treatment for mothers struggling to bond with their babies. This may be due to mental health problems, their own experiences of abuse or neglect in childhood, or other distressing life events
  • Treatment for fathers who have become depressed following the birth of their baby and require assessment and support in making sense of their distress
  • Treatment for couples who are struggling in their relationship as new parents
  • Treatment for mothers and fathers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an obstetric trauma, a traumatic birth experience or a gynaecological injury as a result of childbirth

“Parenthood and fertility are important life stages so being able to access timely support and specialist treatment can transform life for women, men, couples and children. Addressing challenges in a safe and therapeutic environment is key to improving health and strengthening relationships for the whole family.” Dr Kathryn Hollins, Consultant Child, Parent and Family Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist at Priory Wellbeing Centre Harley Street.

“For women who have current or previous mental health problems planning a pregnancy or finding out they are pregnant can be stressful. It is important that women have specialist advice, for example to help them make complex decisions about whether to continue or start medication. Getting expert advice as early as possible gives women and families time to ensure they have all the care and support they need so they can stay well and enjoy family life”. Dr Lucinda Green Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at Priory Wellbeing Centre Harley Street

Contact us to find out more

To find out how Priory Wellbeing Centre Harley Street can help you to manage your mental wellbeing at a time and place to suit you, call us on 0207 079 0555, or click here to complete an enquiry form