Mother and Infant Mental Health Service

The Mother and Infant Mental Health Service is a specialist community service for women with mental health difficulties who are considering pregnancy, are currently pregnant, or have given birth and the baby is under a year old.

Women must be registered with a Kent GP.

Most women should in the first instance seek advice from their midwife, health visitor or GP. Many women can be offered initial support and treatment in primary care. However if more specialist support, advice, interventions or treatment is indicated then a referral to mental health services can be made.

Who is the service for?

The service is for women aged 18 or over, who are experiencing or are at significant risk of experiencing mental health problems of a severity or complexity to require specialist perinatal intervention.

The service also provides advice, liaison and training for other professionals.

Aims of the service

  • Provide pre conceptual advice to women with a history of severe and enduring mental illness, a previous episode of puerperal psychosis, or severe depression.
  • Improve the identification of the mental health needs of pregnant women and women with infants up to 12 months old.
  • Provide expert advice on the risks and benefits of using psychiatric medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Assess, monitor and treat women at significant risk of relapse due to pre existing severe mental illness, in conjunction with secondary mental health colleagues.
  • Assess, monitor and treat moderate to severe mental illness during pregnancy and the postnatal period, in conjunction with secondary mental health colleagues.
  • Liaise with specialist Mother and Baby inpatient units when appropriate.