UVA Health Opens Mental-Health Clinic for New Mothers and Moms-to-Be

June 6, 2023 by

mom holding babyUVA Health has launched a new outpatient mental-health clinic specializing in caring for women during pregnancy and after childbirth.

The UVA Health Perinatal Mood Disorders Clinic is a partnership between the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences. The clinic is led by Jennifer L. Payne, MD, a psychiatrist specializing in reproductive psychiatry; Ginny Bowers, CNM, IBCLC, a certified nurse midwife who is training with Payne for certification as a psychiatric nurse practitioner; and Chantal Scott, MD, an OB/Gyn specializing in pregnancy and birth.

UVA Health researchers have highlighted pregnancy and the early months of motherhood as a time when mental-health conditions often develop. For example, a study led by Payne and published last year found that a significant number of new mothers self-reported postpartum depression symptoms, ranging from 10% among 18- to 24-year-olds to 6.5% for 35- to 39-year-olds and 6.9% among women 40 and older.

“The perinatal period is a high-risk period for psychiatric illness, and it’s not always obvious to healthcare providers not trained in this area how to manage psychiatric illness during this time,” Payne said.

The new clinic sees patients who are pregnant or who have given birth within the last year. The clinical team also provides one-time pre-pregnancy consults for women who want to plan how to manage their psychiatric medications during pregnancy.

Read full press release in the UVA Health newsroom. 

Filed Under: Clinical, Faculty