Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) has launched Qatar’s first Women’s Perinatal Mental Healthcare Clinic.
The outpatient-based clinic, launched on Wednesday, will provide essential mental health support and treatment for women during pregnancy and up to a year after giving birth.
Clinical services include initial evaluations, medication management and psychological therapies. Women can be seen for a wide range of pregnancy-related mental health difficulties such as fears related to giving birth and baby’s well-being, depression and problems adjusting to pregnancy and transition to motherhood.
The team of Sidra professionals will provide guidance and counselling for mothers facing difficulties with attachment and bonding and issues relating to previous trauma and loss. The clinic will also seek to provide support for those with more serious disorders such as postpartum psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The clinic is under the leadership of Dr Felice Watt, perinatal psychiatrist and division chief for Women’s Mental Health at Sidra. The clinic team includes Dr Sawssan Ahmed, clinical psychologist and Safia Ahmed, clinical nurse specialist.
Dr Watt, said, “Pregnancy, birthing and the first year after a baby’s life signify periods of major change for a woman and her family. Just as it is important for the mother to take care of her physical health and that of her baby’s – it is equally important that she cares for her emotional health. Mental health issues are common during this period and the right support and treatment can have a lasting positive impact on the mother, infant, and the entire family. Our women’s mental healthcare team will provide culturally sensitive, woman and family centered support and treatment during this important time.”
As the only comprehensive perinatal mental health services in the country, the Sidra Women’s Perinatal Mental Healthcare Clinic will receive referrals from Sidra’s Obstetrics Clinic, Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Health Care Corporation.
Plans are underway to expand the team further with additional perinatal psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.