Experiencing anxiety and depression during or after pregnancy can affect the bond with your baby and your overall experience as a parent. 

St John of God Health Care perinatal mental health research

We can support you and your family during this critical time to help manage your emotions and thrive as a parent.

Perinatal depression and anxiety is often commonly referred to as ‘postnatal depression’ and can start during your pregnancy, immediately after birth or in the weeks or months after the birth of your baby.

The condition affects the emotional wellbeing of mothers and how well you bond with your baby. 

Women describe episodes that last more than two weeks where they experience sadness, irritability, apathy or anxiety. It can culminate in a general lack of interest or enjoyment in normal daily activities or the perception of poor performance as a parent.

Due to a range of hormonal, physical and emotional reasons women are more likely to experience anxiety and depression during pregnancy or after childbirth than at any other point in their life.

Some women may experience postnatal psychosis which is a temporary and uncommon but serious mental health episode that can have a major impact on day-to-day function.  Women can experience a loss of contact with reality and behaviour that seems out of character. 

It is important that you get the care and support you and your family need during this time and St John of God Health Care have a number of options to assist.

How can treatment for perinatal anxiety and depression help?

It is important to include you and your family in holistic treatment that supports your physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs to assist your recovery. Our programs will take into consideration your overall wellness, relationships, support network and ability to bond with your baby.

Depending on your condition, personal preferences and location we can offer in-hospital programs, day clinic programs and private appointments with experienced psychiatrists. We have a range of private and group sessions or medications to treat perinatal anxiety and depression in the short and long term.

You will have access to a team of experienced and caring perinatal specialist psychiatrists, nurses and allied health professionals who can take the time to understand your situation and tailor your treatment or therapy to your needs.

How to access perinatal support?

You should speak to your general practitioner (GP) and share your feelings about parenthood, your baby and any emotions that concern you. Some women may have access to a midwife or obstetrician who may be able to organise a formal assessment of your state-of-mind. 

A referral from a health service or GP will be needed to access support or a perinatal program. However, if you are concerned about your emotional wellbeing or a loved one you can make an admission enquiry on the form below today so that we can help you to better understand your care options.

Our programs costs are covered by most private health insurers. Any excess and/or co-payment depends on your level of cover.
Programs provided by St John of God Raphael Services are available free of charge or at low cost as part of our commitment as a not-for-profit organisation to improve community heath and wellbeing.

We can provide care through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Work Cover. We also welcome self-funded consumers.

Where do we offer perinatal mental health treatment programs? 

St John of God Health Care has in-hospital treatment options based at St John of God Burwood Hospital Mother and Baby Unit in New South Wales and a range of free community based social outreach programs in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Explore an option closest to you.

New South Wales


Western Australia 

Please complete the form and we will contact you during regular office hours (9.00am to 5.00pm). If you require urgent help please call Lifeline: 13 11 14

If you do not receive a response to your enquiry within 24 hours please contact: [email protected]

Top of page