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Information for families

What does the Community Perinatal Team (CPT) do?

Perinatal is the period of time during pregnancy and up to a child’s first birthday. During this time any woman can be vulnerable to experiencing emotional difficulties and need extra support.

We offer support to you and your family if you are likely to, or are experiencing problems during this time. We can help you to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and support you after the birth of baby.

 What help can I get?

We support Hertfordshire families experiencing or at risk of emotional problems during the perinatal period. Without this support, it could be a challenging and unsettling period for you, your baby and family. Support can be provided from the beginning of pregnancy until your child’s first birthday and is available for mums and partners too.

Pre-conception counselling is also available. This is for women who have previously had a serious mental illness and want to get advice about managing risks and treatment, in a future pregnancy, before they become pregnant.

Support available includes:

  • Consultation with a specialist doctor
  • Advice about medication and its safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Specialist psychological therapies
  • Additional support from specialist perinatal workers
  • Birth care planning
  • Pre-conception counselling

We have specially trained professionals in our team to support families in this delicate period. We will offer you the most suitable support for your situation and when you no longer need this, we can give you details of other organisations who can continue helping you.

How can I get referred?

A professional (such as your GP, midwife, health visitor, children’s centre staff or similar) can refer you.

It’s important not to worry if a professional would like you to receive our support. We are here to help you, your baby and family have the best experience, and sometimes this requires getting a little extra help. We want to keep you well and know that acting early helps prevent problems developing later on.

If you would like to discuss a referral then please call us on 0300 124 0939 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).

 What will happen after I have been referred?

After you have been referred, our specialist perinatal worker will phone to discuss how you are feeling and arrange for you to have an assessment with a professional, or may advise on alternative support most suitable for you.

We can offer you care to meet your needs, alongside other health professionals who may be involved such as your midwife, obstetrician, GP or health visitor. Depending on your situation, you may have your assessment in an antenatal clinic, in an outpatient clinic or in a community venue. Occasionally you may have an assessment in your home.

If you have previously suffered the following, it is likely you will be offered support:

  • Previous episodes of post-partum psychosis
  • Postnatal depression or anxiety (previous or current)
  • Previous or current mental health issues prior to or during pregnancy
  • Previous birth trauma / PTSD
  • Strong family history of mental health problems in the perinatal period

Contact details

For more information, you can call the team on 0300 124 0939 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm)

Further information

There are other sources of support available for families who do not require the specialist support of the Community Perinatal Team. Click here to visit the Families First Directory for a list of available services.

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