During her time as an ob/gyn intern, Dr. Davies met many patients with psychiatric symptoms that were unable to access care—either because their obstetrician did not know how to treat their psychiatric conditions or because their psychiatrist did not feel comfortable treating them while they were pregnant or nursing. She felt that the medical establishment should have been doing more for this vulnerable population. It has become more and more apparent over the last decade that mental health symptoms during pregnancy can have very negative effects on babies that can last for their entire lifetimes and yet, many mental health providers still refuse to treat these patients due to lack of understanding or fear. Many patients stop their medications during pregnancy, because they think they are supposed to, but then are scared of postpartum depression not realizing that the number one risk factor for postpartum depression is depression during pregnancy. Both depression and anxiety can be harmful to pregnancies causing lasting effects on the baby and increasing the frequency of pregnancy complications. The philosophy at Dyad Mental Health is that even pregnant women deserve quality mental health care and that it is imperative to keep the mother as mentally stable as possible during pregnancy to decrease risk to the baby she is carrying. When Dr. Davies cares for any patient, but especially pregnant patients, her number one focus is providing an accurate diagnosis and then educating about the risk(s) of treatment as well as the risk(s) of not treating using information from evidenced based studies and from experts in the field of reproductive psychiatry. Dr. Davies has cared for hundreds of pregnant and postpartum women so is often able to anticipate issues that may arise during and after pregnancy, such as : how social support can be helpful, how breastfeeding may affect the postpartum course, how to get time for self care as a parent of small children, stressors that might arise with older children, how trauma or adverse childhood experiences may complicate parenting as well as many other issues.
Resources on the Web
MGH Center for Women's Mental Health
Perinatal Support Washington
Swedish Center for Perinatal Bonding and Support
Postpartum Support International
A dyad is a pair of two.
Mother and child.
Wife and husband (or wife and wife/husband and husband)
Boss and co-worker.
Therapist and patient.
Two people interdependent on one another or working together, creating a new entity--a dyad.
Even someone without a child or partner is in multiple dyads with others, with coworkers, friends, bosses. These places where people intersect is where the challenge and joy of living come from.
The mother-child dyad is one of the most influential relationships that any of us ever has and it is important for future mental health that this go as smoothly as possible. Sometimes our work will focus on a new dyad between patient and her baby. Sometimes the work will focus on the past, and how the patient's original dyad with her mother or other caregivers shaped her life now.
The relationship between partners in a marriage or otherwise, can cause great distress if in disarray or be a place of enormous support. Most of us were never taught to be in relationship. Therapy can help improve these skills.
Psychotherapy can enhance the ability of a partner in a dyad to make the most of this interdependent state while honoring their own individuality.