Perinatal mental health: What every neonatologist should know

Hind Khalifeh*, Ruth Brauer, Hilary Toulmin, Louise M. Howard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Perinatal mental disorders are common and can impact adversely both on maternal functioning and on foetal and neonatal outcomes. For the more severe disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression, medication may be needed during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and there is a growing but complex evidence based on the effects of psychotropic medication on the foetus and neonate. In addition, the neonatologist needs to be aware of the co-morbid problems that women with mental disorders are more likely to have as these may also impact on the neonate. Close liaison with family physicians and primary care where there are concerns about mental health is important to ensure maternal mental health is optimal for the mother and her infant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-653
Number of pages4
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number11
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2015


  • Mental disorders
  • Perinatal care
  • Psychotropic drugs


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