Clinical Nurse Specialist – Perinatal Infant Mental Health Service (PIMHS)
Prince of Wales Hospital
“Women can be referred to the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service from pre-conception right up until the baby is two years old. We provide support to the mum to be the best mum she can be at that period in time. New mothers feel like they have to live up to the stereotypical yummy mummy, and that’s your atypical normal mum, never mind a woman who’s been challenging the terrain of mental health her whole life.
I was working on the wards and a woman was admitted with post-partum psychosis. I’ve felt empathy as a nurse, but that was the first time a situation truly pulled on my heartstrings. This woman had no mental health history and both parents were high functioning individuals. She was acutely unwell and was admitted - so she was separated from her baby. That to me is the most devastating thing to see happen. I remember looking at the dad, who only a few days ago was having the happiest day of his life seeing his child being born, and now, a few days later he’s left with the baby while his wife was in an acute mental health ward. She made a relatively quick recovery and was able to go home with her child soon after, but it really moved something within me. That’s what sparked my interest to come into this field.”