Lucy Frankham Psychology 

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Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal (pre and postnatal) mental health is an area of interest of mine. I have completed perinatal mental health courses with the University of Sydney and the Centre for Perinatal Excellence (COPE). I am also a member of the Centre for Perinatal Psychology, the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health and the World Association for Infant Mental Health.


I consult part-time at the Tresillian Family Care Centre in Lismore and offer Perinatal Psychological services in my private practice and via telehealth. I am also a consultant with the Sustaining NSW Families program.


Some common issues I work with include, attachment/bonding concerns, birth trauma/PTSD, coping with feeding/sleeping/settling concerns, relationship and adjustment difficulties, work/family balance, poor support, coping with infant medical issues, anxiety about health or                                                                                        safety of your baby/postnatal OCD, depressed mood, and postnatal rage.

                                                

75% of women do not seek help until they can no longer cope. So please, when in doubt talk to someone involved with your healthcare.  If you are concerned about yourself or loved one, talk to your GP or Maternal Health Nurse. 


Risk factors can include but are not limited to: A previous history or family of mental health difficulties, difficulties/distress during the antenatal period, traumatic birth, birth disappointment, a troubled pregnancy or previous pregnancy loss, abusive/controlling behaviours and domestic violence in your relationship, a history of past abuse, financial difficulties, recent major life events/changes, a lack of support and high expectations either from yourself or others.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Panic attacks
  • Persistent, generalised worry, often focused on fears for the health or wellbeing of baby
  • The development of obsessive or compulsive behaviours
  • Changes in appetite: under or overeating
  • Sleep problems unrelated to the baby’s needs
  • Extreme lethargy: a feeling of being physically or emotionally overwhelmed and unable to cope 
  • Memory problems or loss of concentration (‘brain fog’)
  • Loss of confidence and lowered self-esteem
  • Constant sadness or crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Fear of being alone with baby
  • Intrusive thoughts of harm to yourself or baby
  • Irritability and/or anger
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

                         

Treatment

My aim is to support you in exploring ways to facilitate satisfying parenting and a secure, loving bond between you and your baby.  Treatment will focus on your concerns with whatever range of stressors, challenges, trauma or adjustment difficulties you may be experiencing, and will be tailored to fit your needs.  Treatments may include cognitive, behavioural and mindfulness based approaches, self-compassion/compassion focussed therapy and interpersonal therapy. All treatment draws on evidence based therapeutic approaches and theories including attachment and infant development research.


Help and information is available!

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia

https://www.panda.org.au/

Support line 1300 726 306

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby

http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/

Support Line 1800 882 436

Mum Space

https://www.mumspace.com.au/

The Centre of Perinatal Excellence

http://cope.org.au/

The Gidget Foundation (Promotes emotional well-being for new and expectant parents)

http://gidgetfoundation.com.au/

The Parent Infant Research Institute

http://www.piri.org.au/

Tresillian Family Care Centres

https://www.tresillian.org.au/

Support Line 1300 272 736

Online Support also available

What were we thinking – Monash University page with resources to cope with early parenting

http://whatwerewethinking.org.au

What have you been doing all day? A great clip to watch with your partner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzoHT9TmuMI

Lactmed Drugs and Breastfeeding Database

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm

Ready to COPE is a free fortnightly email that comforts and supports you emotionally during

your time as an expectant or new mother. There’s no talk of your baby’s development or sleep and settling. The focus is on you and the emotional challenges that you may experience.

Sign up here: http://cope.org.au/readytocope/

Watch the Ready to COPE info clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFw47kZL1O8


Helpful Apps

MindMum

Mind the Bump

What were we thinking

Carddecks (for relationships)

Smiling Mind (Meditation)

Paced Breathing


Dads

How is Dad going?

http://www.howisdadgoing.org.au/

Dadvice

https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/pregnancy-and-new-parents/dadvice-for-new-dads

Mr Perfect

https://mrperfect.org.au/

For Aboriginal Dad’s

https://www.stayinontrack.com/

Info straight to your phone

https://www.sms4dads.com/ 




Watch this space …. I will be offering new mum’s an opportunity to participate exciting new research very soon. Please contact me if you are interested. frankhampsychology@gmail.com


If you have found other services or resources helpful, please let me know too.

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