Perinatal Mental Health

This service provides care and support for women experiencing mental health problems during pregnancy and in the months after giving birth.

We specialise in psychiatric assessments and management/treatment for women suffering severe mental illness such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Affective Disorder and post-partum psychosis. We can also help women with a history of severe mental illness who are planning a pregnancy, or who have become pregnant and are at high risk of relapse during pregnancy or the postnatal year.

Care is provided across Dorset to women in their own homes wherever possible, enabling them to maintain their roles as mothers while their mental illness is safely treated. When required, we also have a dedicated mother and baby inpatient unit at Florence House, in Bournemouth, which offers 24-hour specialist support.

We have an experienced team of specialist nurses, occupational therapists, psychiatrists and support workers. They offer:

  • psychiatric assessment and medication, if needed
  • advice on the risks and benefits of using psychotropic medication during pregnancy and when breastfeeding
  • pre-conception advice
  • support with the developing the mother and baby relationship
  • psychological therapies including Family Work, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Relapse-Prevention Work
  • occupational therapies for mother and baby, which may include shopping, cooking, diet and exercise
  • parenting skills support and training.

If you are struggling with perinatal mental health issues, we will work closely with social care workers, health visitors, maternity departments and other healthcare providers to carry out a full nursing assessment. And we will develop a treatment plan in partnership with you, tailored to your own individual needs. Our aim is to provide the right care to help you recover, encouraging family involvement and strengthening your bond with your child.


If you feel that you, or someone you know, might benefit from this kind of support, please talk to your GP, health visitor or other healthcare professional, who can then make a referral to the perinatal service.

We welcome referrals (hyperlink) from healthcare professionals such as GPs, CMHTs, midwives, health visitors, and maternity departments. However, any referrals for potential admission to the Florence House inpatient unit should be discussed with the team first.

Out of hours referrals requiring an emergency response will be undertaken by the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Service.


Understanding the impact that perinatal mental health illness has on the mother's family will be vital to her recovery. We can provide support to partners, relatives and close friends in line with her treatment plan. A carers support group also runs as part of the weekly therapeutic programme at our Florence House inpatient unit, and we are planning to deliver similar sessions out in the community.


Perinatal In-Patient Mother's Ward (Bournemouth - Alumhurst Road)

01202 584327
49 Alumhurst Road,

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WiFi: No

Parking: No

Disabled Access: No

Perinatal In-Patient Mother's Ward

Mental Health and learning disabilities