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Infant and Perinatal

Infant and Perinatal Psychiatrist based in Sydney, NSW

Perinatal Mental Health

Having a baby is a big life event – it is natural to experience a range of emotions during and after your pregnancy. However, there are a number of mental health conditions unique to the perinatal period where it’s important to seek professional help. These include:


  • Depression - The ‘Baby Blues’ – feeling sad, teary or irritable in the early days after birth – is normal; if these symptoms persist after two weeks, it could be more serious.

  • Anxiety disorders – antenatal or postnatal anxiety 

  • Postpartum psychosis – occurring in 1-2 in 1,000 mothers, this is a psychiatric emergency requiring immediate medical attention.


From pre-conception to pregnancy and the postnatal period, Dr. Makielan helps women adjust to the challenges of motherhood, understands past traumas may be triggered, and supports mothers as they bond with their babies. 


Pregnancy Coupled with Serious Mental Illness


Serious mental illness (SMI) includes acute or chronic impairments such as schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder and schizoaffective disorder. In the perinatal period, women with SMI have unique needs. There is an increased risk of psychiatric relapse, a greater risk of pregnancy and birth complications and an increased need for support around parenting. 


Dolphin Tribe supports women with SMI from pre-conception onwards, so they can enjoy healthy pregnancies and births, and build healthy relationships with their babies. 


Medication Can Be Part of a Healthy Pregnancy and Postnatal Period


Some medications can be prescribed during pregnancy and breastfeeding, while others cannot - our psychiatrist will make sure your medication types and dosages are safe for you and your baby.


Infant Mental Health


In the early years of life, a child’s brain produces over one million neural connections every second! Researchers are only just starting to understand how a baby’s brain development is influenced by early life experiences.


Infant mental health focuses on helping infants from birth to three years of age develop the building blocks needed for healthy development. 


At Dolphin Tribe, our goal is to ensure babies’ first relationships are trusting and caring so they can grow into children who:


  • Can regulate their own emotions

  • Can form close interpersonal relationships 

  • Are open to exploring the environment around them. 


What we offer:


Dolphin Tribe provides complete assessment and intervention for women who have mental health concerns from pregnancy through to two-years postpartum. This includes:


  • Pre-conception advice: for women worried about the impact of pregnancy on their mental health.

  • Antenatal review: assessment and ongoing support to ensure psychiatric medication is at a safe dose for mother and baby.

  • Maternal health and the family: supporting the impact of the mother’s illness on the whole family.

  • Parent-child attachment issues: focused on strengthening the relationship between primary caregivers and their baby. 

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