“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.” – Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

GLOW Perinatal Emotional Health & Wellbeing Clinic – a unique concept on the frontier of perinatal and infant mental health – Dr Araobi Udechuku, International Marcè Society Conference 2016

One third of women deliver in the private system and use some form of complementary medicine. The Glow Clinic in Melbourne, provides a holistic approach to perinatal mental health and has extended the perinatal period from the first 12 months to the first 5 years. This unique service includes not only perinatal psychiatrists and psychologists, paediatrics, midwives, lactation consultants but also early parenting consultants, nutrition, yoga, massage, meditation to support wellness in mind & body for the whole family.

I love Glow’s unique concept and model of care particularly with the lack and fragmentation of health services. I delivered my son in the local private hospital and I was admitted during my episode to the local public hospital with follow up through the public system as well. I have been advised to receive the care I would need if we were to have another baby that I am best to deliver in our public hospital; so what is the point of expensive public health insurance? Any complimentary or holistic services or treatment I were up to me to seek out as I recovered. Follow up appointments with a perinatal psychiatrist were self-initiated only because we were contemplating in having another baby and this was 2 years after my episode. If I see a general health professional or even the local child health clinic, it is up to my own discretion if I mention about my mental health history and how it impacts on my current care needs.

If a service existed like Glow in Sydney I would be still eligible to be receiving care with my son now 4 years old, my whole family would be taken care including my husband who would have the support he needs/needed, I wouldn’t feel conflicted between my wellness and nutrition approach and the advice of health professionals, perhaps I may not have fallen through the medical system cracks and be missed in follow up after my episode, and I would feel more comfortable if we were to have another baby that I would have effective management and support I need in a holistic, integrated, collaborative space.