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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 402-403
IPS travel fellowship in perinatal psychiatry

Department of Psychiatry, MGM Medical College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication6-Oct-2017

How to cite this article:
Dere SS. IPS travel fellowship in perinatal psychiatry. Indian J Psychiatry 2017;59:402-3

How to cite this URL:
Dere SS. IPS travel fellowship in perinatal psychiatry. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Jan 27];59:402-3. Available from:


Perinatal psychiatry is a nascent yet an essential specialty of psychiatry, concerned with prevention, detection, and management of various mental health problems that can complicate pregnancy and the postpartum year.

I hereby express my sincere thanks and regards to the Committee of Research and Education Foundation and Training of IPS headed by Dr. Ajit Avasthi and coordionated by Dr. Adarsh Tripathi to create an excellent opportunity to undergo travel fellowship under mentorship of Dr. Prabha Chandra, Professor and HOD and In-Charge of Perinatal Psychiatry Unit for 2 weeks (November 1–14, 2016) at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru.

This training was undertaken with the following objectives:

  1. To learn the assessment of various perinatal psychiatric conditions
  2. To learn the psychopharmacology and psychotherapeutic management of mental health issues in perinatal period
  3. To broaden the research perspective in the area of perinatal psychiatry.

This training program included exposure to functioning of perinatal psychiatry OPD and mother–baby ward, a unique, one of its kind, inpatient care facility for perinatal mental health problems.

Through observation and discussion in clinical rounds, I learned comprehensive assessment of the mother–baby dyad using detailed history, use of standard assessment tools to evaluate symptom profile in pregnancy, risk assessment in mother, and developmental assessment of infants. I learned subjective and objective assessment of mother–infant bonding and improving the bonding through psychosocial intervention of couple and video feedback interventions. The discussions also focused on psychopharmacological management severe mental illness in pregnancy and during breastfeeding.

Learning in perinatal psychiatry OPD focused on prepregnancy counseling, planning pregnancies to minimize fetal exposure, discussion with patient and family regarding options along with management of existing psychiatric symptoms, relapse and postpartum onset of psychiatric illness, the need of which is highlighted in a meta-analysis by O'Hara and Swain.[1]

Visit to the NIMHANS Centre of Well-Being helped to learn preventive approach to perinatal mental health through specialty clinics such as couple therapy, women mental health clinic, and somatoform pain clinic. Community visit at urban health center helped me to gain insight into community-based research on perinatal mental health issues. As a part of social responsibility, perinatal psychiatry team, NIMHANS, have undertaken an incredible initiative of developing series of videos for increasing awareness of perinatal mental health issues among the medical officers, which is a very important educational tool.

Overall, this training has helped me to sharpen my academic, clinical, and research skills in the area of perinatal psychiatry. Research by Chandra et al. highlights that mother–baby psychiatric services are a need and it is feasible to have an effective service that contributes to good clinical outcomes for the mother with mental illness and to mother–infant dyadic relationships.[2]

In India, there is a need to increase awareness and clinical skills to identify these problems to safeguard the pregnancy outcome and to improve mother–infant relationship. I am hence encouraged to establish and enhance perinatal mental health services at my institution in collaboration with gynecologist and by undertaking research in field of perinatal psychiatry.


I sincerely thank Dr. Prabha S. Chandra, (Prof. and HOD, Department of Psychiatry and In-Charge of Perinatal Psychiatry Services at NIMHANS) for being my mentor and rendering me the opportunity to undertake the fellowship program under her guidance. My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Geeta Deasai, Additional Professor, and Dr. Harish T., Additional Professor, for the valuable guidance and support. I thank Dr. Sundarnag G., Assistant Professor, for his guidance and cooperation throughout the training program. I thank Dr. Ajay Prakash and Dr. Shivshankar (postdoctoral fellows) and all the residents working in perinatal psychiatry unit for the educational support. I express my humble regards to Dr. Thomas Kishor and Dr. Veena S. (Consultant Psychologist) and Mr. Ragesh G., PhD scholar, psychiatric social work, for sharing their expertise during training.

This was insightful learning experience blended with warmth and hospitality from the entire perinatal team NIMHANS.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was funded and supported by the Committee of Research and Education Foundation of IPS.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

O'Hara MW, Swain AM. Rates and risks of postpartum depression – A meta-analysis. Int Rev Psychiatry1996;8:37-54.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chandra PS, Desai G, Reddy D, Thippeswamy H, Saraf G. The establishment of a mother-baby inpatient psychiatry unit in India: Adaptation of a Western model to meet local cultural and resource needs. Indian J Psychiatry 2015;57:290-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
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Correspondence Address:
Shubhangi S Dere
Department of Psychiatry, MGM Medical College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_9_17

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