Westmead Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

You are here: Home > Maternity > Education Programs > Emotional Wellbeing Program

Education Programs

Preparing you emotionally and physically

Emotional Wellbeing Program

At Westmead Private Hospital your maternal wellbeing is extremely important and integral to the maternity services we offer.

Depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the first year of parenting (the perinatal period) affects 20% of mothers and 10% of fathers; almost 100,000 parents in Australia each year. Previously known as Postnatal Depression, we now refer to it as Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) as we know that symptoms of depression and anxiety often occur together and start during pregnancy, rather than just postnatally. Research also shows that if anxiety is treated during pregnancy, the risk of developing depression postnatally is lower.

The Australian National Perinatal Mental Health Guidelines (2011,2017) recommend all pregnant women have a routine mental health check-up and discuss their emotional health. We are therefore very proud to be working with, and supported by, Gidget Foundation Australia. Gidget Foundation Australia run a number of programs to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents.

What is the Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Screening Program at Westmead Private?

The Emotional Wellbeing Program provides a one-on-one appointment with a specially Gidget trained midwife for all expectant mothers booked in to have their baby. While most antenatal care is focused on the physical wellbeing of mother and baby, this appointment is an important opportunity to discuss emotional wellbeing.

At approximately 28 weeks of pregnancy all pregnant women booked for the birth of their baby at Westmead Private Hospital will be invited to make an appointment to meet with a specifically trained Gidget midwife to complete a psychosocial assessment in a confidential one-on-one appointment.

At the appointment, the midwife will ask you some questions that will help them to professionally assess your emotional health – the conversation can be wide-ranging and is an opportunity for you to talk about how you are feeling.

Resources, support, and further help options are offered should you need them – support can include practical help as well as psychological/emotional support.

Our midwives work in collaboration with your Obstetrician and a summary of you midwife appointment will be shared with you Obstetrician.

Gidget Foundation Australia, Emotional Wellbeing Program

Gidget House at Westmead Private Hospital

In addition to the Emotional Wellbeing program, on-site emotional and psychological support is available through Gidget House.

Gidget House provides FREE psychological counselling services for expectant and new parents, providing holistic care, where mothers and fathers are respected, and the needs of each unique family are paramount. It is a safe haven for parents with services provided by perinatal mental health clinicians.

Who does Gidget House Support?

Gidget House is available to any expectant and new parents who have a diagnosis of, or at risk of developing, a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder and who:

  • Are pregnant; or
  • Have a baby up to 12 months old.

Support is also provided to people who have experienced a pregnancy or childbirth-related loss, such as stillbirth, miscarriage, or termination.

Partners are able to access the specialised services as well.

How much does Gidget House cost?

Perinatal mental health clinicians provide a minimum of 10 psychological counselling sessions free of charge within a calendar year.

How do I access Gidget House?

To access Gidget House, you will need a referral from a GP, including a mental health care plan. You can also access the service without a mental health care plan on a full fee-paying basis if you prefer.

How do I make an appointment at Gidget House?

To book an appointment, or find out more information, please call Gidget Foundation Australia on 1300 851 758 or email contact@gidgethouse.org.au

Gidget House Westmead is located on Level 1, in our Maternity Ward. 

For further information on the Gidget Foundation Australia, its history, personal stories, resources and support services please visit the website here.