As a midwife and advanced practice psychiatric nurse for two decades, Bobbie Posmontier was inspired by practices in the United Kingdom that encouraged women to participate fully in their care during pregnancy. “The UK model also had mother-baby hospitals for mental health challenges—specialized hospitals for moms that had depression or anxiety or some sort of mental health challenge.”
A DREAM TAKES SHAPE
Posmontier, PhD, an associate professor who teaches in the doctoral nursing program, teamed with colleague Pamela Geller, PhD, associate professor, Psychology, from the College of Arts and Sciences, to create a pilot outpatient program called Mother-Baby Connections, which opened in 2016. “The mission of Mother-Baby Connections is, first, to provide postpartum mental health treatment for women, especially lower-income, minority women,” Posmontier says.
EDUCATING THE NEXT GENERATION
The interdisciplinary, intensive day program for mothers offers creative arts therapies, including dance, art and music, along with yoga. It also has mother-baby interaction therapy “so mom learns to read her babyʼs cues and what the baby needs,” Posmontier says. Graduate and post doc students help staff the clinic, along with faculty. The student involvement is key, Posmontier says. “We want to provide education to the next cadre of prenatal mental health providers.”