About This Service

One in five women will have a maternal mental health condition during pregnancy or the postpartum year and 75% of these women will go untreated 1, 2.

Our mental and behavioral health team is available to diagnose maternal mental health conditions, provide medication management, and attend to the social and emotional needs of expecting parents. We serve a wide range of mothers who receive care through the Comprehensive Fetal Care Center, a clinical partnership between Dell Children's Medical Center and UT Health Austin, including those with pre-existing and new mental health and substance use disorders. A perinatal and reproductive psychiatrist is available to provide counseling on the risks and benefits of medications during pregnancy or during lactation as well as prescribe and manage these medications. Additionally, a social worker is available to process the grief, trauma, and worry that can arise with complicated pregnancies, and to provide linkage to helpful community resources.

Our goal is to create an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to each woman’s needs and supports her preferences and values.

Our providers have expertise in the treatment of peripartum:

  • Mood Disorders
    • Depression
    • Bipolar Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
    • Anxiety
    • Panic
    • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Trauma
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Grief and Loss
  • Psychosis
  • Substance Use Disorders

Treatment Approach

The program offers preventative therapy for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders or substance use disorders, counseling on the risks and benefits of medications during pregnancy or during lactation, and an array of treatment options for mental health and substance use disorders including alternative and lifestyle interventions, psychotherapy, and medication, if appropriate. Our goal is to reduce the risk that untreated maternal mental health conditions place on a woman and her pregnancy.

Patients are cared for by a dedicated multidisciplinary care team, meaning you will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines. Our behavioral health team has extensive experience in mental health conditions and works alongside a team of women’s health experts, including maternal-fetal medicine specialists, obstetrician-gynecologists, fetal specialists, nurses, sonographers, advanced practice providers, dietitians, and more, providing unparalleled care for our patients and their families every step of the way. We also collaborate closely with referring physicians and other partners in the community.

We also collaborate with our colleagues at The University of Texas at Austin and the Dell Medical School to stay informed of the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to successfully connect you with the recommended services.

Appointment Information

For more information about Mental and Behavioral Health Services services or to refer a patient, please call 1-512-324-0040.

About the Partnership Between Dell Children's and UT Health Austin

The collaboration between UT Health Austin and Dell Children's brings together medical professionals, medical school learners, and researchers who are all part of the integrated mission of transforming healthcare delivery and redesigning the academic health environment to better serve society. This collaboration allows highly specialized providers who are at the forefront of the latest research, diagnostic, and technological developments to build an integrated system of care that is a collaborative resource for clinicians and their patients.


  1. Haight SC, Byatt N, Moore Simas TA, Robbins CL, Ko JY. Recorded Diagnoses of Depression During Delivery Hospitalizations in the United States, 2000-2015. Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Jun;133(6):1216-1223. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003291. PMID: 31135737; PMCID: PMC6842065.
  2. Bauman BL, Ko JY, Cox S, D'Angelo Mph DV, Warner L, Folger S, Tevendale HD, Coy KC, Harrison L, Barfield WD. Vital Signs: Postpartum Depressive Symptoms and Provider Discussions About Perinatal Depression - United States, 2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 May 15;69(19):575-581. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6919a2. PMID: 32407302; PMCID: PMC7238954.