Psychiatry Services in the CFDT and SDU

Sometimes psychiatric conditions, including mood and anxiety disorders, emerge or worsen during a pregnancy or during the postpartum period. This is even more common in women experiencing complications in pregnancy.

At times, medications may be helpful and even necessary during pregnancy or in the postpartum period, though decisions about the use of medications while pregnant or when breastfeeding can be challenging to make.

How our psychiatrist supports families in the CFDT and SDU

Our staff psychiatrist, Sarah Mathews, MD, specializes in the management of psychiatric issues that occur during pregnancy and the postpartum period. She is available to meet you if needed for a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation once you have begun treatment in the CFDT.

During your evaluation, she will obtain a full medical and psychiatric history, as well as assess current symptoms. She will review potential options regarding treatment, including medication and psychotherapy interventions. Together, you will review the risks and benefits for each treatment option, as well as the risks and benefits of untreated psychiatric illness. She will provide support in making these sometimes difficult decisions, and attempt to answer any questions you have regarding all of your options.

Dr. Mathews is also available for follow-up visits to continue management of medications or assessment for need of medications throughout the remainder of your pregnancy and into the postpartum period. You may choose to continue to meet with Dr. Mathews until the time your baby has been discharged from CHOP. Following discharge, continued care may be available in Dr. Mathews' outpatient practice at the Penn Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness with locations in University City and Center City. She can also help connect you with an alternative option in your community.


Next Steps
Pregnant Mom and Child

Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment

The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment cares for women carrying babies with known birth defects, from diagnosis to fetal surgery to care after birth.

Pregnancy and Zika virus

Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit

CHOP’s Special Delivery Unit is the world’s first birth facility in a pediatric hospital specifically designed for mothers carrying babies with known birth defects.