Department of Psychiatry

at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

Perinatal Psychiatry

In the Department of Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, pregnant and postpartum women can now be admitted to our inpatient psychiatric unit where they can be cared for by a specialized team of providers, led by Dr. Marcela Almeida, who focus on perinatal depression. Our perinatal beds are embedded in our 24-bed locked general inpatient psychiatric unit.

Part of the Women’s Mental Health and Reproductive Psychiatry Division, the new perinatal inpatient psychiatry program is designed specifically with the needs of pregnant women (up to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy) and postpartum women (any time after giving birth) in mind. As the only such service in Massachusetts, the program features a specialized multidisciplinary team approach that includes a perinatal psychiatrist, psychologists, social workers, occupational and recreational therapists, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians and spiritual counselors. The goal is to identify each woman’s specific needs when creating a personalized treatment plan to help them and their families during the critical periods of pregnancy and postpartum, with special focus in bonding and attachment, motherhood transition and family dynamics.

For patients admitted to the program, that means meeting as a group to discuss recent events and goals for the day and to become familiar with the staff, other patients and unit structure. Then, patients are assigned to various psychotherapy groups and occupational/recreational therapy activities, including:

  • Life Skills
  • Managing Stress
  • Exercise
  • Pet Therapy
  • Relaxation
  • Peer Support
  • Expressive Therapies
  • Medication
  • Self-Esteem
  • Focus Groups
  • Spiritual Groups
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Self-Expression
  • Mindfulness/Meditation
  • Thoughts, Emotions and Behaviors
  • Yoga for Women

Patients are seen individually by their assigned physician and have an opportunity to have a comprehensive discussion about medication options during pregnancy and lactation. All pregnant patients receive consultation by BWFH’s Chief of the Division of Gynecology James Greenberg, MD, and nutrition and lactation consultations are provided when applicable. A social worker or case manager will connect the patient with a personalized outpatient care plan after discharge.

Visiting Hours

We realize how important family involvement is during this crucial period and are pleased to offer extended visiting hours (Monday through Friday from 12 noon to 1 pm and 4 to 8 pm; weekends and holidays from 12 noon to 8 pm). We’re also happy to make special accommodations to maximize time with partners and children, particularly visitations with the newborn.

Meals are provided, but family and friends are welcome to bring outside food.

Phone and Computer Access

The inpatient unit has a computer for patients to access websites and check in with family via email. A phone is provided in each room and iPads are allowed for calls to allow for maximum mother-baby interaction and a more positive inpatient experience. Cell phone use is limited. Cell phones may be brought to the unit for purposes of retrieving phone numbers. Cell phone use on the unit is restricted due to camera functionality and to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of other patients. Cell phone use is allowed during Media Group twice daily. Please leave anything of value at home so it will not be lost or stolen. The hospital is not responsible for lost or stolen items.


Providers should contact Dr. Marcela Almeida at regarding potential referrals. Providers may also call our Psychiatry Triage main line at 617-983-7060 regarding referrals or to confirm if their patient's insurance is accepted.


Offering comprehensive medical, surgical and psychiatric care as well as complete emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services to residents of southwest Boston and the surrounding suburbs.