The Reproductive Psychology Program has been a professional goal of mine for a long time. My maternal grandparents were both physicians; My grandfather was an OBGYN and my grandmother was a pediatrician. In the 1980’s, at the height of their practice, they turned half of their large city apartment into an outpatient clinic. I remember going to visit and watching the women and new mothers come and go all day long. Some were pregnant, some had newborns, many had multiple children. These women mostly looked happy. Overwhelmed, perhaps, but happy. Some were crying. Some looked distressed. I wondered to myself, did anyone ask them how they are feeling?
As I matured and noticed how the medical system worked (for myself personally, but also as I volunteered in hospital and clinics), I realized that care was very siloed. I thought that this was far from ideal for reproductive aged women. As I started to learn about psychology in my high school senior year elective and later volunteered at a Crisis Center, I considered how damaging this isolated medical care could be for new families. After college when I decided to pursue graduate school in clinical psychology and focus on women’s mental health, I was exposed to evidence from decades of research that everyone benefits from the integration of behavioral health and primary care services (like OBGYN) which improves patient care and outcomes.
In September 2019 I started seeing patients for individual cognitive behavioral therapy one day a week in my new Reproductive Psychology Clinic at Cedars Sinai. This clinic is integrated into the Prenatal Diagnostic Center at Cedars, where women at higher risk for adverse perinatal outcomes are seen by Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists. These women are also at highest risk for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I was a one woman show at first, but the first year showed us that many women need these services and the clinic has since grown!
I am delighted to be working with several excellent mental health providers: Dr. Sinmi Bamgbose, MD is our Reproductive Psychiatry Consultant, Caryn Lindsey, LCSW, is our licensed clinical social worker, group therapist and patient navigator and Marie Chuldzhyan, MS, MA, facilitates our two support groups (infertility and perinatal grief and loss). Although individual and group psychotherapy are only available to California residents, these two support groups are open to women throughout the USA!
Click HERE to read more about our services on our website and click HERE to read the full press release.
Our goal is to reach pregnant and postpartum women with evidence-based psychological interventions as well as prevention through education, screening and early referral to care! When needed, our consultation psychiatrist works directly with our patients' medical providers (OBGYN) to make psychotropic medication recommendations.
Patients and providers are invited to register for our FREE virtual open house. We have one every first Monday of the month at 4:30 PM Pacific time. Please click HERE for registration information. We are looking forward to meeting you soon!
Dr. Accortt in the News
October 2020: The Candidly, PMDD Affects Millions Of Women. So Why Aren’t We Talking About It?
October 2020: Cedars-Sinai Discoveries Magazine, A Real-Life Stress Test
July 2020: Cedars Sinai Newsroom, Reproductive Psychology Program Focuses on Mother and Family Wellness
May 2020: Hawaii News Now, Sunrise, How to Prevent Anxiety & Depression Before and After Giving Birth
April 2020: The Bump, How to Spot Postpartum Depression in Your Partner or Friend
12/3/19: Quartz, Ten questions about mothers’ mental health could promote resilient pregnancies
5/10/19: CGTN America, US comedian uses her act to turn the spotlight on postpartum depression
5/1/19: KTLA News, How One Comedian’s Battle With Postpartum Depression Turned Laughs Into Legislation
3/20/19: KFI News Radio, FDA Approves First Drug for PPD, Brexanolone (Zulresso)
Winter 2019: Cedars-Sinai Discoveries Magazine, Stop The Stigma
9/11/18: USC Center for Health Journalism, Cedars-Sinai PPD Screening Program May be Model for State
Summer 2018: Cedars-Sinai Catalyst Magazine, The Helping Hand of Los Angeles Funds Postpartum Depression Screening Program, scroll down to page 40 of magazine
5/18/18: TODAY.com, Alyssa Milano on Postpartum Anxiety
5/3/18: Cedars-Sinai Maternal Mental Health Research
10/19/17: Cedars-Sinai Postpartum Depression Screening Program
3/24/17: MomCo. App for Social Support
Dr. Accortt is a California licensed clinical psychologist. When she isn't seeing patients in private practice she conducts research in the OBGYN department at Cedars-Sinai. She will update this page with important maternal mental health news and research.