The UCSD Maternal Mental Health Clinic was created in 2007 to address the mental health needs of women.  The clinic provides comprehensive mental health care to women with depression, anxiety and other emotional concerns during times of reproductive transition.

Specific areas of focus include:

  • Preconception planning
  • Pregnancy and postpartum
  • Pregnancy loss and infertility
  • Premenstrual mood disorders

Services provided range from single-visit consultations to ongoing medication management and psychotherapy.  When medication is given before, during or after pregnancy, we pay specific attention to discussing the risks and benefits of each treatment during pregnancy and the postpartum, and decide on a treatment plan with you.

Common questions we address during care include:

  • Is it safe to keep taking my medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
  • What is my risk for postpartum depression or anxiety, and how can I prevent it?
  • How can I manage my depression or anxiety without medication?
  • How do I cope with infertility or pregnancy loss?
  • What can I do about mood swings or irritability around my period?

Therapists use a wide variety of techniques to help women recover from illness and maintain health.  We also work closely with other doctors and health care providers throughout the community to coordinate care during infertility, pregnancy and the postpartum.
Clinicians include:

maternalclinial Katie Hirst, MD, Director
Dr. Hirst completed training in both Family Medicine and Psychiatry at UCSD.  All patients have consultations with Dr. Hirst for the initial creation of a treatment plan.

Cynthia Gomes, PhD
Dr. Gomes has specialized training in behavioral medicine, mood regulation and mindfulness.  She has been working with maternal mental health concerns for 8 years.

Caroline Stewart, LCSW
Ms. Stewart has over 20 years of experience providing therapy to women dealing with issues of infertility, pregnancy loss, depression and anxiety.

We are located near the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, at UCSD Outpatient Psychiatric Services.

Further information on Women’s Mental Health issues can be found at:

Pregnancy and Postpartum:
MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health
Postpartum Health Alliance
Postpartum Support International
California Teratogen Information Service

University of Wisconsin, Facts for Health

Reproductive Psychology




University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0603 La Jolla, CA 92037-0603
Telephone: (858) 534-3684, Fax: (858) 534-7653, Electronic Mail: