Maternal Mental Health Care

Course Fee R799.00

What is this course about?

This course is designed to teach the basic principles of maternal health care. The course will teach learners to appreciate the importance of maternal health and to identify the risk factors and symptoms of psychiatric disorders during the perinatal time. The course includes a brief discussion about the impact of maternal mental health on infant development and health. Finally an overview of treatment options will be discussed. The course aims to assist those employed in primary healthcare positions, for example breastfeeding councilors, to improve the wellbeing of mothers and mothers to be as well as their babies, children and partners.

Who should be doing this course?

This course aims to increase general knowledge of maternal mental health. The symptoms of maternal illness, it’s impact on mothers and their families and basic treatment concepts will be discussed. This course will help anyone who wants to pursue a career that involves contact with pregnant women, young mothers and children. These jobs may include primary healthcare workers such as midwifes, breastfeeding consultants or anyone concerned with childcare e.g. creche carers. Women in their reproductive years will be empowered by the knowledge presented in this course.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Learners will be able to define maternal Mental health
  • Learners will be able to discuss the importance of Maternal Mental health
  • Name risk factors for developing mental illness
  • List symptoms of different psychiatric disorders
  • Explain the impact of maternal Mental illness on pregnancy health and outcomes
  • Explain the impact of maternal Mental illness on child health
  • Implement basic screening tools

How is your course mark calculated?

Your course mark is calculated using the average mark obtained in each of the Chapter tests. In order to pass this course, you must obtain a final course mark of at least 50%. This means that even if you fail a few of the chapter tests, if your test marks in the other chapter tests are high enough you will still be able to pass the course. Good Luck!

Study at your own pace!

We’ve created our courses to suit your busy life! The duration of this course is based on a student guide where one 300 – 500 word article is read per day, and the assessment is done on a separate day after the relevant articles have been reviewed. But you can do the course in your own time and at your own pace. If you choose to do two readings per day, it will take you half of the estimated time, four readings per day means doing the course in a quarter of the time etc. We leave that decision up to you! 

In the 4 chapters of this course you'll be covering the following areas:

CHAPTER 1 Introduction and background to maternal mental health
CHAPTER 2 Consequences of untreated maternal mental health
CHAPTER 3 Recognizing maternal mental health issues
CHAPTER 4 Managing maternal mental health illness

Dr Elsa du Toit


Dr du Toit obtained her MBChB degree in 1999 at the University of Stellenbosch. After she worked as a General Practitioner for 4 years she started to work in the field of psychiatry, first as a research assistant and later as a Medical Officer. She obtained a BSc Psychology Honours degree (cum laude) at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2011 she received a Mmed Psychiatry degree (US) and FCPsych (Colleges of Medicine). Dr du Toit started private practice at the Panorama Psychiatry Centre the same year and founded the Sophia Perinatal Psychiatry Clinic in 2012. She also continued her work as a consultant psychiatrist at Stikland Hospital’s Maternal Mental Health Clinic. Dr du Toit believes that good maternal mental health is key to create healthy future generations.

Professor Dana Niehaus


Not sure if this is the right course for you?

Let one of your career counselors help you make the right choice.

Related Courses

Understanding HIV and AIDS

Convener: Anne Lebethe Mabena

This course is designed to teach some the basic principles surrounding HIV and AIDS. Although HIV and AIDS have been around for over forty (40) years, there is still a lot...
read more

Practical Stress Management

Convener: Dr Arien van der Merwe

This course includes an eBook and relaxation soundtrack when you download the course notes! This course is designed to teach the basic principles of stress management and...
read more

Beginner Home Workouts Part 1

Convener: Anri van der Merwe

Exercise is probably the most effective lifestyle adaptation that there is. Exercise enhances health by improving quality of life, while lowering the risk of developing chronic...
read more

Ways to Health and Wellness

Convener: Dr Arien van der Merwe

The primary purpose of this course is to provide education and support which will enhance positive, health-enhancing behaviours, while decreasing negative, risky,...
read more

Working As A Community Healthcare Worker

Convener: Maura Lappeman

This course is designed to introduce the learner to the world of the Community Health Worker (CHW). Since health care in South Africa impacts a broad range of contexts and...
read more