The Rhode Island Maternal Psychiatry Resource Network (RI MomsPRN) is a free psychiatric telephone consultation service for health care providers who treat pregnant and postpartum women. RI MomsPRN is a collaborative project between the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and Women & Infants Center for Women’s Behavioral Health, funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). It was established to build the capacity of providers to screen for behavioral health and substance use disorders in their pregnant and postpartum patients, and respond with appropriate treatment and referral.
The program is modeled after Rhode Island’s successful Pediatric Psychiatry Resource Network (PediPRN) and similarly offers real-time perinatal psychiatric telephone consultation and resource/referral services to obstetricians, midwives, general practitioners, pediatricians, or any provider who encounters pregnant and postpartum women. The goal is to empower providers to effectively manage their perinatal patients’ behavioral health and substance use concerns, by initially providing treatment guidance from RI MomsPRN perinatal psychiatric specialists, and/or offering information and referral for additional supports and services in their patients’ geographic area.
Up to one in five women in Rhode Island suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder during their pregnancy or postpartum, making it the most common medical complication of childbirth. Health care providers often discontinue or delay psychiatric medication in their pregnant or breastfeeding patients due to concerns about medication safety. RI MomsPRN specialists are available to provide real-time medication consultation and guidance, thus promoting high-quality care and improving healthy maternal and infant outcomes.
There is also growing evidence that perinatal substance use is increasing. Gone untreated, these complications can have long-lasting negative impacts on both mom and baby, including low birth weight, impaired mother-infant attachment, and cognitive and behavioral impairments during the child’s development. They can also negatively impact the relationship and mental health of partners, compounding the effects on the whole family.
Perinatal mood and substance use disorders are highly treatable. Rhode Island has a robust community of perinatal mental health experts and the unique programming of the Women’s Behavioral Health department and Day Hospital at Women & Infants. Still, there is a shortage in availability of specialized providers.
RI MomsPRN seeks to fill this need by offering education, guidance and support to build front-line prenatal and primary care providers' confidence in treating mild to moderate cases of perinatal mood complications, thus allowing specialty resources to be devoted to high-risk women with more complex conditions.
Health care providers can call RI MomsPRN at (401) 430-2800 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your call will be answered by a Perinatal Clinical Social Worker who will gather information to assess and triage your patient’s needs and help determine the best next steps. This could include a same-day telephone consultation with a RI MomsPRN Perinatal Psychiatrist, referral for an in-person evaluation with a perinatal mental health specialist, referral to a community-based support group or perinatal therapist, or other case-dependent resources.
For a list of specific patient information we recommend having when making a call to RI MomsPRN, see our helpful hints for calling RI MomsPRN.
Support with screening
A critical mission of RI MomsPRN is to increase screening for mental health and substance use disorders at all perinatal and pediatric care sites across the state. For practices that are interested in a more intensive engagement with RI MomsPRN, funding may be available through the Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island (CTC-RI) to support a quality improvement project at your practice, focused on implementing or enhancing screening for perinatal depression, anxiety and substance use. Interested practices may contact us by calling (401) 430-2800 to find out if they are eligible.
RI MomsPRN can support you and your practice through educational presentations and trainings. If you would like to request an in-person presentation or training, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Providers and/or their support staff can call RI MomsPRN at (401) 430-2800, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays. In the rare event that we are on the line assisting another provider when you call, please leave a message with your name and callback phone number and your call will be returned promptly.
No, RI MomsPRN is not a crisis service. If your patient is experiencing an acute psychiatric emergency, please follow your practice’s emergency protocol.
Any health care provider who encounters pregnant and postpartum patients can utilize this free service. Obstetricians, midwives, nurse practitioners, family practitioners, general psychiatrists, primary care physicians, and pediatricians are all welcome to call RI MomsPRN. Please note that providers can also have their office support staff call with a provider’s inquiry and call-back info, and the Resource & Referral Specialist will arrange a call-back to the provider directly. For a list of specific patient information we recommend having when making a call to RI MomsPRN, see our helpful hints for calling RI MomsPRN.
Your call will be answered by the RI MomsPRN Resource & Referral Specialist. Basic information, reason for contact, and direct call-back number will be collected. Depending on your question, the Resource & Referral Specialist may be able to answer you on the spot, or provide information and referral to local perinatal supports and services for your patient. If an MD teleconsultation is indicated, the Resource & Referral Specialist will facilitate a call-back from a perinatal psychiatrist, who will provide case-based consultation.