CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Professionals at the University of Virginia Health System say pregnancy and the early months of motherhood are when mental-health conditions could develop for some women.

The hospital has now launched an outpatient mental health clinic that specializes in caring for women during their pregnancy and after childbirth.

The Perinatal Mood Disorders Clinic has grown out of a partnership between the School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences that aims to help mothers and mothers-to-be.

Dr. Jennifer Payne, who leads the clinic, led a study that found 6.5 percent of mothers between the ages of 35 and 39 have reported having postpartum depression symptoms.

"A lot of moms will get the message that they should muscle through a pregnancy or not take medication or treat their psychiatric illness when study after study has shown that mom being psychiatrically ill during pregnancy increases negative outcomes for the pregnancy and for the child," she said.

Among mothers between the ages of 18 and 24, up to 10 percent reported experiencing postpartum depression symptoms, while 6.9 percent of women over the age of 40 did.

The new clinic is for patients who are currently pregnant or who have given birth within the last year.

For women who want to become pregnant but have concerns about the psychiatric medications they take, members of the clinical team can also provide on-time pre-pregnancy consults.

Patients can currently make appointments for Tuesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.

The clinic plans to add more appointment times in the future.

To make an appointment, call (434) 243-4646.