Dr Adaobi Udechuku is an Australian perinatal psychiatrist based in Berwick, Melbourne, who has been involved in perinatal mental health for over 20 years.
Attending Trinity College, Dr Udechuku obtained her medical degree at Melbourne University. She is a Fellow of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College Psychiatrists (RANZCP), completing her psychiatry fellowship at two of Melbourne’s centres of excellence in perinatal mental health – Austin Health Parent Infant Unit and Mercy Hospital for Women.
Prior to founding GLOW Clinic with Dr Smith, Dr Udechuku and colleagues, established the Austin Health perinatal and infant mental health initiative (pimhi) – one of 3 in the State and a Victorian first in community based perinatal and infant mental health. In 2007 she joined The Raphael Centre Berwick as consultant perinatal psychiatrist and was appointed Co-clinical Director with Dr Smith in 2012.
Dr Udechuku was awarded an RANZCP Block Family Memorial Scholarship and A Sisters of St John of God Fellowship. With these grants she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Infant and Parent Mental Health at Melbourne University and training in Watch Wait and Wonder and Circle of Security Parent-Infant Therapies.
Dr Udechuku has held leadership positions in the perinatal psychiatry field including Executive Committee Member of the Australasian Marce Society, Chair of St John of God Raphael Centre Clinical Leadership Committee and Executive Committee member of The RANZCP Section for Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry.
Dr Udechuku’s commitment to perinatal emotional health has led her to publish, present and facilitate workshops to a broad range of health professionals including international and national conferences and the Melbourne University Masters of Psychiatry Program.
At my very core, I am a clinician. Caring for parents and their infants at this vulnerable time is the most humbling and rewarding work of my career.
I have been awestruck by the determination and courage of mothers, fathers and partners that simply want the best for their baby, and each other. Then there are the infants, who through their playfulness and non-verbal communication have the power to show their parents just what they need. I wanted to create a unique space, where families feel welcomed and supported, and wellbeing and wellness are a priority. For me, GLOW is about well parent, well infant, well communities and well futures. It’s that simple.
My approach continues to evolve. I am a life-long learner expanding my knowledge to ensure that the care I can offer is based on best practice. I take a holistic and integrated approach, with a focus on early identification and prevention. Strengthening the parent-infant relationship is a particular interest. There is pure magic in the simplicity of getting down on the floor with parents and their infants, supporting them to experience joy, playfulness and understanding in their relationship – sometimes for the very first time.
I try to understand each parent as unique, and tailor my approach accordingly. I offer a range of psychotherapies, and when required, medication management. Increasingly, my goal is to first optimise wellbeing through nutrition and stress reduction practices such as mindfulness and exercise.
Away from work, I attend to my own wellbeing through regular yoga practice, mindfulness and a wholefood approach to nutrition. Giving back is important to me so I volunteer my time as an Incubate Foundation mentor for African- Australian University students.
Finally but fundamentally, I am a mother of two, a wife of one and a sister, cousin and aunt of many. I take great joy in exploring the world with my family – in the snow, water, savannah and rainforests.
It is with great anticipation and pride that along with Lucinda, we introduce GLOW to the perinatal and infant emotional health landscape. Welcome to GLOW!