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Parental Brain Plasticity: Implications for Peripartum Mental Illness

  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 R-CERP, 0.1 Midwifery CEU
  • Handout: No

The parent-child relationship has a profound impact on society, yet our knowledge of neurobiological processes mediating the parent - child relationship are limited. We know that the transition to parenting is marked by pronounced effects on the physiology, neurobiology and behavior of the new parent. These effects are most pronounced in the mother during pregnancy and postpartum but are also evident in new fathers and are set in place to ensure that offspring survive. Unfortunately, during reproductive years, up to 20% of women around the globe will suffer from a perinatal mental illness, such as perinatal depression. These mental illnesses can markedly affect the brain, behavior and physiology of the mother and child and we have yet to determine how to effectively treat and ultimately treat these disorders. This presentation will provide a summary of the neurobiology of parenting and what we know about changes in the parental brain with mental illness. A discussion of treatment effects will also be provided. With increased research and awareness of the neurobiology of parenting we will be able to promote the health and well-being of mother and child.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how the brain changes with the transition to parenthood

Discuss how peripartum mental illness can affect these brain changes

Discuss how treatments for peripartum mood and anxiety disorders affect the parental brain
Presentations: 15  |  Hours / CE Credits: 13.5  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks