Pregnancy and the Mind: Exploring the triad of caregiver, mother, and fetus
The very first Trainee Research Symposium, hosted by the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, took place on November 6th, 2015 at the Shaughnessy Auditorium at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. 4 This Trainee-led event came to fruition under the collaborative efforts of trainees from various disciplines and backgrounds including, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Translational Psychiatric Genetics, Gynaecologic Specialties and Medical Genetics.
The symposium attracted 59 participants (clinicians, researchers and trainees) from multiple fields in the clinical and basic sciences.
We were very fortunate to have a guest speaker from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Lynn M. Yee, who shared her research “Obstetrician cognitive traits: Relationships to perinatal decision making and outcomes”.
Dr. Nichole Fairbrother also joined us from Victoria’s Department of Psychiatry and the Island Medical Program to share her work on the CFQ: A new, multidimensional measure of fear of childbirth.
Dr. Agnete Overgaard from the Department of Psychology, UBC and Neurobiology Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet shared her fascinating translational work on animal models of postpartum depression.
Dr. Deirdre Ryan from the Reproductive Mental Health Program, British Columbia’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital, spoke about depression in the perinatal period.
Dr. Whitney Weikum shared her very interactive presentation on infant language development in relation to prenatal exposure to antidepressants and maternal depression.
Finally, Dr. Kelly B. Smith, shared her work on pregnancy and childbirth among women with chronic genital pain – a burgeoning field of research.
We also had three trainee oral presentations that were evaluated by a panel of our speakers (Dr. Lynn M. Yee, Dr. Agnete Overgaard and Dr. Whitney Weikum):
- Strategies Used by Physicians to Exam Pregnant Women with Vulvodynia – presented by Emily Weeks, University of British Columbia
- Does a negative prenatal genetic screen result impact maternal-fetal bonding? – presented by Catriona Hippman
- The Mother-Infant Wellness Project: PHASE II – New Mothers’ Thoughts of Harm: Prevalence and relation to OCD and child harm – presented by Angela Cooper and Madeline Nealis
Emily Weeks was awarded the Trainee Oral Presentation Award based on her scores for quality of oral presentation and slides, response to questions and originality. Congratulations to Emily on a well-conducted and well-presented study!
The trainee symposium would not have been possible without the support of:
- Women’s Health Research Institute
- Child and Family Research Institute Research Education Program
- Child and Family Research Institute M.I.N.D. theme
- Child and Family Research Institute Healthy Starts theme
We are grateful for their support and to all the speakers and attendees for making the event such a success!
It was a great day that fostered collaboration between trainees, investigators, and clinicians from many different backgrounds towards the common goal of improved maternal-fetal health through translational research. We hope that this will be the beginning of an annual tradition and strengthened connections.