C04 -​​ Update in Perinatal Mental Health: A West Coast Perspective​​ 

Friday, 23 October​​ 

13:30 – 16:45 (3 hrs plus 15 min break)

Deirdre Ryan*, MD, FRCPC; Tricia Bowering, MD,​​ FRCPC; Barbara Shulman, MD, FRCPC; Erin Smith, MD, FRCPC;​​ Shari Lusskin, MD​​ 


CanMEDS Roles:​​ 

  • Medical Expert​​ 

  • Health Advocate​​ 

  • Professional​​ 

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:​​ 1) Recognize the presentation of mental health conditions, including mood and anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorder, in the perinatal period; 2) Understand why early diagnosis and treatment of mothers improves outcomes in their children; and 3) Become familiar with​​ pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options.​​ 

This updated course provides a comprehensive overview of research updates and current clinical guidelines in major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder [GAD], panic disorder [PD]), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders during pregnancy and postpartum. We will discuss pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments (psychotherapies such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy [CT], CBT, and interpersonal therapy [IPT]); and mother-baby attachment issues. Our course, revisions include recent studies addressing the management of women with bipolar disorders during pregnancy and postpartum. This​​ course is interactive and the audience is encouraged to bring forward their complex patient scenarios or case vignettes for discussion. The course handouts are specifically designed to update the audience on the cutting edge knowledge in this subspecialty.​​ This course will empower the audience to be confident about treating various aspects of pregnancy-related and postpartum mood disorders. Special attention will be paid to prescribing psychotropic medications in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. New studies with regards to non-pharmacological options will be discussed in depth.



  • Meltzer-Broady S. New insights into perinatal depression: pathogenesis and treatment during pregnancy and postpartum. Dialogues Clin Neurosci 2011;13:89–100.

  • Bergink V, Rasgon N, Wisner KL. Postpartum psychosis: madness, mania, and melancholia in motherhood. Am J Psychiatry 2016;173:12.


/ Virtual Conference 2020