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Anxiety in the perinatal period is common and ranges from normative levels of concerns associated with adaptation to pregnancy and transition to parenthood, to severe and disabling anxieties which may disrupt this important transition and contribute to chronic stress and depression. Fears can relate to forthcoming parenthood, the reality of childbirth and infant care as well as the intrusive and disturbing thoughts seen in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
This session will outline the varied presentations of anxiety disorders in the perinatal period and discuss the situations where there is risk to both mother and fetus/baby. Clinical decision making is discussed and needs to incorporate an understanding of the impact of chronic anxiety on fetal development and birth outcomes and the disruption to emerging attachment.
Supporting women with anxiety in the perinatal period requires
- A comprehensive approach to assessment
- A formulation of risk and immediate needs for treatment
- And the use of both anxiety management and psychodynamic approaches.
Case studies will be used to illustrate these issues in practice.
About Dr Louise Newman
Dr Louise Newman is the Director of the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology at Monash University, Melbourne.
Louise is an Australian Developmental Psychiatrist and has a particular interest in the field of infant psychiatry where she specialises in working with parents with babies up to three years of age. These parents often have psychiatric difficulties themselves and the resulting transgenerational issues and impact of trauma on early development is one of her primary research interests. With research staff at Monash University, she is investigating the impact of interventions for high risk parents. In addition, Newman performs refugee research on school aged children investigating the impact of traumatic experiences both before they arrive in Australia and as refugees. She is a strong advocate for young refugees and works to highlight the damage that can be caused to young people by detention and the refugee experience in Australia.