Loading Events

Specificity of changes and importance of maternal well-being during pregnancy

  • This event has passed.

March 11, 2024 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am EDT

Pregnancy is accompanied by important physiological and affective changes due to strong hormonal surges. Among other things, pregnancy induces lasting changes in the mother’s brain structure and function; in particular, women lose grey matter. These important changes in the brain, which begin during pregnancy and persist for at least two years after delivery, are said to prepare the mother for the demands of caring for her baby. However, since these changes occur in the regions involved in social interactions, such as the perception and interpretation of the desires, emotions, intentions and moods of others or oneself, according to scientific research, these unique alterations can also affect fetal development. Children born to women who report perinatal anxiety (stress) or mood difficulties are twice as likely to experience mental health problems across childhood and into adolescence. Thus, how can it be explained that so little attention is paid to the specific mental health needs of women during pregnancy? The presentation will explore the specificity of biological changes occurring during pregnancy that can critically impact maternal and fetal well-being and development and provide a rationale for why perinatal mental health should be viewed as a public health priority.


Women’s Health Research Cluster
View Organizer Website