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Diagnosing and Treating Postpartum Mood Disorders

OnDemand Webinar (83 minutes)

Perinatal depression occurs in up to 20 percent of antenatal and postpartum women with deleterious consequences to the woman, infant and family. Untreated maternal mood disorders can lead to chronic depression, behavioral and learning disturbances for the child, lack of maternal child bonding, and in extreme cases the suicide of the mother or infanticide of the infant. Yet the majority of these illnesses remain undiagnosed and untreated as clinicians are not trained to recognize, assess and treat the distinct presentations of perinatal mood disorders. The stigma associated with maternal mental illness creates further barriers to treatment as mothers are fearful of harsh societal judgement or agency interference in family or child raising issues. Often referred to as "the number one complication of pregnancy", these highly treatable illnesses have become a major public health issue, generating great national attention over the last decade which has also resulted in federal legislation calling for further research and the award of grants to programs which respond to this crisis. In this OnDemand Webinar, you will learn about the incidence of perinatal mood disorders, their symptoms, presentations and methods of assessment and treatment.

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to discuss postpartum depression.
  • You will be able to identify clinical symptoms.
  • You will be able to review treatments for postpartum depression.


Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW, Blue Skye Consulting LLC


Overview of Postpartum Depression

• Incidence and Current Status of Legislative Initiatives

• Symptoms

• Diagnostic Spectrum

Assessing/ Diagnosing Postpartum Depression

• Formal Measures

• Clinical Symptoms

• Associated Biopsychosocial Stressors

Treatments for Postpartum Depression

• Treatment Modalities - Individual and Group Psychotherapy

• Peer Support, Warmlines and Developing Community Networks

• Complementary Treatments