Public Health Week
“Unpacking the Association between Stress During Pregnancy and Risk for Postpartum Depression”
Dr. Chris Burke, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
From physical strain to financial concerns to questioning one’s ability to be a good mother, pregnancy is a stressful time for many women. Research shows that higher levels of stress during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk for postpartum depression, but the reasons for this connection are not well understood. In this talk, Professor Burke presents two community-based longitudinal studies testing potential mechanisms. The first study investigates how negative reactivity to motherhood-related social support contributes to daily distress and postpartum depressive symptoms. The second study examines how two hormones – cortisol and estradiol – influence the carryover of distress from one day to the next during pregnancy and, in turn, postpartum depressive symptoms. Burke will finish by discussing plans for a third project aimed at understanding the stress of pregnancy from the perspective of women in the South Bethlehem community.
Bring your own lunch. Beverages and dessert provided.