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Let's Talk About Women

Let's Talk About Psycho-Neuro-Immunology in Pregnancy

Ep. 8

In this episode we talk about one of the major transition periods many women will undergo throughout their life: pregnancy. How does the field of psych-neuro-immunology help us to understand pregnancy and related mental health problems?  


From Uppsala in Sweden, PhD Candidate Franziska Weinmar is interviewing Dr. Emma Fransson, a child psychologist and associate professor at Uppsala University and at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. 

Emma’s research focuses on mental and reproductive health, specifically in identifying biomarkers for pregnancy-related complications. These include mental health problems such as postpartum depression, which is affecting up to one in five women after giving birth.  


Dive with us into the interactions of the immune system, the brain, and psychological wellbeing, as we outline what is happening during pregnancy, what makes some women vulnerable for depression associated to pregnancy, and how we can use this information in the future. 


Timestamps:

01:30 What happens during pregnancy? 

05:10 What is “psycho-neuro-immunology”?

07:35 Pregnancy as a psycho-neuro-immunological transition phase 

09:05 What factors contribute to postpartum depression? 

11:55 Major depression and postpartum depression: Differences and subtypes? 

14:50 Inflammatory markers during pregnancy: Risk for postpartum depression?

18:15 Predictive markers for postpartum depression? 

20:40 Screening and prediction of depressive symptoms across the postpartum period 

25:45 Preventive approaches of postpartum depression: Using psycho-neuro-immunology.

29:18 What do we know about the pregnant brain? 

33:24 How does postpartum depression affect the child?     

36:36 Summary

38:33 What is the next big step for research in psychoneuroimmunology during pregnancy, especially when considering pregnancy-related mental health? 


Thanks to Hanna Wierenga for exchanging ideas in preparation of this episode!

Sound recording: Recording Studio Blasenhus, Uppsala University 

Editing: Franziska Weinmar with support from Andreas Forsberg (Recording Studio Blasenhus, Uppsala University) 


Do you have any feedback, suggestions, or questions? Get in touch with us: irtg2804.podcast@gmail.com

Are you intrigued by this topic and want to be kept updated? Follow us on twitter: @irtg2804 or instagram: @irtg2804

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