Mental Health in the Childbearing Year



VIRTUAL SEMINAR | January 14, 2021 at 1 - 4:15 p.m. ET
Instructor: Gretchen Davidson, LICSW

CEs: 3 CEs for social workers and psychologists are available for $5 fee
Level: Intermediate

The childbearing year is a time of enormous physical, emotional and cultural transition. Many new parents report feeling overwhelmed, isolated, depressed and anxious. Some develop mood and anxiety disorders or are triggered into memories of past trauma during this time of change. Biases and injustice in the maternal healthcare system cause increased peril for women of color, particularly black women, who face maternal mortality rates three times that of white women. This course provides an overview of how, as clinicians, we can provide specialized support to parents during the emotional transitions of the childbearing year: from pregnancy through birth and into the postpartum period. We will cover psychiatric issues that manifest uniquely in the childbearing year, including perinatal loss, birth trauma, postpartum psychosis, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression. We will also examine how societal injustices can manifest in the individual experiences of our childbearing clients, with attention to supporting therapy clients as they navigate the maternal healthcare system.

Target Audience: 

Social workers and other social service providers

Course Delivery Method, Format and Instructor Interaction:

Synchronous, interactive virtual seminar with discussion

System Requirements:

Attendees will need access to a computer with working camera and microphone. All courses are offered using Zoom conferencing software and login information is sent shortly after registration. 

Registration Fees and Deadlines:

Early bird registration by November 20: $65

Regular registration  by January 12: $75 

CEs: 3 CEs for social workers and psychologists are available for $5 fee

Learning Objectives:

  1. List the tasks of emotional development associated with the different stages of the childbearing year.
  2. Describe how psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses manifest in the childbearing year.
  3. Explain current research on structural oppression and injustice in maternal healthcare 
  4. Describe how to support clients in navigating healthcare experiences. 
  5. Identify the basics of how to intervene with people experiencing acute psychiatric symptoms unique to the childbearing year.


1 - 2 :35 p.m. ET
Themes of psychological development in the childbearing year
External factors that affect perinatal psychological development
Internal factors that affect perinatal psychological development
2:35 - 2:45 p.m. ET​: Break 

2:45 - 4:15 p.m. ​ET
Maternity care provider relationships
Specific diagnoses in perinatal mental health
Treatment considerations

Instructor Biography:

Gretchen J. Davidson, LICSW is a psychotherapist in private practice in Conway, NH. She teaches courses in perinatal mental health, trauma and counseling skills at Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, Maine. She completed her master’s thesis on the experiences of survivors of sexual trauma in the childbearing year. In addition to meeting with individual clients, Davidson teaches and leads workshops around the Mount Washington Valley, always with a focus on helping people find their way to healing and wholeness.

Completion Requirements for Virtual Seminars

Virtual Seminars (referred to as live interactive webinars by ASWB) are live, synchronous, online courses held in Zoom meetings. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the virtual seminar. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the virtual seminar. For virtual seminars, participant attendance is tracked through Zoom, students are engaged throughout the online class utilizing their camera and/or microphone and participants must complete an evaluation. A link to the online evaluation will be emailed to participants within 24 hours of the conclusion of the course. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the evaluation for the virtual seminar, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of seminar completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on attendance and completion of the evaluation.

Continuing Education Credits and Accreditation

Social Work CE Credit: The Smith College School for Social Work, provider #1755, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. The Smith College School for Social Work maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 11/19/2020-11/19-2021. Social workers completing this course receive 3 continuing education credits. 

The Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School's Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Smith College School for Social Work, Office of Professional Education SW OPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0169. If outside these states, please contact your licensing board for accreditation information regarding your state. Association of Social Work Boards database of social work licensure requirements.

Psychology CE Credit: Co-sponsored training events for psychology CE credit with Smith College School for Social Work. Amego Prepare​ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Amego Prepare maintains responsibility for this program and its content.