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APPPAH Live! Exploring Birth Psychology with Suzanne King, PhD

February 21 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Water and Ice: How Prenatal Exposure to a Natural Disaster Influences the Pregnancy, the Mother, and the Infant               

In this presentation, I will introduce the audience to the concept of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), and to the field of study on prenatal maternal stress (PNMS). By randomly assign pregnant laboratory animals to varying degrees of stress, and at varying times in gestation, basic science researchers find that PNMS impacts many different realms of development in the offspring: physical, cognitive, behavioral and motor. However, PNMS research in humans is challenged by the impossibility of controlling stressful conditions for random samples of pregnant women in an experimental setting. Since the 1998 Quebec ice storm, I have used this and other natural disasters to approximate the experimental control available to basic scientists in order to better understand the biopsychosocial dynamics of PNMS in humans. I will describe our research methods, and present the results from our “natural experiments” that shed light on the effects of PNMS on the unborn child, on the mechanisms of those effects, and on risk and protective factors operating before and after the birth.

Suzanne King, PhD is a research psychologist. The primary objective of her research is to increase understanding of the effects of prenatal maternal stress on the cognitive, behavioral, physical, and motor development of the unborn child. Her work is unique in the use of five natural disasters (ice storm, floods, wildfire) as quasi-random stressors, approximating the experimental method used in animal research. Her unique psychosocial methods assess objective, subjective, and cognitive aspects of women’s stress experience.



Register for APPPAH Live  To attend this event, please Register to receive the APPPAH Live: Exploring Birth Psychology email notices. This is a free one-time registration and then you will receive weekly emails of our sessions with links to join on zoom for free. The APPPAH Live Library of recordings is available to view anytime for APPPAH members at the premier membership level. Become a member here.

Zoom Link  You can use this link to join us live on Zoom on Monday, February 21st at noon eastern


February 21
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Event Category:
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