This recording of a virtual conference will reveal fascinating insights into inter-generational perinatal mental health. Chaired by Professor Vivette Glover, this symposium brings together international experts to discuss mental health matters for parents and their babies, giving updates on the latest research including global implications.

The programme will be of interest to all those who care for women in the perinatal period including health visitors, midwives, obstetricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs and paediatricians, as well as researchers and commissioners. The conference will cover anxiety in the perinatal period and how best to deal with it, the role of fathers, and the impact of prenatal stress, anxiety and depression, and the impact of Covid-19. The conference consists of eight speakers, and a recording of the two live question and answer sessions that took place on 11th June 2020, you will have access to the conference materials until 11 June 2021.

Register to access Begin Before Birth that took place live on Thursday 11 June 2020. Costs are £80 for consultants and £64 for all other attendees from high income countries, and £15 for attendees from lower and middle income countries.

Begin Before Birth: Programme

09:50 Welcome Introduction, Professor Vivette Glover, Imperial College London

10:00 The range of perinatal mental illnesses; so much more than postnatal depression, Dr Claire Wilson, Kings College London

10:30 Perinatal anxiety and what should we do about it, Dr Fiona Challacombe, Kings College London

11:00 The Life of Dad; the transition to fatherhood, Dr Anna Machin, Oxford University

11:30 Giving birth and PTSD, Professor Susan Ayers, City, University London

12:00 Discussion with speakers and questions from audience

12:40 Break (20 Minutes)

13:00 How antenatal stress and depression can affect the baby’s brain; evidence from MRI,Dr Michael Craig, Kings College London

13:30 Global implications-and how music can help, Professor Vivette Glover, Imperial College London

14:00 Perinatal mental health in the time of Covid-19, Professor Louise Howard, Kings College London

14:30 Perinatal mental health in the time of Covid-19: The view from New York – Dr Catherine Monk, Columbia University

15:00 Discussion with speakers and questions from audience

15:30 Ends

Click here to download the Begin Before Birth Programme as a PDF.


We will cover a range of the mental health problems that can affect women in the perinatal period including, anxiety and PTSD, and offer some suggestions for treatment.

Anna Machin, an evolutionary anthropologist, will explore the science and anthropology of modern fatherhood.

Michael Craig will discuss the latest scientific evidence about how antenatal stress and depression can alter the development of the baby’s brain.

Vivette Glover will discuss how music may help. We will finish with a discussion of perinatal mental health in the time of Covid-19 with Louise Howard from the UK and Catherine Monk from New York.

Conference Chair: Professor Vivette Glove

Professor Vivette Glover is an international expert on the effect of the mother’s emotional state in pregnancy on the development of the fetus and her child. She is Professor of Perinatal Psychobiology at Imperial College London.


She originally studied biochemistry at Oxford and did her PhD at University College London. In 1975 she came to work at Queen Charlotte’s, and developed an interest in biological psychiatry in relation to pregnancy and the postnatal period. In more recent years she has focused especially on the effect of the mother’s mood on fetal development. She has over 500 publications, and is invited to speak, including giving the keynote address, at meetings around the world.

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