Pregnancy, Postpartum & Bipolar Disorder

Genetic counsellor Dr. Catriona Hippman (University of British Columbia), and mother of twins Keri Guelke discuss managing mental health during pregnancy/postpartum period, protective factors, and how pregnancy can affect bipolar disorder.

Hosted by Dr. Erin Michalak.

Dr. Catriona Hippman is a mother of two boys, a certified genetic counsellor specializing in mental health, and a research fellow in reproductive and infant psychiatry at BC Children’s Hospital. Her doctoral work focused on how to support women in deciding on how to care for their mental health during pregnancy. In her fellowship, she has worked on an environmental scan of current infrastructure in support of perinatal mental health screening and care across Canada, a scoping review of the virtual delivery of interventions to support infant mental health, updates to the BC Reproductive Mental Health guidelines, and a Canadian guideline for perinatal mental health screening and care. In August, she will be starting a second fellowship with the University of Calgary and her work there will aim to elucidate strategies best suited to the Canadian context for the care of women experiencing acute postpartum mental illness, through parallel lines of both qualitative and quantitative inquiry into Canadian and international experiences. 

Keri Guelke is a mother of twins who was born, raised and currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 16. She has had three hospitalizations and five manic and depressive episodes. Keri has been working as an Outreach worker with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) for the last eleven years. She works with people who have been diagnosed with substance use disorder and/or a mental health disorder, HIV and are experiencing barriers to care. She has also worked with the Overdose Outreach Team. In the past few years, her work has included supporting pregnant women diagnosed with substance use disorder. She recently completed a Master of Public Policy and Social Administration: Social Change Leadership. She feels strongly about the need to change Canada’s drug laws.

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