Pregnancy & Bipolar Disorder

Childbirth is one of the most powerful triggers we know for episodes of bipolar disorder. Women with bipolar disorder face very difficult decisions around starting a family and with regard to continuing medication in pregnancy. In this talk Professor Ian Jones will discuss what is known about the link between bipolar disorder and childbirth and what we still need to find out. He will talk through what all bipolar women should consider when planning pregnancy or if they become pregnant. Finally he will discuss what research is underway to help us better understand postpartum episodes and consider where this work may be taking us in the future.


Ian Jones is Professor of Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University. He is Director of Clinical training at the Cardiff MRC Centre in Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and leads the Centre’s innovative public engagement programme. He is Deputy Director of the National Centre for Mental Health ( and with colleagues leads the Bipolar Disorder Research Network ( study.  Graduating from St Georges Hospital Medical School, London, he trained in general medicine and psychiatry in South Wales and on obtaining membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists began research training in the Neuropsychiatric Genetics Group at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship to study the genetics of Postpartum Psychosis in Birmingham and spent a year as a visiting research fellow at the Medical College of Virginia, USA. Prior to his appointment in Cardiff he was Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. His research involves clinical and molecular genetic studies of bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis. He has authored or co-authored over 180 publications and book chapters in the fields of mood disorder genetics and perintatal psychiatry. He has been awarded the Marcé Medal for his research on Postpartum Psychosis. His main clinical interests are women at risk of severe postpartum episodes and psychoeducation for bipolar disorder.


BSc, MBBS, MSc, MRCPsych, PhD

National Centre for Mental Health, Cardiff University


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