Organized in conjunction with UBC Interprofessional Continuing Education, this conference brought together almost 400 health care professionals, educators, administrators, planners, policymakers and the public to highlight important perinatal health research, challenges, innovative solutions and successes from across BC and Canada.
Starting with a fun and dynamic plenary by Dr. Belinda Fu on using improv to enhance collaborative care and wellness for providers and patients, the conference highlighted patient-centred care and promoted informed decision-making by women and families in collaboration with their health care providers.
Over the course of two days, we heard from health care providers, researchers and patients about their experiences of care. We learned from the BC Success Stories Panel Shaping Practice to Support Vaginal Birth in BC about how hospitals in BC have advanced evidence-based practice and increased vaginal births by creating a supportive culture and building collaborative and respectful interprofessional teams. Dr. Chelsea Elwood engaged us in a fascinating plenary discussion about the existing evidence and controversy surrounding vaginal seeding and placentophagy, and Dr. Cindy-Lee Denis shared evidence and current research around perinatal mental health problems including depression, anxiety and co-morbidity.
The conference also introduced new guidelines and cutting edge research around care for substance using populations, including the new BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and PSBC Guideline Supplement for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant Women. There were presentations on the legalization of Cannabis and its implications for maternal and infant health in BC, and number of discussions on evidence-based, trauma-informed approaches for caring for substance using women and for promoting maternal and infant health among women and families who have experienced significant adversity such as colonization, violence and serious adverse events during childhood.
An important theme of the conference was how we are using mobile phones and other m-health platforms to educate, train, network and support patients and providers. Excitingly, the online resource to support health care providers to address gender-based violence "We all can help: Improving the Health Sector's Response" was launched at the conference.
Initial feedback has been amazing, with multiple attendees calling it "the best conference I have ever been to!"
More videos, information and presentation slides will be shared soon on our website so keep checking for updates.
Thank you to all our presenters and delegates for joining us and for your commitment to improving perinatal health in BC, Canada and around the world.
Looking forward to seeing you all in 2020!