HiPPP EMR-C Awards: A moment with Katrina Prior

Michelle Putt Uncategorised

Congratulations to Katrina Prior, awarded the Best EMCR Rapid Fire Award for her presentation: Mummy needs her bottle too: Postpartum alcohol use and its predictors among new mothers

  • What does this award mean to you?

This award is a really big milestone for me. I have worked for 10-plus years on co-occurring anxiety and substance use disorders, primarily focussed on young people. I have only recently extended my research knowledge and experience in the anxiety-alcohol use space to a new population of interest – vulnerable mothers in the postpartum period. There is a scarcity of research examining the prevalence and impact of co-occurring postpartum anxiety and alcohol use (including drinking “to cope” behaviours) among new mothers, despite the adverse consequences that postpartum anxiety and risky drinking (individually) have on both mother and child. There are also no evidence-based interventions specifically aimed at supporting mothers who drink alcohol to cope with their anxiety, and I plan to fill this gap!

  • In regards to the presentation that won you this award, what is the key takeaway?

Generally, mums in the postpartum period are drinking alcohol at reasonably low and safe-range levels (on average 4 drinking days, with an average of 2 drinks per occasion). However, there is a considerable proportion of mothers who report drinking alcohol at higher, more risky levels. We found that mums who are experiencing more severe anxiety and those who drink alcohol for the purposes of coping with anxiety or for social reasons, were more likely to be drinking at risky levels. On the other hand, mums who are breastfeeding are less likely to drink at risky levels.

  • What are you working towards next?

I am now working to develop an evaluate the ‘Healthy Mum, Healthy Bub’ program; the first evidence-based digital anxiety-alcohol intervention for postpartum mothers, to ensure they receive appropriate support and preventative care for these co-occurring problems

  • What did you think of this year’s HiPPP EMR-C conference?

Unfortunately I was unable to attend due to a clash with another face-to-face conference. But I hope to attend in the future.