Your donations support important research at the Perinatal Anxiety Research Lab.

To support the Perinatal Anxiety Research Lab, read more about our goals and research.

About Us

The Perinatal Anxiety Research Lab (PARLab) is a research group directed by Dr. Nichole Fairbrother out of the University of British Columbia. The overarching objective of the UBC PARlab is to promote the mental health of new and expectant parents and their infants. The focus of our work is on anxiety, in particular anxiety and their related disorders (AD), during the perinatal period. Our aim is to increase knowledge in the area of perinatal anxiety and related conditions.

Our research spans perinatal epidemiology, screening, and treatment. Focus areas include:

  • (a) perinatal anxiety and related disorder (AD) prevalence
  • (b) screening for perinatal AD
  • (c) new mothers’ thoughts of infant related harm and their relationship to postpartum obsessive- compulsive disorder and infant safety
  • (d) fear of childbirth
  • (e) family work.

We now know that the AD together are the most common mental health conditions to affect perinatal people. Specifically, one in five perinatal people (i.e., 20%) suffer from one or more of these conditions.

The UBC PARLab is the only research lab in Canada to focus on anxiety and anxiety-related conditions affecting pregnant and postpartum people. Our lab makes a unique and important contribution to our understanding, assessment, and treatment of anxiety related difficulties during the perinatal period.

More About Research on Thoughts of Harm

Unwanted intrusive thoughts (UITs) of infant-related harm are reported by all new mothers, and UITs of harming one’s infant ON PURPOSE are reported by 50% of new mothers.

Without education and prevention, these normal, yet distressing thoughts can lead to the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

OCD is a highly distressing and impairing anxiety- related condition. Postpartum OCD is often characterized by UITs of infant-related harm, and has been associated with suicidality, unnecessary child removals, and even the desire to give one’s child up for adoption. Approximately 10% of new mothers experience OCD in the first 6- months postpartum, higher than any other perinatal anxiety or anxiety-related disorder.

We truly appreciate your support at the PARLab. For more information, please contact or read more on our website.