Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

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Welcome to the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health, a perinatal and reproductive psychiatry information center.

This website provides a range of current information including discussion of new research findings in women’s mental health and how such investigations inform day-to-day clinical practice. Despite the growing number of studies being conducted in women’s health, the clinical implications of such work are frequently controversial, leaving patients with questions regarding the most appropriate path to follow. Providing these resources to patients and their doctors so that individual clinical decisions can be made in a thoughtful and collaborative fashion dovetails with the mission of our Center.

We hope you find this website informative and we welcome your comments.

The National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics:

All pregnant women ages 18-45 are eligible to enroll in the registry. We are currently seeking both controls and those being treated with one or more of the following atypical antipsychotics: 

  • Abilify (aripiprazole)
  • Clozaril (clozapine)
  • Geodon (ziprasidone)
  • Invega (paliperidone)
  • Latuda (lurasidone)
  • Risperdal (risperidone)
  • Saphris (asenapine)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Zyprexa (olanzapine)

Register now by calling 1-866-961-2388 and help make the future better for many other women just like you.

This study will involve 3 brief phone interviews over an 8-month period. The National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics is dedicated to evaluating the safety of atypical antipsychotic medications that may be taken by women during pregnancy to treat a wide range of mood, anxiety, or psychiatric disorders. The primary goal of this Registry is to determine the frequency of major malformations, such as heart defects, cleft lip, or neural tube defects, in infants exposed to atypical antipsychotics during pregnancy. For more information, please call 1-866-961-2388.

The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Program Simches Research Builiding 185 Cambridge St Suite 2200 Boston, MA 02114

To make an appointment:

Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical Program: (617) 724-7792

Latest News from our Blog

  • EPDS Modified to Screen for Lifetime Perinatal Depression

    September 18, 2014

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    The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was modified by adding lifetime PND screening questions, assessing worst episode, and symptom timing of onset, in order to assess the lifetime prevalence of perinatal depression. Subjects from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) were screened using the EPDS-Lifetime. Of 682 women with lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD) ...

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  • Women Who Stop SSRIs Prior to Pregnancy Have Same Risk of Miscarriage as Women who elect to Remain on SSRI Antidepressants

    September 17, 2014

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    Some, but not all, studies have demonstrated an increased risk of miscarriage among women who take antidepressants. However, it has been difficult to determine whether this increased risk was related to exposure to the medication or to exposure to other risk factors, including maternal depression. Several recent studies have been reassuring and indicate that antidepressants ...

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  • Better Peripartum Pain Management: An Intervention to Reduce Risk of Postpartum Depression

    September 16, 2014

    A recent report suggests that epidural labor analgesia is associated with a decreased risk of postpartum depression (PPD). This prospective study included 214 pregnant women from Beijing, China who were preparing for a vaginal delivery. Epidural labor analgesia was performed in 107 of 214 patients based on their request. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal ...

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  • Screening for Postpartum Depression: Uninsured Women

    September 11, 2014

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    While we are advocating universal screening for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, it is unclear if we have the ability to provide mental health services to this population in need. One significant obstacle to treatment is health insurance; this is a considerable problem in this population, since many women may not want or be able ...

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  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) Exposure and Risk of Cardiac Malformations

    September 11, 2014

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    Bupropion is commonly used to treat depression, and is also prescribed to support smoking cessation. Early data on bupropion-exposure during pregnancy raised concern for a possible increase in risk of malformations of the heart and large blood vessels in bupropion-exposed infants. Subsequent data from bupropion pregnancy registries has been reassuring, however, and do not demonstrate ...

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  • Internet Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Postpartum Depression

    September 8, 2014

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    Although postpartum depression (PPD) affects about 15% of all women after the birth of a child, most women with PPD receive no treatment. One of the problems has been inadequate screening for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Over the last decade, there has been an emphasis on educating health care professionals to reliably screen for ...

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  • Response to the New York Times Article on SSRIs and Pregnancy: Moving Toward a More Balanced View of Risk

    September 5, 2014

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    We have received many emails and calls from colleagues and patients regarding the recent article on the safety of SSRI use during pregnancy published in the New York Times.  In this article, health writer Roni Caryn Rabin, detailed the risks associated with the use of antidepressants during pregnancy.

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  • Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: Further Insights Into a Complicated Relationship

    September 3, 2014

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    For decades, researchers have postulated a connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression (PPD). Many have suggested that breastfeeding may protect against postpartum depression and have suggested that the cessation of breastfeeding may be a trigger for postpartum depression and/or anxiety. However, the research examining the association between postpartum depression and breastfeeding has been somewhat difficult ...

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  • Low Dose Paroxetine Improves Sleep in Postmenopausal Symptoms

    August 25, 2014

    woman-smiling

    Last year, the FDA approved the first non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes – a 7.5-mg formulation of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine which was marketed under the name of Brisdelle. A new study suggests that low dose paroxetine (7.5 mg) not only helps with vasomotor symptoms, it can also improve sleep. In a recent ...

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  • A New Strategy for Managing Premenstrual Symptoms

    August 22, 2014

    woman-thinking-window

    Current research suggests that women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) have an abnormal affective response to normal hormonal shifts that occur during the menstrual cycle. Some researchers have hypothesized a metabolite of progesterone (PROG), allopregnanolone (ALLO), may mediate this sensitivity. In rodents, exposure to or withdrawal from ALLO modulates GABA-A receptors and, in this way, ...

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