Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Welcome to the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health

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)
  • Fanapt (iloperidone)
  • 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 Building
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

  • Position Paper: Non-Hormonal Treatments for Vasomotor Symptoms

    May 22, 2015


    A recent paper from the  European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) reviews non-hormonal therapy options for the treatment of  menopausal vasomotor symptoms. This EMAS position paper provides guidance for treaters managing peri- and postmenopausal women who cannot or do not want to use hormones to manage their symptoms.  While the information here is not new, ...

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  • Many Women Experience Stress, Depression During Pregnancy: Few Seek Help

    May 22, 2015


    While we are becoming more attentive to screening for depressive symptoms during pregnancy and the postpartum period, we may not always ask about stressful life events, especially when a woman has had what most would consider an “uncomplicated” pregnancy.  This is unfortunate, given the fact that many women experience a wide variety of stressors during ...

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  • Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Anxiety in Pregnancy

    May 20, 2015


    About 15% of women experience either anxiety or depressive symptoms  during pregnancy.  While we have data to support the reproductive safety of various antidepressant and anxiolytic medications, our data regarding the effects of these medications are incomplete and many women and their treaters are understandably reluctant to use medications in this setting.  Therefore we need ...

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  • Infants in the NICU: High Risk for PTSD in First-Time Mothers

    May 19, 2015


    Having a newborn child in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is understandably stressful.  Previous studies have demonstrated that mothers in this setting are at increased risk for postpartum depression (PPD).  In addition, a recent study indicates that rates of post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) are very high in this population.  In this study from South Korea, the ...

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  • In Brief: Study Finds No Link Between Antipsychotics and Gestational Diabetes

    May 18, 2015

    Baby Belly: "Baby belly" by David Roseborough from Los Angeles, United States - cropped from pregnant in Los Angeles. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

    Given the number of younger women using atypical antipsychotic medications, we need more accurate data regarding the reproductive safety of these medications. To better understand the link between antipsychotic medication and medical conditions associated with pregnancy, including gestational diabetes and hypertension, researchers compared pregnancy outcomes in 1,021 pregnant women taking antipsychotic medication to outcomes in ...

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  • In Brief: Treating Mom’s Depression Benefits Her Children

    May 15, 2015


    When a mother is depressed, her children are more likely to show symptoms of depression or anxiety. A study published in this month’s American Journal of Psychiatry has demonstrated that treatment of the mother’s depression with the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro) was associated with improvement in their children’s symptoms of depression. In this randomized double-blind trial, 76 ...

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  • Misconceptions of Miscarriage May Lead to Psychological Distress

    May 14, 2015


    While miscarriages are a relatively common event, affecting about 20% of pregnancies, a new survey indicates that women have many misconceptions about miscarriage and its causes.  One of the more concerning findings in this study was the number of women who experience significant psychological distress in this setting.  The survey found that 47% of the ...

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  • You Asked: Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Pregnancy

    May 13, 2015


    While gabapentin (Neurontin) is now used in a wide variety of clinical settings — for epilepsy, pain management, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, and sleep disturbance – there is relatively little information regarding its reproductive safety.  Most recently, a prospective study from researchers at the Motherisk program reports on the outcomes of 223 pregnancies exposed to gabapentin ...

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  • Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Its Effect on the Developing Brain

    May 12, 2015

    Prenatal cocaine exposure or PCE occurs when a child is exposed in utero to cocaine taken by the pregnant mother.  We know that cocaine exposure during pregnancy can negatively affect the pregnancy; women who use cocaine during pregnancy are at increased risk for preterm delivery and low birthweight.  We know much less about the effects ...

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  • Childhood Sexual Abuse and Risk for Perinatal Depression

    May 11, 2015


    Various studies have observed an association between history of abuse and increased risk for perinatal depression.  The data regarding childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in particular have been less consistent.  A recent review of the literature attempts to better understand the relationship between CSA and risk for depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The findings suggest that ...

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