Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School



Andrew Solomon In the NY Times About Depression During Pregnancy

In 2001, Andrew Solomon published The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression.  As somebody who has long suffered from depression, Mr. Solomon brings to this book a nuanced understanding of depression — looking at it from many different angles:  personal, cultural, scientific, and political.  An updated version of his book will be released next week […]

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Position Paper: Non-Hormonal Treatments for Vasomotor Symptoms

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

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

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

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, […]

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

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

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, […]

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Misconceptions of Miscarriage May Lead to Psychological Distress

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

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

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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