Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School



Dietary Supplements to Prevent Postpartum Depression? Proceed with Caution

Over the last few days, there has been a lot of buzz regarding the use of a nutritional supplement to reduce risk of postpartum depression.  Quoting one of these articles:  “‘Women who take the supplement don’t get sad [in the early days of motherhood],’ said Dr. Jeffrey Meyer, co-author of a study testing this blues-banishing […]

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Stimulants In Pregnancy and Increased Risk of Gestational Hypertension

  Our group has noted that we are seeing an increase in the number of consultations for women treated with psychostimulants in combination with an antidepressant.  The reasons vary.  Some women have depression and comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Sometimes a psychostimulant is used to manage residual symptoms and side effects, such as fatigue and cognitive […]

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Weekly Roundup for MARCH 17, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

  The most interesting article this week is from Dowlati and colleagues assessing the effectiveness of a nutritional supplement to decrease risk for postpartum blues.  While intriguing, it is not clear how effective this intervention will prove to be.   We will have a post on this paper next week.     Dowlati Y, Ravindran AV, […]

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Synthetic Oxytocin and Its Effect on Postpartum Mood and Anxiety

Often referred to as the “hormone of love,” oxytocin plays an important role in childbirth, maternal behavior, lactation, social affiliation, and sexual pleasure.  Levels of oxytocin, a neuropeptide produced by the hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream via the pituitary gland, rise around the time of delivery.   These levels remain high after delivery, specifically increasing […]

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Effectiveness of Psychological Interventions for Postpartum Depression in Primary Care

  Postpartum depression (PPD) has been identified as the “most under-recognized, under-diagnosed, and under-treated obstetrical complication in America”, affecting approximately 10-15% of new mothers. In addition to affecting maternal mental health during a critical time in a woman’s life, there are are a number of downstream effects associated with undiagnosed or untreated PPD such as […]

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Postpartum Progress: An Update and Other Resources

We were saddened to hear that Postpartum Progress, Inc. is in the process of shutting down.  Since its inception in 2004, Postpartum Progress has been an important resource for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.  This organization — and all of the women behind it — have made such vital contributions in terms of […]

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In Brief: Anxiety Associated with Worse Quality of Life in Postmenopausal Women

In a study including Latin American women 40 to 59 years of age who had not menstruated for more than 1 year (or had undergone a bilateral oophorectomy), 49.1% of the participants were depressed and 61.9% reported anxiety symptoms.  Although women with a history of psychiatric illness were excluded, rates of depression and anxiety observed […]

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Is It Safe During Pregnancy? There’s An App for That

  January was Birth Defects Prevention Month, and MotherToBaby launched a free app  designed to provide evidence-based information to pregnant and breastfeeding women. There is Information on a broad range of medications, some herbal remedies, maternal illness, infections and vaccines, alcohol and other substances, occupational exposures, and other exposures (including things like lead, hair dye). […]

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Weekly Roundup for MARCH 4, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

  The first study on our list adds to the relatively limited information we have regarding the long-term effects of prenatal antidepressant exposure, and the findings look good, demonstrating no lasting effects of prenatal exposure to SSRI antidepressants.   Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and non-verbal cognitive functioning in childhood. El Marroun H, […]

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