Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School



Study Links Conflict with Partner to Increased Vulnerability to Perinatal Depression

The Maternity Experiences Survey (MES) is a national survey of Canadian women’s experiences, perceptions, knowledge and practices before conception and during pregnancy, birth and the early months of parenthood. This is a project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System, with the goal of achieving a better understanding of the […]

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Weekly Roundup for DECEMBER 2, 2016: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Next week we will be reviewing two important articles which look at the effects of maternal depression on the developing brain of the child: one from Posner and colleagues and another from Lebel and colleagues.   This week, there were also a few interesting articles on the association between poor sleep quality and depression during […]

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Sleep Problems Common During Pregnancy, Associated with Depression

While we tend to think of sleep deprivation as a postpartum issue, a recent study from Finland indicates that sleep problems are relatively common during pregnancy, for both mothers and fathers. This study included 1667 mothers and 1498 fathers.  The researchers evaluated the core symptoms of insomnia (sleep onset problems, nocturnal awakenings, too-early awakenings, and […]

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New Legislation to Support Maternal Mental Health

Some good news for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders… Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act  to provide federal grants to develop and maintain programs for screening and treatment of postpartum depression. This bill, introduced by Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-Mass) and Congressman Ryan Costello […]

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Which Contraceptive is Best for Me? The WHO MEC WHEEL Can Provide Guidance

In the world of family planning the question “Which contraceptive method is best for me?” is a common one.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has tried to address this through a document called Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (MEC).  This document, now in its fifth edition, provides guidance for choosing the safest contraceptive method […]

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Combining Tamoxifen with Antidepressants: What You Need to Know

Two thirds of all breast cancer tumors are known to have receptors that respond to hormones; that is they can grow in response to estrogen. Tamoxifen is a medication which selectively blocks estrogen receptors on breast cancer tumors and, in this fashion, reduces the risk of recurrence by half in women with estrogen receptor-positive breast […]

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Weekly Roundup for NOV 18 2016: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

We have seen articles over the last decade which suggest that while some women experience clinically significant psychological symptoms after early pregnancy loss, the vast majority of women manage to navigate this stressful life event without serious after effects.  A small study from Farren and colleagues suggests that PTSD is quite common among women who […]

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Another Medication for Pregnancy-Related Nausea and Vomiting

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved another medication for the management of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.  It is not really a new medication but is similar to Diclegis, a combination doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), which was approved several years ago.   The newly approved medication will be marketed as […]

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Women Outperform Men on Tests of Cognitive Functioning — Until Menopause

Many women report cognitive difficulties — forgetfulness, distractibility, feeling foggy — as they enter into the menopause. Looking at sex-related differences in memory, Rentz and colleagues examined 212 men and women between the ages of 45 and 55 years.  Participants completed a battery of cognitive tests and underwent hormonal assessments. On all measures of cognitive […]

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Worse Pregnancy Outcomes in Women with Bipolar Disorder

When we meet women for consultations regarding the use of psychotropic medications during pregnancy, we focus primarily on the impact of medications on the developing fetus and the pregnancy.  However, we need also to address the impact of psychiatric illness in the mother on the pregnancy.  In studies of pregnant women with unipolar depression, it […]

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