Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School



Weekly Roundup for February 16, 2018: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

In two studies, researchers demonstrated that maternal depression during pregnancy is associated with worse child outcomes: more health problems in infants (Coburn et al 2018) and increased anxiety and depressive symptoms in older children (Glynn et al 2018).  Also of interest are the next two articles which indicate that depressive symptoms within the first day […]

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How Can We Ensure that Women with Perinatal Depression Get Treatment?

  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends screening for perinatal depression, stating that “clinicians screen patients at least once during the perinatal period for depression and anxiety symptoms using a standard, validated tool.” Having the backing of ACOG is certainly a big step in the right direction.  But as we move […]

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Transdermal Estradiol, But Not Oral Estrogens, Improves Sexual Function in Postmenopausal Women

  Sexual dysfunction is common among peri- and postmenopausal women and include a spectrum of problems, including low (or hypoactive) sexual desire, decreased satisfaction, and discomfort.   Reports indicate that the prevalence of hypoactive sexual desire ranges from 9% in naturally postmenopausal women up to 26% in younger surgically postmenopausal women.  A recent study compares the […]

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In Brief: Do You Need to Take Vitamin or Mineral Supplements?

According to a recent national survey, 52% of adults in the United States reported using at least one dietary supplement.  Among the most popular are vitamin and mineral supplements, which are taken by 48% and 39% of adults, respectively.  It will undoubtedly surprise many that, despite the prevalent use of these supplements, most people do […]

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Weekly Roundup for February 9, 2018: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

The article that grabbed my attention is the one at the top of the list, from May and colleagues, which suggests that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are probably more common than we had previously estimated.  Using a conservative method of estimation, the prevalence of FASD among first-graders in 4 US communities ranged from 1.1% […]

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Sacramento: What Can We Learn from a New Mother’s Experience of Postpartum Care?

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of coverage of a story involving a new mother from Sacramento.  You can read the details of the story here and here.  Basically, a new mother, Jessica, came to see her obstetrician with her 4-month old baby, explaining, “That I have postpartum depression that is […]

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History of Stillbirth Increases Risk for Depression, Anxiety During Subsequent Pregnancies

  Perinatal loss is a traumatic event for women and their families.  While we clearly understand the potential for perinatal loss to cause significant emotional consequences, we have relatively little data on the prevalence of anxiety and depressive illness in this population of women. A recent study surveyed 609 women who had experienced a stillbirth […]

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In Brief: Marijuana Use Increasing Among Pregnant and Postpartum Women

NPR has published an article on the use of marijuana in expectant and new mothers, interviewing several mothers belonging to a Facebook group called “Pot Smoking Moms Who Cuss Sometimes.” This is an issue we have covered before. We continue to see more and more women of reproductive age using marijuana in various forms.  While […]

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Weekly Roundup for February 2, 2018: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

The most important story of the week encompasses the first three articles.  In the first, Netsi and colleagues observe that persistent depressive symptoms in the mother are associated with behavioral and academic problems in the children and increased vulnerability to depression in adolescence.  However, Stein and colleagues have demonstrated that by intervening early and with […]

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It’s OK to Throw Away Some of Those Baby Advice Books

When I meet with mothers of new babies, I often spend a fair amount of time delving into their beliefs about parenting and what they perceive as the “right” way to care for their new baby.  Granted, most of the new mothers I see suffer from depression or anxiety, but I can also look to […]

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