Recent Posts

Weekly Roundup for MAY 17, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

There have been many articles in the media covering the article at the top of the list.  In this study, researchers from Quebec observe an increased risk of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) in women using benzodiazepines during pregnancy.  We will be writing more about this study later in the week. Several articles look at the impact of maternal depression on the child’s brain, demonstrating structural changes in the limbic system, the area of the brain responsible...

Bipolar disorder during pregnancy: Lessons learned

May 1, 2019 from ObGynNews Publish date: May 1, 2019 By Lee S. Cohen, MD Careful management of bipolar disorder during pregnancy is critical because for so many patients with this illness, the road to emotional well-being has been a long one, requiring a combination of careful pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic strategies.Half of referrals to our Center for Women’s Mental Health – where we evaluate and treat women before, during, and after pregnancy – are for women...

Nearly 12% of Women Report Consuming Alcohol During Pregnancy

While different countries may have different attitudes toward the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has taken a firm stand against the use of alcohol during pregnancy. In the report entitled “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,” the AAP identified prenatal exposure to alcohol as the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities in children, stating  that no amount of alcohol should be considered as safe to drink...

In Brief: Treating Pregnant Women with Opioid Addiction

According to a recent analysis of national data by the Centers for Disease Control, the number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder (as documented at the time of delivery) more than quadrupled from 1999 through 2014. Studies of opioid exposure in pregnancy suggest increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and birth defects (including neural tube defects and congenital heart defects).  Birth defects result from exposures which occur during the first few...

Weekly Roundup for APRIL 25, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

At the top of the list is our most recent review on the reproductive safety of psychotropic medications.  Molenaar and colleagues look at the incidence of perinatal depression in women with pregravid histories of major depression, noting that the women at greatest risk are those with early onset of psychiatric illness and those with psychiatric comorbidity. While many studies have demonstrated that perinatal depression may be associated with worse developmental outcomes in infants and young...

Perinatal Anxiety Disorders: What is the Best Screening Tool?

There is a growing body of literature which indicates that anxiety symptoms are common during pregnancy and the postpartum period.  Anxiety during pregnancy places the woman at greater risk for postpartum depression and may also affect pregnancy outcomes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends that clinicians screen women at least once during the perinatal period for depression and anxiety using a standardized, validated tool. But what is the best tool to...