Recent Posts

Is It Safe to Take ADHD Medications While Breastfeeding?

According to a report published by the CDC in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the use of stimulant medications for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)  by reproductive-age women is on the rise. In 2003, 0.9% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 filled a prescription for an ADHD medication, compared to 4.0% of women in 2015. As a result of this shift, we are seeing more women in our clinic with...

Weekly Roundup for AUGUST 23, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

We’d like to remind everybody about the upcoming one day course in Women’s Mental Health we will be offering in Boston on Thursday, October 17th.  This is the day preceding the MGH Annual Psychopharmacology Conference (October 18-20, 2019). This course will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in women across the reproductive lifespan. Specialized knowledge is necessary to tailor treatments to reproductive events such as pregnancy and pregnancy planning, the postpartum, breastfeeding,...

In Brief: CBT Effective for Menopausal Symptoms, Including Depression

Up to 80% of women experience symptoms as they transition into the menopause, including vasomotor symptoms, sleep disturbance, and depressive symptoms.  While hormone replacement therapy and certain medications may be helpful, these interventions may have side effects.   In a recent study, 71 peri- or postmenopausal women who were seeking treatment for menopausal symptoms, including vasomotor symptoms and at least mild depressive symptoms, were randomly assigned to cognitive behavioral therapy for menopause (CBT-Meno; n = 37;...

Can Smartphone Apps Help to Screen for Perinatal Depression?

We’ve come a long way.  Prior to the 1980s, most new mothers had never heard of postpartum depression.  Over the last few decades we have made considerable progress in educating women about their risk for psychiatric illness during this vulnerable time, and women now have a much more sophisticated understanding of depression as a real, but treatable, illness. In 2010, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended screening for depression in all pregnant...

Weekly Roundup for AUGUST 16, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Brexanolone, marketed by Sage Therapeutics as Zulresso, was approved in March 2019, as a treatment for postpartum depression.  It has been available for almost two months, and we are very eager to hear about patients’ and clinicians’ experiences with this new medication.   Because of some concerns about Zulresso’s side effects, including excessive sedation and sudden loss of consciousness, it was released through a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program that requires the drug to...

Suicidal Ideation in Pregnant Women Not Always Associated with Depression

It seems that there is considerable variation in the estimated prevalence of suicidal ideation in pregnant and postpartum women across studies. One element that may contribute to this variation is how we assess for this symptom. Many studies use self-report questionnaires, such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) which asks how often “the thought of harming myself has occurred to me”. Other studies use the Patient Health Questionnaire or PHQ-9 which asks how often...