Monthly Archives: September 2012

Postpartum PTSD As Common As Postpartum Depression

A recent study from McGill University has assessed the prevalence and course of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following childbirth.  The sample included 308 women who were assessed at four time points: 25-40 weeks gestation, 4-6 weeks postpartum, 3 and 6 months postpartum. Current and prior PTSD were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I) and the Modified PTSD Symptom Scale Self-Report (MPSS-SR).

SSRIs and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: Why You Can’t Just Read the Abstract

Over the past few years, there have been a large number of studies which have relied on large administrative databases to generate information on the reproductive safety of various medications.  One of the strengths of this type of approach is that it provides an opportunity to observe outcomes in a large number of subjects; however, there are certain, very important limitations.  A recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology helps to understand some of the challenges in interpreting the data generated from these studies.

Postpartum Depression in Teen Mothers: A Different Set of Risk Factors

Various studies have demonstrated that adolescent mothers are at high risk of postpartum depression (PPD).  Risk factors for adolescent PPD have not been well characterized.  A recent study from the Rhode Island Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System suggests that risk factors for PPD may be different in adolescent versus adult mothers. 

Mindfulness Yoga for the Treatment of Depression During Pregnancy: A Pilot Study

Over the past decade, the clinical literature has published many studies documenting the psychosocial and health benefits of various mind-body interventions.  Mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to reduce stress, to improve coping skills, and to promote feelings of well-being.  Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a new psychotherapeutic treatment which has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms and to reduce the risk of depressive relapse. 

Pregnancy Outcomes in Women with Eating Disorders

Most studies have shown that women experience an improvement or remission in eating disorders during pregnancy; however, studies assessing how eating disorders may affect pregnancy outcomes have yielded conflicting results. While some studies have demonstrated no negative effects, others have demonstrated higher miscarriage rates among women with bulimia nervosa.  In addition, women with histories of eating disorders have been shown to be significantly more likely to experience preterm delivery and to give birth to babies small for gestational age.

Lithium Use During Pregnancy: What are the Long-Term Effects?

While we have data on the use of lithium use during pregnancy with regard to risk for congenital malformations, there is much less information on the long-term effects of lithium on neurodevelopment.  A recent study from the Perinatal Center of the Leiden University Medical Center provides some reassuring data on the long-term effects of lithium exposure.

More on Vitamin D and Depression

We have recently written about the link between vitamin D and depression.  While several studies have indicated that low vitamin D levels may be associated with depression, we lack randomized, controlled trials assessing the benefits of vitamin D supplements for the treatment (or prevention) of depression.  A recent report from the Women's Health Initiative Calcium and Vitamin D Trial included 36,282 women (50 to 80 years of age) who were randomized to receive 400 IU vitamin D (with 1000 mg calcium) or to placebo.