Monthly Archives: February 2013

Another Good Reason for Women of Childbearing Age to Take Folic Acid

A new study reports that women taking folic acid before pregnancy were less likely to give birth to children with autism. The risk of having a child with autism was reduced by 40% among women who had taken folic acid supplements from four weeks prior to conception and continuing eight weeks into the pregnancy. 

Screening for Peripartum Anxiety Disorders: What Are the Best Screening Tools?

A significant number of women experience anxiety symptoms during pregnancy, with about 8.5% of women meeting criteria for generalized anxiety disorder.  Other anxiety disorders are less common.   The estimated prevalence of panic disorder during pregnancy is 1-2%.   The estimated prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder is 0.2-1.2%.  While we use certain tools, including the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) to screen for depression during pregnancy, what are the best tools for indentifying women with clinically significant anxiety symptoms?

Binge Drinking Common among Women of Reproductive Age

The CDC recently analyzed data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to determine the prevalence, frequency, and intensity of binge drinking among adult women.  Data from the 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was used to assess current alcohol use and binge drinking among high school girls.

What’s Worse for Pregnancy: Bipolar Disorder or the Medications Used to Treat It?

In studies of pregnant women with unipolar depression, it has been shown that untreated psychiatric illness in the mother may have a negative impact on pregnancy outcomes, influencing the length of gestation and birthweight.  There is far less data on pregnancy outcomes in women with bipolar disorder.  A recent Swedish study analyzes pregnancy outcomes in treated and untreated women with bipolar disorder and attempts to distinguish between the effects of medication versus the effects of untreated psychiatric illness in the mother.