Monthly Archives: June 2014

Breastfeeding and Anti-Epileptic Medications

Because breastfeeding has many psychological and medical benefits for both the mother and her child, many women would like to breastfeed. However, all medications taken by the mother are secreted into the breast milk. While various studies have addressed the short-term safety of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in nursing infants, none have systematically assessed the long-term effects of exposure to these drugs on cognitive development.

By |2014-06-24T14:56:02-04:00June 24th, 2014|Articles|0 Comments

In the New York Times: Understanding Maternal Mental Illness

This week in the New York Times, there is a two-part story on maternal mental illness. Highlighting the experience of two women who became ill during the postpartum period, the articles focus on the range of disorders which can emerge during the postpartum period -- not only depression, but bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, and psychosis.

Preliminary Study: Exercise in Pregnancy Appears to Lessen Depressive Symptoms

A recent study suggests that physical exercise during pregnancy may reduce depressive symptoms. This study from Spain included 184 healthy pregnant women (31.37 ± 3.62 years). Women randomized to the exercise group (EG) participated in a supervised exercise program consisting of three, 55- to 60-min sessions per week throughout pregnancy. A total of 167 pregnant women were analyzed; 90 in the exercise group and 77 in the control group. Significant differences were found between the two groups at the end of the study in terms of level of depressive symptoms as measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D): 7.67 ± 6.30 in the exercise group vs. 11.34 ± 9.74 in the control group (p = .005). The percentage of women who were depressed was also lower in the exercise group (12.2%) as compared to the control group (24.7%).

New Research from the CWMH: Venlafaxine As Effective As Estradiol for Hot Flashes

Various selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro) and paroxetine (Paxil), have been shown to be effective for the treatment of menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS). Other studies have supported the efficacy of the serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor). The FDA recently approved a 7.5-mg formulation of paroxetine (marketed as Brisdelle) as the first non-hormonal treatment of hot flashes.