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Author Archive | MGH Center for Women's Mental Health

Maternal Bipolar Disorder Not a Predictor of Infant Developmental Deficits at One Year of Age

  While some women with bipolar disorder elect to discontinue their psychotropic medications during pregnancy to mitigate fetal exposure, Viguera and colleagues (2000, 2007) found that women stabilized on lithium face a significant risk for relapse if they choose to discontinue treatment during pregnancy.  These treatment decisions are difficult and vary on a case-to-case basis, […]

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In Brief: Folate Supplements During Pregnancy Reduce Risk of Autism  

  Mothers exposed to household or agricultural pesticides immediately before and during their pregnancies have a higher risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  However, a recent study from California indicates that taking high-dose folic acid cuts this risk in half, as compared to women who received lower doses of folic acid. […]

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Weekly Roundup for October 6, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Some interesting articles this week: understanding the impact of anxiety disorders on pregnancy outcomes (Yonkers et al), impact of antenatal exposure to antidepressants during pregnancy on risk of subsequent psychiatric illness in the child (Liu et al), and a look at risk for substance abuse disorders during pregnancy ( Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD Rasmussen MH, […]

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What is the Risk of Postpartum Depression in Women with No Psychiatric History?

We know that about 15% of women suffer from postpartum depression (PPD).  But what is less clear is how to reliably identify women with PPD and to then ensure that they get the support and treatment they need.  Women with a history of psychiatric illness are often identified as being at higher risk for postpartum […]

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ACOG Releases Revised Guidelines for Treatment of Opioid Use During Pregnancy

We have been writing over the last few years about the growing problem of opioid use and abuse in women of reproductive age.  Responding to a dramatic increase in the number of women abusing opiates during pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has released revised guidelines on the treatment of opioid use […]

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In Brief: Hormone Replacement Has No Impact on Mortality in Women

While there have been concerns regarding the risks associated with prolonged use of hormone replacement, an increasing number of studies suggest that the risk may be relatively low in certain populations and that hormone replacement is appropriate in certain settings.  A recent study published in JAMA has focused on mortality rates in women treated with […]

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Why Do Many Continue To Recommend Tapering SSRI Antidepressants During the Third Trimester?

  In 2005, we saw the first reports describing an increased risk of “poor neonatal adaptation” in infants with prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants in late pregnancy.  Since that time, studies have consistently indicate that about 25%-30% of infants exposed to SSRIs late in pregnancy manifest symptoms of poor neonatal adaptation. […]

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The Etiology of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: 5 Interwoven Pieces

The following post was first published in Current Psychiatry, published September 2017, Vol. 16, No. 9, p. 20-28. Check out the article on Current Psychiatry or listen to Dr. Raffi discuss treatment of menstrual–related mood and anxiety disorders. By Edwin R. Raffi, MD, MPH, & Marlene P. Freeman, MD In an age when psychiatry strives to identify […]

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Antenatal Exposure to Antidepressant and Risk of Psychiatric Illness in the Child

  When we provide consultations regarding the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, one of the most difficult questions we have to answer is related to the long-term effects of prenatal antidepressant exposure. Specifically, do antidepressants used by the mother during pregnancy affect the long term development of the fetus?  While many studies have attempted to […]

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