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Archive | Essential Reads

Alcohol Use in Pregnancy: Even Low Levels of Alcohol Exposure Associated with Craniofacial Abnormalities

  While different countries may have different attitudes toward the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has taken a firm stand against the use of alcohol during pregnancy. In the report entitled “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,” published in the November 2015 issue of Pediatrics, the AAP identified prenatal exposure to […]

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Evolving practice in perinatal psychopharmacology: Lessons learned

The following post was first published in OB/GYN News. Please see our OB/GYN News archives here. Publish date: July 3, 2017   Over the last 2 decades, there has been a growing interest in establishing a rich evidence base for treatment of psychiatric illness in pregnancy and the postpartum period. It seems as if a week does […]

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Credit: Pregnant Woman from Wikimedia Commons

Why Are We Still Using Valproic Acid (Depakote) in Women of Childbearing Age?

  There have long been concerns regarding the use of the anticonvulsant valproate (Depakote) during pregnancy.  First trimester use of valproate has been associated with a 3-5% risk of neural tube defects, as well as an increased risk of other malformations affecting the heart, limbs, and genitals. Prenatal exposure to valproate may also result in […]

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Ovarian Suppression for PMDD: New Study Suggests Long-Term Effectiveness and Tolerability

  PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder has always been a bit of mystery.  We explain that PMDD is triggered by changes in reproductive hormone levels, but when you look at hormone levels in women with PMDD, they do not differ significantly from the hormone levels of women without PMDD.  Another question is why some women […]

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Smoking During Pregnancy Not Associated with Severe Mental Illness in Offspring, But Other Risks Exist

Over the years, we have seen a number of research studies which suggested a link between maternal smoking during pregnancy and adverse psychiatric outcomes in offspring, including increased risk for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  In a recent article published in JAMA Psychiatry, researchers reported on the results of a population-based cohort study […]

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The Effects of Marijuana on Embryo Development

Given that many states have or are now moving forward with the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, it should be no surprise that we are seeing an increasing number of women in our clinic who are using marijuana on a regular basis. According to a nationwide survey, 7.3% of Americans 12 or older regularly […]

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Perinatal Depression Screening Is Just The Start

The following post was first published in OB/GYN News. Please see our OB/GYN News archives here. Publish date:  March 3, 2017 Over the last decade, appreciation of the prevalence of perinatal depression – depression during pregnancy and/or the postpartum period – along with interest and willingness to diagnose and to treat these disorders across primary care, obstetric, […]

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Stimulants In Pregnancy and Increased Risk of Gestational Hypertension

  Our group has noted that we are seeing an increase in the number of consultations for women treated with psychostimulants in combination with an antidepressant.  The reasons vary.  Some women have depression and comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Sometimes a psychostimulant is used to manage residual symptoms and side effects, such as fatigue and cognitive […]

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