Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Tag Archives | postnatal depression

Does Universal Screening for Depression in Perinatal Populations Lead to Better Outcomes?

Over the last decade, there has been increased interest around the country in establishing consistent screening for perinatal depression across a range of clinical settings. Approximately 40 states have instituted guidelines and recommendations regarding screening for postpartum depression. These positive developments, in part, follow recommendations from both the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the […]

Continue Reading · 0

In Brief: Problem-Solving Education Intervention Reduces Risk of Postpartum Depression

While many women are at risk for postpartum depression, we continue to struggle in providing adequate support and care to women in this setting, especially socioeconomically disadvantaged women.   In a randomized clinical trial including 230 Head Start mothers, those receiving problem-solving education (PSE) were 60% less likely to develop postpartum depression than those receiving […]

Continue Reading · 0

Brexanolone: Related to Allopregnanolone, Effective for the Treatment of Postpartum Depression

In 2015, we first reported on SAGE-547 (SAGE Therapeutics), a new medication for the treatment of severe postpartum depression.  SAGE-547, now called brexanolone, is an allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors.  This drug was initially under investigation for the treatment of refractory seizure disorders but it turned out to be a good antidepressant.  The information we […]

Continue Reading · 0

Depression and Hormonal Contraception: Should Depo-Provera Be Used in Postpartum Women?

Because estrogen-containing contraceptives may affect lactation and may increase the risk of thrombosis, progestin-only contraceptives are used in women who are breastfeeding.  Depo-Provera (DMPA), which contains medroxyprogesterone, is frequently used during the immediate postpartum period in women who are breastfeeding and are interested in efficacious, long-term contraception.  (The minipill is another type of progestin-only contraceptive […]

Continue Reading · 0
Credit: Depressed Mother from Wikimedia Commons

Therapist-Assisted, Internet-Delivered CBT for Depression in Postpartum Women

  As we move toward universal screening for perinatal depression, one of our most significant challenges will be to evaluate and deliver care to the women who are identified as being depressed.  It is discouraging to note that recommendations regarding screening have not necessarily resulted in increased rates of treatment in women with perinatal depression. […]

Continue Reading · 0
Credit: Pregnant Woman from Wikimedia Commons

Predicting Postpartum Depression: Elevated Leptin Levels as Biomarker?

Biomarkers (or biological markers) are used in many fields of medicine to provide objective information on normal or pathological biological processes and to predict response to therapeutic interventions.  Researchers have long searched for biomarkers which could be used to identify women with postpartum depression (PPD) or, even better, to predict which women are at highest […]

Continue Reading · 0
Credit: Depressed Mother from Wikimedia Commons

Suicide in Postpartum Women: Can We Predict Who is at Risk?

Women are at significant risk for severe psychiatric illness after childbirth, particularly during the first three months.  Suicide is a rare but tragic outcome of untreated psychiatric illness in this setting.  In order to prevent suicide, we must be able to identify which women are at highest risk for suicide; however, relatively few studies have […]

Continue Reading · 0

Breastfeeding Status Does Not  Affect Risk for Postpartum Depression

For decades, researchers have postulated a connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression (PPD). Many have suggested that breastfeeding may protect against postpartum depression and have suggested that the cessation of breastfeeding may be a trigger for postpartum depression and/or anxiety. However, the research examining the association between postpartum depression and breastfeeding has been mixed and […]

Continue Reading · 0
By Vera Kratochvil [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Maternal Depression and Its Effects on the Child:  What is the Role of Oxytocin?

There is significant literature indicating that a mother’s depression may adversely affect her young child.  Studies have demonstrated that the children of depressed mothers are more likely than the children of non-depressed mothers to exhibit developmental delays and childhood behavioral problems.  It has also been demonstrated that the children of depressed mothers are more likely […]

Continue Reading · 0