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Tag Archives | postpartum

Is BDNF a Biomarker for Depression During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period?

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth factor which acts on neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, promoting the survival of neurons and promoting the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses.  In the brain, it is most active in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain—areas important  to learning, memory, and […]

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In Brief: Abuse History Associated with Early Termination of Breastfeeding

Few studies have examined the impact of past and recent abuse on breastfeeding behaviors. A recent study indicates that exposure to emotional, sexual or physical abuse (past or recent) is associated with earlier cessation of breastfeeding. This study included 53,934 mothers participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study who responded to questionnaires at […]

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ACOG Opinion: Depression Screening for All Pregnant and Postpartum Women

It is estimated that about 15% of women suffer from depression either during pregnancy or the postpartum period. Prior to the 1980s, most new mothers had never heard of postpartum depression.  Over the last few decades we have made considerable progress in educating women about their risk for psychiatric illness during this vulnerable time, and […]

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More Pediatricians Are Screening for Postpartum Depression

An article published today in the US News and World Report discusses the expanded role pediatric health care providers are playing in screening new mothers for postpartum depression.  Because pediatricians have frequent contacts with the mother during the first year of a child’s life and because depression in the mother may negatively affect the child, the […]

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Treating Depression During Pregnancy Prevents Postpartum Depression

This is a relatively small study but I think it underscores the importance of screening for and treating depression during pregnancy.  Previous studies have indicated that about 10% to 15% of women experience clinically significant depressive symptoms during pregnancy; however, depression that emerges during pregnancy often goes untreated. A recent naturalistic study from Turkey followed […]

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Progesterone Reduces the Use of Cocaine in Postpartum Women with Cocaine Use Disorder

It has been suggested in prior literature that the effects of cocaine are partially modulated by the gonadal hormones, estradiol and progesterone, which may account for sex differences in the use and abuse of cocaine (Evans et al. 2002 & Jackson et al. 2006). Because previous studies have shown that women who use cocaine tend to use less of this drug during periods of high endogenous progesterone levels, as in pregnancy or during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, a recent study explored whether progesterone replacement could be effective in reducing cocaine use in postpartum women with a cocaine use disorder.  In this recent double-blinded study performed by researchers at Yale School of Medicine, women were eligible for the study if they met DSM IV criteria for cocaine abuse or dependence in the 6 months prior to conception or during pregnancy and were within 12 weeks of delivery.

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Happy New Year: Let’s Start By Taking a Look Back to 2014

2014 was a huge year in the field of Reproductive Psychiatry.  Never before have we seen so many articles published in this specialty.  Much attention has focused on the reproductive safety of psychotropic medication; however, we have seen an increased interest in the mental health of women and a greater appreciation of how psychiatric illness in the mother may affect the entire family, including her unborn child and family.

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Impaired Maternal Infant Bonding More Common in Women with Severe Postpartum Depression

Maternal psychiatric illness can profoundly affect how a mother interacts with her child and is a risk factor for impaired mother-infant bonding, which may include a spectrum of difficulties: decreased maternal affective involvement, increased irritability, aggressive impulses, or, at worst, outright rejection of the infant (Brockington et al, 2006).  It is important to note, however, […]

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EPDS Modified to Screen for Lifetime Perinatal Depression

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was modified by adding lifetime PND screening questions, assessing worst episode, and symptom timing of onset, in order to assess the lifetime prevalence of perinatal depression. Subjects from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) were screened using the EPDS-Lifetime. Of 682 women with lifetime major depressive disorder […]

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Screening for Postpartum Depression: Uninsured Women

While we are advocating universal screening for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, it is unclear if we have the ability to provide mental health services to this population in need. One significant obstacle to treatment is health insurance; this is a considerable problem in this population, since many women may not want or be able […]

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