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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
Various instruments have been used to detect postpartum depression (PPD). However, rather than waiting for depression to occur, can we possibly identify women during pregnancy who will go on to develop postpartum illness? If we [...]