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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]