Every week we review the most recent publications in women’s mental health, covering topics related to premenstrual symptoms, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, use of medications in pregnant and breastfeeding women, perinatal substance use, and menopausal mental health. 

For more detailed descriptions of many of these topics, you can sign up to receive our weekly CWMH NEWSLETTER which comes out every Thursday.  

And don’t forget to visit ESSENTIAL READS – a curated selection of up-to-date and clinically relevant articles in women’s mental health.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD


No articles this week


No articles this week


Maternal diet, depression and antidepressant treatment in pregnancy and across the first 12 months postpartum in the MPEWS pregnancy cohort study: Perinatal diet, depression and antidepressant use.

Galbally M, Watson SJ, Boyce P, Anglin R, McKinnon E, Lewis AJ. J Affect Disord. 2021 Jun 1;288:74-82.

Women with untreated depression in pregnancy had higher unhealthy takeaway food intake across the perinatal period compared to those taking antidepressant medication or healthy control women.


Discontinuation of antidepressants: Is there a minimum time on treatment that will reduce relapse risk?

Liu X, Momen NC, Molenaar N, Rommel AS, Bergink V, Munk-Olsen T. J Affect Disord. 2021 Jul 1;290:254-260.

In the general population, a minimum of 10-12 months of treatment appears to be preferable if there is concern about relapse after discontinuation.


Effect of Zuranolone vs Placebo in Postpartum Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Deligiannidis KM, Meltzer-Brody S, Gunduz-Bruce H, Doherty J, Jonas J, Li S, Sankoh AJ, Silber C, Campbell AD, Werneburg B, Kanes SJ, Lasser R.JAMA Psychiatry. 2021 Jun 30.

A two-week course of zuranolone was more effective than placebo in women with severe PPD up to 45 days.

The moderating role of resilience resources in the association between stressful life events and symptoms of postpartum depression.

Julian M, Le HN, Coussons-Read M, Hobel CJ, Dunkel Schetter C. J Affect Disord. 2021 Jun 5;293:261-267.

Stressful life events predicted greater symptoms of depression postpartum. Mastery and optimism predicted fewer symptoms of depression postpartum. Mastery moderated the association between stressful life events and symptoms of depression when controlling for previous psychiatric history.

When birth is not as expected: a systematic review of the impact of a mismatch between expectations and experiences.

Webb R, Ayers S, Bogaerts A, Jeli?i? L, Pawlicka P, Van Haeken S, Uddin N, Xuereb RB, Kolesnikova N; COST action CA18211:DEVoTION team.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Jul 2;21(1):475. Free article.

A mismatch between birth expectations and experiences is associated with birth satisfaction and it may increase the risk of developing postpartumPTSD.

Childbirth Pain and Post-Partum Depression: Does Labor Epidural Analgesia Decrease This Risk?

Parise DC, Gilman C, Petrilli MA, Malaspina D. J Pain Res. 2021 Jun 25;14:1925-1933. Free article.

Although there is evidence suggesting that labor epidural analgesia may reduce risk for PPD, many studies including the meta-analyses did not uphold the hypothesis.

Association between preconception cannabis use and risk of postpartum depression: Findings from an Australian longitudinal cohort.

Cao S, Jones M, Tooth L, Mishra GD. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Jun 25;226:108860.

Compared with no cannabis use, any past-year cannabis use at 3-15 months before pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of PPD (1.50, 0.99-2.28). Compared with no cannabis use in the first three annual surveys before pregnancy, chronic use (a past year user in ? 2 surveys) was associated with an 80 % higher risk of incident PPD for births in the following 1-4 years (1.80, 1.22-2.68).

“What kind of man gets depressed after having a baby?” Fathers’ experiences of mental health during the perinatal period.

Hambidge S, Cowell A, Arden-Close E, Mayers A. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Jun 29;21(1):463. Free article.

Fathers in this study perceived that perinatal health professionals view ‘mothers as the priority’. It is clear that health professionals need more training on how to recognise that fathers are also important and need support for their mental health.

Perinatal depression prevention through the mother-infant dyad: The role of maternal childhood maltreatment.

Berry OO, Babineau V, Lee S, Feng T, Scorza P, Werner EA, Monk C. J Affect Disord. 2021 Jul 1;290:188-196.

In this study, 32% of 109 pregnant women endorsed childhood maltreatment (CM+). CM+ women versus CM- were less likely to benefit from an intervention to prevent perinatal depression yet still reported an increase in infant daytime sleep.


A population pharmacokinetic model for escitalopram and its major metabolite in depressive patients during the perinatal period: Prediction of infant drug exposure through breast milk.

Weisskopf E, Guidi M, Fischer CJ, Bickle Graz M, Beaufils E, Nguyen KA, Morisod Harari M, Rouiller S, Rothenburger S, Gaucherand P, Kassai-Koupai B, Borradori Tolsa C, Epiney M, Tolsa JF, Vial Y, Hascoët JM, Claris O, Eap CB, Panchaud A, Csajka C. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Aug;86(8):1642-1653.

The limited exposure to escitalopram through breast milk observed in this study should provide reassurance to escitalopram- treated mothers breastfeeding infants.


Postpartum and addiction recovery of women in opioid use disorder treatment: A qualitative study.

Martin CE, Almeida T, Thakkar B, Kimbrough T. Subst Abus. 2021 Jul 2:1-8.

Patients receiving medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and their providers identified multiple aspects unique to the postpartum transition that substantially strengthen and/or oppose OUD recovery. These aspects impacting recovery include factors specific to the receipt of MOUD treatment and those not specific to MOUD, yet tied to the postpartum state.


First 1,000 days: enough for mothers but not for children? Long-term outcomes of an early intervention on maternal depressed mood and child cognitive development: follow-up of a randomised controlled trial.

Tomlinson M, Skeen S, Melendez-Torres GJ, Hunt X, Desmond C, Morgan B, Murray L, Cooper PJ, Rathod SD, Marlow M, Fearon P. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 5.

In a socio-economically deprived peri-urban settlement in South Africa, a home visiting intervention, delivered by community workers to mothers in pregnancy and the first six postpartum months, had no overall effect on child cognitive development at 13 years of age.

Maternal depression and childhood injury risk: A population-based cohort study in Denmark.

Lyngsøe BK, Munk-Olsen T, Vestergaard CH, Rytter D, Christensen KS, Bech BH. Brain Behav. 2021 Mar;11(3):e02029. Free article.

Maternal depression was associated with higher injury hazard in the offspring throughout childhood compared to offspring of mothers with no history of depression. The strongest association was seen for the first year of life. First-time maternal depression was most strongly associated with injury in the child, especially in the first year of life (aHR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.48-1.96).


No articles this week


Variation in genes and hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis in female mood disorders – A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Amiel Castro RT, Ehlert U, Fischer S. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2021 Jun 24;62:100929.

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