We are excited to offer the next round of the MGH Women’s Mental Health online CME program.  Thank you for those who participated in the fall.  The next course starts February 10, and we can again offer CME/CE to multiple disciplines.

This online course will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in women across the reproductive lifespan. Specialized knowledge is necessary to tailor treatments to reproductive events such as pregnancy and pregnancy planning, the postpartum, breastfeeding, the menopausal transition, and menstrual cycle related mood dysregulation.


For more detailed descriptions of many of these topics, you can read the CWMH NEWSLETTER which comes out every Thursday.  You can sign up for our newsletter HERE.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD


No articles this week


No articles this week


Chronic physical conditions and risk for perinatal mental illness: A population-based retrospective cohort study.

Brown HK, Wilton AS, Ray JG, Dennis CL, Guttmann A, Vigod SN. PLoS Med. 2019 Aug 26;16(8). Free Article

More women with (20.4%) than without (15.6%) a chronic physical condition experienced perinatal mental illness with an adjusted relative risk (aRR) of 1.20 (95% CI 1.18-1.22, p < 0.0001). 

Is intimate partner violence more common in pregnant women with severe mental illness? A retrospective study.

Suparare L, Watson SJ, Binns R, Frayne J, Galbally M.

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2020 Jan 6

Around 48% of pregnant women with severe mental illness (SMI) experienced IPV and were three times as likely to experience IPV compared to pregnant women in the general pregnant population in Australia. There was no difference in rates of IPV in women with psychotic disorders when versus bipolar disorder. 

DNA methylation biomarkers prospectively predict both antenatal and postpartum depression.

Payne JL, Osborne LM, Cox O, Kelly J, Meilman S, Jones I, Grenier W, Clark K, Ross E, McGinn R, Wadhwa PD, Entringer S, Dunlop AL, Knight AK, Smith AK, Buss C, Kaminsky ZA.  Psychiatry Res. 2019 Nov 27.


No articles this week


Oxytocin during breastfeeding and maternal mood symptoms.

Whitley J, Wouk K, Bauer AE, Grewen K, Gottfredson NC, Meltzer-Brody S, Propper C, Mills-Koonce R, Pearson B, Stuebe A.  Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019 Dec 31.

There was no significant differences in oxytocin levels across a feed between depressed or anxious women and asymptomatic women at either 2 or 6 months postpartum. 

The postpartum depression literacy scale (PoDLiS): development and psychometric properties.

Mirsalimi F, Ghofranipour F, Noroozi A, Montazeri A. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2020 Jan 3;20(1):13. Free Article

The Postpartum Depression Literacy Scale (PoDLiS) is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring the postpartum depression literacy and now can be used in studies of mental health literacy in women.

The effect of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers, estradiol levels and severity of symptoms in women with postpartum depression: a randomized double-blind clinical trial.

Amini S, Amani R, Jafarirad S, Cheraghian B, Sayyah M, Hemmati AA.  Nutr Neurosci. 2020 Jan 3:1-11.

Vitamin D may be effective in improving the clinical symptoms of PPD; however, the mechanism of the effect might not entirely operate through inflammatory and/or hormonal changes.

The Effect of Progressive Muscle Relaxation on the Postpartum Depression Risk and General Comfort Levels in Primiparas.

Gök?in ?, Ayaz-Alkaya S.  Stress Health. 2020 Jan 9.

Progressive muscle relaxation may be effective on decreasing the postpartum depression risk and increasing general comfort.

Brexanolone For Postpartum Depression: A Novel Approach and a Call for Comprehensive Postpartum Care.

Jarman AF, MacLean JV, Barron RJ, Wightman RS, McGregor AJ.  Clin Ther. 2020 Jan 3.

Mood instability across the perinatal period: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study.

Li H, Bowen A, Bowen R, Feng C, Muhajarine N, Balbuena L.  J Affect Disord. 2019 Dec 2;264:15-23.

Perinatal depression, history of depression, and stress at T1, T2, and T3, and labor/birth complications at T3 were significant risk factors for mood instability (MI). MI at T1 was associated with PPD after controlling for important confounders at T1. The trajectory of perinatal MI had a declined trend from early pregnancy to postpartum.

Acute postcesarean pain is associated with in-hospital exclusive breastfeeding, length of stay and post-partum depression.

Babazade R, Vadhera RB, Krishnamurthy P, Varma A, Doulatram G, Saade GR, Turan A.  J Clin Anesth. 2019 Dec 31

The results demonstrate significant association between the increase in post-cesarean pain scores and deterioration of breastfeeding initiation while also exposing slight reductions in the quality of breastfeeding. Additionally, we found that increases in post-cesarean pain scores also positively associate with postpartum depression and duration of stay, with each increase in pain score resulted in an almost one-day increase in the length of stay.

Responding to women’s needs and preferences in an online program to prevent postpartum depression.

Ramphos ES, Kelman AR, Stanley ML, Barrera AZ.  Internet Interv. 2019 Sep 6. 

Biological stress response in women at risk of postpartum psychosis: The role of life events and inflammation.

Aas M, Vecchio C, Pauls A, Mehta M, Williams S, Hazelgrove K, Biaggi A, Pawlby S, Conroy S, Seneviratne G, Mondelli V, Pariante CM, Dazzan P.  Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019 Dec 19;

An immune-HPA axis dysregulation, together with current stress may represent an important underlying pathophysiological mechanism in the onset of psychosis after childbirth in vulnerable women.

T-cell Defects and Postpartum Depression.

Osborne LM, Gilden J, Kamperman AM, Hoogendijk WJG, Spicer J, Drexhage HA, Bergink V.  Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Jan 8.

The postpartum period in healthy women is a time of enhanced T cell activity. Women with postpartum depression failed to show physiological enhanced T-cell activity postpartum.


No articles this week


One-Year Postpartum Mental Health Outcomes of Mothers of Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

Corr TE, Schaefer EW, Hollenbeak CS, Leslie DL.  Matern Child Health J. 2020 Jan 10.

Mothers of NAS infants were more likely to have claims for major depression (33% vs. 15%, p?<?0.01), postpartum depression (7% vs. 3%, p?=?0.04), and anxiety (27% vs. 13%, p?<?0.01).


No articles this week


No articles this week


Depression Outcomes From a Fully Integrated Obstetric Mental Health Clinic: A 10-Year Examination.

Goedde D, Zidack A, Li YH, Arkava D, Mullette E, Mullowney Y, Brant JM.  J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2020 Jan 3.

A fully integrated Obstetric Mental Health Clinic (OBMHC) was established in 2007 in the rural northwest United States to address perinatal depression. OBMHCs can be effective when psychiatric nurses are embedded within an outpatient obstetric service. Improved access, timely services, and patient reassurance can lead to an improved pregnancy experience and reduced depressive symptoms.

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