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.  


Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD





Trait-related changes in brain network topology in premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Dan R, Reuveni I, Canetti L, Weinstock M, Segman R, Goelman G, Bonne O.  Horm Behav. 2020 May 26:104782. 

The relationship between difficulties in emotion regulation and PMDD was mediated by specific patterns of functional connectivity, including connections of the striatum, thalamus and prefrontal cortex.



No articles this week



Trajectories of Insomnia Symptoms and Associations with Mood and Anxiety from Early Pregnancy to the Postpartum.

Sedov ID, Tomfohr-Madsen LM. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 2020.

Three trajectory groups were identified. A no insomnia group (42.3%) in which women reported consistently low insomnia symptoms. A subclinical insomnia group (44.3%) in which women reported subclinical symptoms which briefly elevated to clinical levels in late-pregnancy, and a clinical insomnia group (13.4%) in which women reported consistently elevated insomnia symptoms.  Women in the clinical insomnia group were more likely to also endorse anxiety and depression. Membership in the clinical insomnia group was associated with higher postpartum generalized anxiety and depressive symptoms. 

Baby preparation and worry scale (Baby-PAWS): Instrument development and psychometric evaluation.

Erickson NL, Neumann AA, Hancock GR, Gartstein MA.  Early Hum Dev. 2020 May 22;147:105080. 

Baby PAWS identified three distinct domains: Self and Partner Worry, Non-parental Childcare Worry, and Baby Caregiving Worry, based on item content.  Higher Baby-PAWS scores were associated with greater anxiety and depression in the third trimester. Predictive links with postpartum anxiety/depression symptoms and infant temperament were observed for the overall Baby-PAWS score and Self and Partner Worry factor. 

The impact of intimate partner violence on the trajectory of perinatal depression: a cohort study in a Chinese sample.

Hou F, Zhang X, Cerulli C, He W, Mo Y, Gong W.  Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2020 Jun 2.

90 participants (11.07%) reported IPV experience in the past 12 months. Victims reported more severe perinatal depressive symptoms and slower decreasing slope of trajectories. The perinatal depression trajectory was modulated by IPV experience (OR = 3.78), social supports (OR = 0.93), positive coping strategies (OR = 0.85), negative coping strategies (OR = 1.25).

The risk of eating disorder relapse during pregnancy and after delivery and postpartum depression among women recovered from eating disorders.

Makino M, Yasushi M, Tsutsui S.  BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2020 May 27;20(1):323.  Free article.

Sixteen participants (67%) experienced eating disorder (ED) relapse during pregnancy and twelve (50%) relapsed after birth. Twelve (50%) had postpartum depression, four of whom (33%) had low-birth-weight infants. Among the participants who did not have postpartum depression, there were no low-body-weight infants. 

Adversity in childhood and depression in pregnancy.

Wajid A, van Zanten SV, Mughal MK, Biringer A, Austin MP, Vermeyden L, Kingston D.  Arch Womens Ment Health. 2020 Apr;23(2):169-180.

A 2.5-fold increase in the odds of prenatal depression was observed in women with an ACEs score of ? 4. When examining the overall ACE score, lack of social support during pregnancy [AOR = 4.16; 95%CI (2.10-10.35)] and partner’s relationship [AOR = 2.23; 95%CI (1.12-4.44)] were associated with prenatal depression.



No articles this week



Effectiveness of an app-based cognitive behavioral therapy program for postpartum depression in primary care: A randomized controlled trial.

Jannati N, Mazhari S, Ahmadian L, Mirzaee M.  Int J Med Inform. 2020 May 24.

In the intervention group, the average EPDS score after intervention was 8.18 and in the control group was 15.05 (p < 0.001).

Lessons learned from a pilot randomized controlled trial of dyadic interpersonal psychotherapy for perinatal depression in a low-income population.

Lenze SN, Potts MA, Rodgers J, Luby J.  J Affect Disord. 2020 Jun 15;271:286-292. 

Depression scores improved from baseline in both groups and remained improved over the 12 month follow-up. There were no between group differences on measures of parenting stress, mother-infant interactions, and infant socioemotional functioning.  However, there were high rates of attrition in both groups (IPT-Dyad 30%; treatment as usual 40%).

Psychological impact of COVID-19 quarantine measures in northeastern Italy on mothers in the immediate postpartum period.

Zanardo V, Manghina V, Giliberti L, Vettore M, Severino L, Straface G.  Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 May 31. 

26% of women in the COVID-19 group had a global EPDS score above 12. Analysis of three EPDS subscales revealed significantly higher scores among the COVID-19 group compared with the control group for anhedonia (0.60 ± 0.61 vs 0.19 ± 0.36; P<0.001) and depression (0.58 ± 0.54 vs 0.35 ± 0.45; P=0.001).

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hospital-Based Care Associated with Postpartum Depression.

Chan AL, Guo N, Popat R, Robakis T, Blumenfeld YY, Main E, Scott KA, Butwick AJ.  J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2020 May 30. 

Compared with White women, hospital-based care for postpartum depression was more likely to be provided to Black women (OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.9-2.7), whereas care was less likely for Asians (OR = 0.4; 95% CI = 0.3-0.5) and Hispanics (OR = 0.8; 95% CI = 0.7-1.0). 

A brief sleep focused psychoeducation program for sleep-related outcomes in new mothers: A randomised controlled trial.

Kempler L, Sharpe LA, Marshall NS, Bartlett DJ.  Sleep. 2020 May 26.

 Prenatal sleep psychoeducation did not produce a sustained effect on maternal sleep throughout the postpartum period.



No articles this week



No articles this week



The impact of maternal perinatal depression on exposure to reading and screen time for their infants: pilot findings from the MPEWS Study.

Cowderoy G, Power J, Lewis A, Watson S, Galbally M.  Australas Psychiatry. 2020 Jun 2.

Children of women with a past diagnosis of depression were exposed to fewer days of 15-minute reading time per week compared to the children of women with no diagnosis. 

The influence of pre and postnatal adversity on depression and anxiety over two decades.

Lund JI, Savoy C, Schmidt LA, Ferro MA, Saigal S, Van Lieshout RJ.  J Affect Disord. 2020 Jun 15;271:178-184.

Exposure to both perinatal and later postnatal adversity leads to persistently higher internalizing problems than exposure to either adversity alone over more than two decades. These findings suggest that individuals exposed to perinatal adversity may be especially vulnerable to, and persistently affected by, childhood adversity, particularly in the form of depression and anxiety.



No articles this week



Hormonal Treatments for Major Depressive Disorder: State of the Art.

Dwyer JB, et al. Am J Psychiatry. 2020. 

Allopregnanolone, the Neuromodulator Turned Therapeutic Agent: Thank You, Next?

Pinna C.  Front Endocrinol 2020 May 14;11:236.  Free Text