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


Association between premenstrual dysphoric disorder and perinatal depression: a systematic review.

Pereira D, Pessoa AR, Madeira N, Macedo A, Pereira AT. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2021 Aug 26.

Most but not all studies suggest a link between PMDD and PPD.



No articles this week



Reproductive Decision-Making Capacity in Women With Psychiatric Illness: A Systematic Review.

Ross NE, Webster TG, Tastenhoye CA, Hauspurg AK, Foust JE, Gopalan PR, Hatters Friedman S. J Acad Consult Liaison Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 27:S2667-2960(21)00147-6.

A patient with psychiatric illness does not inherently lack capacity, and in fact, most patients with psychiatric illness have decision-making capacity.

Li H, Bowen A, Bowen R, Muhajarine N, Balbuena L. Mood instability, depression, and anxiety in pregnancy and adverse neonatal outcomes. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Aug 25;21(1):583.   https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-021-04021-y

Mood instability, depression, and anxiety were unrelated to adverse neonatal outcomes. Only primiparous status was associated with small for gestational age.

The Combination of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy with Virtual Reality for the Treatment of Postnatal Depression in a Brief Intervention Context: A Single-Case Study Trial.

Stamou G, Garcia-Palacios A, Woodford BJ, Suso-Ribera C, Botella C.

J Healthc Eng. 2021 Aug 19;2021:5514770. Free article.

In this study, the combination of CBT with virtual reality (VR) is an effective treatment for PPD. In addition, VR can enhance awareness, decision-making, and self-appreciation within the individual and can also have real-life applications.

Infant crying problems related to maternal depressive and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy: a prospective cohort study.

Ölmestig TK, Siersma V, Birkmose AR, Kragstrup J, Ertmann RK. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Nov 17;21(1):777. Free article.

Maternal anxiety and depressive symptoms during pregnancy are associated with having a child with crying problems after birth.



Exposure to duloxetine during pregnancy and risk of congenital malformations and stillbirth: A nationwide cohort study in Denmark and Sweden.

Ankarfeldt MZ, Petersen J, Andersen JT, Li H, Motsko SP, Fast T, Hede SM, Jimenez-Solem E. PLoS Med. 2021 Nov 22;18(11):e1003851. Free article.

In this observational register-based nationwide study analyzing data from Sweden and Denmark, researchers observed no increase in risk of major or minor congenital malformations or stillbirth was associated in infants with exposure to duloxetine during pregnancy.



Barandon S, Balès M, Pambrun E, Melchior M, C-Glangeaud-Freudenthal NM, Van der Waerden J, Verdoux H, Sutter-Dallay AL. Maternal post-natal depressive symptoms at 2 months: Effects of French antenatal preventive measures in the E.L.F.E. cohort. J Affect Disord. 2021 Oct 1;293:238-244.


Antenatal preventive measures may be helpful to prevent postpartum distress at 2 months’ postpartum, while these interventions do not seem to decrease risk for PPD.

Association between premenstrual dysphoric disorder and perinatal depression: a systematic review.

Pereira D, Pessoa AR, Madeira N, Macedo A, Pereira AT. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2021 Aug 26.

Most but not all studies suggest a link between PMDD and PPD.

Treating postpartum depression in rural veterans using internet delivered CBT: program evaluation of MomMoodBooster.

Solness CL, Kroska EB, Holdefer PJ, O’Hara MW.

J Behav Med. 2021 Aug;44(4):454-466. doi: 10.1007/s10865-020-00188-5. Epub 2020 Oct 14. Free article.

MomMoodBooster can be a valid and efficacious option for reaching under-served veteran populations with specialized postpartum mental health support and is as effective with rural women as with urban women.

Mother Matters: Pilot randomized wait-list controlled trial of an online therapist-facilitated discussion board and support group for postpartum depression symptoms.

Vigod SN, Slyfield Cook G, Macdonald K, Hussain-Shamsy N, Brown HK, de Oliveira C, Torshizi K, Benipal PK, Grigoriadis S, Classen CC, Dennis CL.

Depress Anxiety. 2021 Aug;38(8):816-825. d

This study supports the pursuit of online, therapist-facilitated, discussion board support group strategies for PPD.

A Brexanolone Treatment Program at an Academic Medical Center: Patient Selection, 90-Day Posttreatment Outcomes, and Lessons Learned.

Patterson R, Krohn H, Richardson E, Kimmel M, Meltzer-Brody S.

J Acad Consult Liaison Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 24:S2667-2960(21)00141-5.

All 16 patients had a significant reduction in Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores at 60 hours, scores dropping on average from 23.9 (standard deviation = 2.6) to 7.6 (standard deviation = 2.9).

Postpartum psychosis and SARS-CoV-2 infection: is there a correlation?

Bider EN, Coker JL. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2021 Dec;24(6):1051-1054. Free article.

The Women’s Mental Health Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has observed a four-fold increase in postpartum psychosis compared to the last 5 years.

Integrating SMS Text Messages Into a Preventive Intervention for Postpartum Depression Delivered via In-Home Visitation Programs: Feasibility and Acceptability Study.

Barrera AZ, Hamil J, Tandon D. JMIR Form Res. 2021 Nov 18;5(11):e30995. doi: 10.2196/30995. Free article.

The Mothers and Babies (MB) Course is an evidence-based preventive intervention for postpartum depression (PPD). In this pilot study, SMS text messaging in used between sessions.

Leading the charge toward a world without depression: perinatal depression can be prevented.

Muñoz RF, Le HN, Barrera AZ, Pineda BS. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2021 Oct;24(5):807-815.


No articles this week



Characteristics Associated with Prenatal Cannabis Use Vary with Legality of Recreational Cannabis.

Skelton KR, Benjamin-Neelon SE. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021 Nov;30(11):1565-1572.

Self-reported prenatal cannabis use in states with and without legalized recreational cannabis were 6.29% and 5.22%, respectively. Regardless of recreational cannabis legalization, women who were unmarried, on Medicaid, did not receive first trimester prenatal care, or with prenatal depression or anxiety were 1-4 times more likely to report prenatal cannabis use.

Association of Recreational Cannabis Legalization With Maternal Cannabis Use in the Preconception, Prenatal, and Postpartum Periods.

Skelton KR, Hecht AA, Benjamin-Neelon SE. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Feb 1;4(2):e210138. Free article.

Preconception and postpartum cannabis use increased significantly in states that had legalized recreational cannabis compared with states that had not legalized its use.



Advanced neuroimaging: A window into the neural correlates of fetal programming related to prenatal exposure to maternal depression and SSRIs.

Rotem-Kohavi N, Williams LJ, Oberlander TF. Semin Perinatol. 2020 Apr;44(3):151223. Review.



No articles this week



No articles this week

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