What’s worse? Prenatal exposure to antidepressant medications or exposure to maternal depression?  Hutchison and colleagues observe that worse executive functioning was observed in the 6-year-old children of mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms.  Prenatal exposure to SSRIs did not have any significant impact on executive functioning.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD


A 6-year longitudinal study: Are maternal depressive symptoms and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant treatment during pregnancy associated with everyday measures of executive function in young children?

Hutchison SM, Mâsse LC, Brain U, Oberlander TF.  Early Hum Dev. 2018 Nov 14;128:21-26.

In this longitudinal prospective cohort, maternal reports of children’s executive functioning using the Behavior Rating Inventory of EF (BRIEF) was obtained from 139 children (77 females; non-exposed n?=?88, SSRI exposed n?=?51) at age 6?years. Higher levels of maternal depressive symptoms, especially at 3?years, were associated with poorer maternal reports of executive functioning skills at 6?years. Associations between prenatal SSRI exposure and EF outcomes were not significant.


Maternal adverse childhood experiences, mental health, and child behaviour at age 3: The all our families community cohort study.

McDonald SW, Madigan S, Racine N, Benzies K, Tomfohr L, Tough S. Prev Med. 2018 Nov 22;118:286-294.

In mothers with 3 or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), there was an increased risk of postpartum smoking, binge drinking, depressive and anxiety symptoms, lower optimism and higher neuroticism, and lower reported parenting morale.


Poor sleep quality of third trimester exacerbates the risk of experiencing postnatal depression.

Zhou H, Li W, Ren Y.  Psychol Health Med. 2018 Nov 17:1-10.

Prenatal psychological distress (OR = 2.551, 95% CI = 1.221 ~ 5.329, P = 0.013) and perceived stress (OR = 2.881, 95% CI = 1.398 ~ 5.938, P= 0.007) were the strongest predictors of PPD. Independent of this, poor subjective sleep quality (OR = 2.391, 95% CI = 1.072 ~ 5.556, P = 0.044) during pregnancy also predicted postnatal depressive symptoms.


A placebo controlled treatment trial of sertraline and interpersonal psychotherapy for postpartum depression.

O’Hara MW, Pearlstein T, Stuart S, Long JD, Mills JA, Zlotnick C.  J Affect Disord. 2018 Oct 31;245:524-532.

Mothers with PPD were randomly assigned to IPT, sertraline-clinical management (CM), or placebo pill-CM. Active interventions with or without medication delivered over a period of twelve weeks can lead to significant improvement in depression and social adjustment among postpartum women


Is parity status associated with bipolar disorder clinical features, severity or evolution?

Tebeka S, Le Strat Y, Dubertret C.  J Affect Disord. 2018 Jan 1;225:201-206.

Women with at least two children were more likely to have BD I, to report hypomania and suicide attempt during the follow-up than women without children.


Multivariable Analysis of the Association between Antenatal Depressive Symptomatology and Postpartum Visit Attendance.

Shim JY, Stark EL, Ross CM, Miller ES.  Am J Perinatol. 2018 Nov 30.

Compared with those without antenatal depressive symptomatology, women with antenatal depressive symptomatology were significantly less likely to attend their postpartum visit (18.6 vs. 29.2%, p?<?0.001).


Mothers’ Mental Health Care Utilization After Screening for Postpartum Depression at Well Child Visits.

Kallem S, Matone M, Boyd RC, Guevara JP.  Acad Pediatr. 2018 Nov 26.

1,986 (65.1%) completed the PPD screen at well child visits, and 263 (13.2%) screened positive for PPD of whom 195 (74.1%%) were referred for services. Twenty-three women who initially screened positive for PPD  (11.8%) had at least one Medicaid claim for depression within six months of screening.


Elevated maternal anxiety in the NICU predicts worse fine motor outcome in VLBW infants.

Greene MM, Rossman B, Meier P, Patra K.  Early Hum Dev. 2018 Jan;116:33-39.

In a prospective study of 69 mothers and their VLBW infants, after controlling for infant and maternal covariates, elevated maternal anxiety in the NICU predicted lower fine motor scores at 20 months corrected age


PPD ACT: an app-based genetic study of postpartum depression.

Guintivano J, Krohn H, Lewis C, Byrne EM, Henders AK, Ploner A, Kirk K, Martin NG, Milgrom J, Wray NR, Sullivan PF, Meltzer-Brody S.Transl Psychiatry. 2018 Nov 29;8(1):260.

In one year, this app facilitated the recruitment of 7344 women with a history of PPD and led to the biobanking of 2946 DNA samples from the US.


Associations between premenstrual syndrome and postpartum depression: A systematic literature review.

Amiel Castro RT, Pataky EA, Ehlert U.  Biol Psychol. 2018 Nov 16.


Associations of Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Assault, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder With Menopause Symptoms Among Midlife and Older Women.

Gibson CJ, Huang AJ, McCaw B, Subak LL, Thom DH, Van Den Eeden SK.  JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Nov 19.

A history of IPV and/or sexual assault increased risk of menopausal symptoms; however, this association was the most pronounced in those women with exposure to trauma which was associated with PTSD symptoms.  

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