Each week, we take a quick look at the most recent articles published in women’s mental health.

Obstetrical and neonatal outcomes after benzodiazepine exposure during pregnancy: Results from a prospective registry of women with psychiatric disorders.

Freeman MP, et al.  Gen Hosp Psychiatry, May 2018.

Infants exposed to benzodiazepines during pregnancy had an increased risk of NICU admissions and small head circumferences. Confounding from psychiatric symptoms and other variables cannot be ruled out as contributors to these findings.


Valproate in Pregnancy: Recent Research and Regulatory Responses.

Andrade C.  J Clin Psychiatry. 2018 May 29;79(3).  Free Article

An excellent article on the significant risks associated with use of valproic acid during pregnancy, and the slow change in prescribing patterns.  


Use of atypical antipsychotics in pregnancy and maternal gestational diabetes.

Panchaud A, Hernandez-Diaz S, Freeman MP, Viguera AC, MacDonald SC, Sosinsky AZ, Cohen LS.  J Psychiatr Res. 2017 Dec;95:84-90.

Use of atypical antipsychotics were not associated with increased risk of gestational diabetes.  


Socioeconomic status and treatment of depression during pregnancy: a retrospective population-based cohort study in British Columbia, Canada.

Hanley GE, Park M, Oberlander TF.  Arch Womens Ment Health. 2018 Jun 2.

This retrospective cohort study using a population-based administrative datasets included all women who delivered a live infant in the province of British Columbia, Canada between April 1st, 2000 and December 31st, 2009. Women in the highest income quintile were significantly more likely to see a psychiatrist for depression during pregnancy and to fill prescriptions for antidepressants than women in the lowest income quintile. Women at the lower end of the income distribution were more likely to have a visit with their PCP for depression. Women at the low end of the income distribution were more likely to be psychiatrically hospitalized during pregnancy and were more likely to receive a benzodiazepine and/or an antipsychotic medication.


The effectiveness of exercise-based interventions for preventing or treating postpartum depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Carter T, Bastounis A, Guo B, Jane Morrell C.  Arch Womens Ment Health. 2018 Jun 7.

Small effect sizes of exercise-based interventions in reducing depressive symptoms were observed collectively and the quality of evidence was low across the 18 individual studies. Although exercise-based interventions could create an alternative therapeutic approach for preventing major depression in postpartum women who experience subthreshold elevated depressive symptoms, the clinical effectiveness and the cost-effectiveness of exercise-based and physical activity interventions need to be better established.


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in prevention and treatment of maternal depression: Putative mechanism and recommendation.

Hsu MC, Tung CY, Chen HE.  J Affect Disord. 2018 May 16;238:47-61. Review.


The impact of maternal anxiety disorder on mother-infant interaction in the postpartum period.

Reck C, Tietz A, Müller M, Seibold K, Tronick E.  PLoS One. 2018 May 25;13(5): Free Article

Infants of the clinical group showed significantly less positive engagement during the play episode than infants of controls. This result depended on infant sex: male controls demonstrated more positive interaction than males of anxious mothers. There was no such effect for female infants who engaged significantly less positively during the play episode than males and did not change their positive engagement during the FFSF.


Maternal anxiety and depressive disorders prior to, during and after pregnancy and infant interaction behaviors during the Face-to-Face Still Face Paradigm at 4?months postpartum: A prospective-longitudinal study.

Asselmann E, Venz J, Wittchen HU, Martini J.  Early Hum Dev. 2018 Jun 11;122:45-53.


An analysis of whether sleep disorder will result in postpartum depression.

Chung TC, Chung CH, Peng HJ, Tsao CH, Chien WC, Sun HF.  Oncotarget. 2018 May 18;9(38):25304-25314. Free Article

Prenatal sleep disorder in pregnant women increased the risk of developing postpartum depression (the risk in the sleep disorder cases was 5-fold higher compared with control cases).


Perinatal maternal depression, antidepressant use and infant sleep outcomes: Exploring cross-lagged associations in a pregnancy cohort study.

Galbally M, Watson SJ, Teti D, Lewis AJ.  J Affect Disord. 2018 May 21;238:218-225.

Maternal depression and antidepressant use were not found to be significant factors in infant sleep problems and, likewise, infant sleep problems were not associated with maternal depression. However, postpartum maternal cognitions around six months postpartum regarding limit-setting at night may predict increases in later nocturnal infant signaling.


Neonatal adaptation following intrauterine antidepressant exposure: assessment, drug assay levels, and infant development outcomes.

Galbally M, Spigset O, Johnson AR, Kohan R, Lappas M, Lewis AJ.  Pediatr Res. 2017 Nov;82(5):806-813.

Researchers followed 42 women/infant pairs at delivery. In all, 31 women continued to take antidepressants until delivery and 11 ceased earlier in pregnancy. In total, 76% (32 of 42) of neonates exposed to antidepressants had symptoms of poor neonatal adaptation.  The most frequent symptoms were correlated most closely to antidepressant drug levels. Elevated NASS scores were found to be associated with poorer fine motor development at 6 months of age.


A mindfulness intervention to reduce maternal distress in neonatal intensive care: a mixed methods pilot study.

Mendelson T, McAfee C, Damian AJ, Brar A, Donohue P, Sibinga E.  Arch Womens Ment Health. 2018 Jun 5.

Quantitative data indicated significant improvements in depressive, anxiety, and trauma symptoms, negative coping, NICU-related stress, and sleep.


Couples’ relationship affects mothers’ and fathers’ anxiety and depression trajectories over the transition to parenthood.

Figueiredo B, Canário C, Tendais I, Pinto TM, Kenny DA, Field T.  J Affect Disord. 2018 May 29;238:204-212.

Mothers’ and fathers’ positive and negative interactions affect their anxiety and depression symptoms trajectories: negative interaction raises mothers’ and fathers’ depression symptoms and positive interaction prevents the increase of fathers’ anxiety symptoms over the postpartum period.


Age at menopause and lifetime cognition: Findings from a British birth cohort study.

Kuh D, Cooper R, Moore A, Richards M, Hardy R.  Neurology. 2018 May 8;90(19):e1673-e1681.  Free Article