The first study on our list adds to the relatively limited information we have regarding the long-term effects of prenatal antidepressant exposure, and the findings look good, demonstrating no lasting effects of prenatal exposure to SSRI antidepressants.  

Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and non-verbal cognitive functioning in childhood.

El Marroun H, White TJ, Fernandez G, Jaddoe VW, Verhulst FC, Stricker BH, Tiemeier H.  J Psychopharmacol. 2017 Mar;31(3):346-355.

In this study of 71 children prenatally exposed to SSRIs, 385 children prenatally exposed to maternal depressive symptoms and 5427 unexposed children, prenatal SSRI exposure did not impact executive function at 4 years, nor was it related with observed non-verbal intelligence at age 5 or neuropsychological function at 7 years.  However, exposure to untreated maternal depressive symptoms was related to emotional control problems at 4 years. No associations between exposure to depressive symptoms and non-verbal IQ at 5 years or neuropsychological function at 7 years were observed.

Maternal perinatal and concurrent depressive symptoms and child behavior problems: a sibling comparison study.

Gjerde LC, Eilertsen EM, Reichborn-Kjennerud T, McAdams TA, Zachrisson HD, Zambrana IM, Røysamb E, Kendler KS, Ystrom E.  J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2017 Feb 23.

In this sample of 11,599 families from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study, parental depression at any time point was associated with child internalizing and externalizing behaviors.  However, after sibling comparison, only concurrent maternal depression was significantly associated with internalizing and externalizing behavior problems.  The effect of concurrent maternal depression on internalizing problems increased with child age.


Vaillancourt K, Pawlby S, Fearon RM.  Infant Ment Health J. 2017 Feb 25.

Ten of 14 studies found a direct or an indirect relationship between self-reported childhood abuse and maternal caregiving. Of the studies that were rated of the highest quality, it appears that the effect of maternal abuse history on caregiving may be via a third variable (i.e., stress reactivity or depressive symptoms).

An evaluation of perinatal mental health interventions: An integrative literature review.

Lavender TJ, Ebert L, Jones D.  Women Birth. 2016 Oct;29(5):399-406. Review.

Association between sleep quality and postpartum depression.

Iranpour S, Kheirabadi GR, Esmaillzadeh A, Heidari-Beni M, Maracy MR.  J Res Med Sci. 2016 Nov 7;21:110.   Free Article

Women who reported poor sleep quality were 3.34 times more likely than those with good sleep quality to have postpartum depression.  

HPA axis reactivity to pharmacologic and psychological stressors in euthymic women with histories of postpartum versus major depression.

Ferguson EH, Di Florio A, Pearson B, Putnam KT, Girdler S, Rubinow DR, Meltzer-Brody S.  Arch Womens Ment Health. 2017 Mar 1.

Currently euthymic women with histories of postpartum depression did not differ from women with MDD in terms of residual abnormal stress responsivity following administration of either a pharmacologic or psychological stressor.

Psychiatry and Obstetrics: An Imperative for Collaboration.

Hoffman MC, Wisner KL.  Am J Psychiatry. 2017 Mar 1;174(3):205-207.

Commentary on consensus bundle on maternal mental health (below).

Consensus Bundle on Maternal Mental Health: Perinatal Depression and Anxiety.

Kendig S, Keats JP, Hoffman MC, Kay LB, Miller ES, Moore Simas TA, Frieder A, Hackley B, Indman P, Raines C, Semenuk K, Wisner KL, Lemieux LA.  Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Mar;129(3):422-430.

An interdisciplinary workgroup was convened in order to develop an evidence-based patient safety bundle to address perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, providing direction for incorporating perinatal mood and anxiety disorder screening, intervention, referral, and follow-up into maternity care practice across health care settings.

Maternal stress and psychological distress preconception: association with offspring atopic eczema at age 12 months.

El-Heis S, Crozier SR, Healy E, Robinson SM, Harvey NC, Cooper C, Inskip HM, Baird J; Southampton Women’s Survey Study Group., Godfrey KM.  Clin Exp Allergy. 2017 Feb 20.

Preconception stress (but not postpartum mood) were associated with an increased risk of offspring atopic eczema at age 12 months  (OR 1.21).

Use of Online Forums for Perinatal Mental Illness, Stigma, and Disclosure: An Exploratory Model.

Moore D, Drey N, Ayers S.  JMIR Ment Health. 2017 Feb 20;4(1):e6. doi: 10.2196/mental.5926.  Free Article

Online forums have the potential to help women to recognize stigma around perinatal mental illness, which may lead to greater disclosure of symptoms to health care providers.

Serum serotonin, leptin, and adiponectin changes in women with postpartum depression: controlled study.

Yildiz G, Senturk MB, Yildiz P, Cakmak Y, Budak MS, Cakar E.  Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2017 Feb 21.

Serum adiponectin and leptin levels were high in women with PPD.

Psychometric Properties of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire – IV (GAD-Q-IV) in Postpartum Mothers.

Pierson ME, Prenoveau JM, Craske MG, Netsi E, Stein A.  Psychol Assess. 2017 Feb 20.

GAD-Q-IV could be a viable screening measure used to identify the likely presence of GAD in postpartum women.

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