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



No articles this week


No articles this week


A Comprehensive Look at State Maternal Mental Health Screening and Reimbursement Legislation

Autoimmune Disease and Perinatal Depression: Bidirectional Link Reported

Women with autoimmune disease, especially multiple sclerosis (MS), have an increased risk for subsequent perinatal depression, and those with perinatal depression have an increased risk for autoimmune disease, according to study findings published in Molecular Psychiatry.


Effect of antenatal micronutrient or antidepressant exposure on Brazelton neonatal behavioral assessment scale (NBAS) performance within one-month of birth – PubMed

In-utero micronutrient exposure appears to mitigate risks of depression on infant outcomes showing positive effects on infant behavior, on par with or better than typical pregnancies and superior to antidepressants.


The effects of light therapy on depression and sleep in women during pregnancy or the postpartum period: A systematic review and meta-analysis – PubMed

Eight studies were eventually included in the analysis. The results showed that light therapy was more effective than the placebo group in terms of depression (SMD = .34, CI = .08-.61) and sleep (SMD = .64,95%CI = .28-1.00).

Peripheral Blood Inflammatory Cytokine Factors Expressions are Associated with Response to Acupuncture Therapy in Postpartum Depression Patients – PubMed

Acupuncture could alleviate depressive symptoms of patients with PPD and might through adjusting peripheral inflammatory response by up-regulating anti-inflammatory cytokines and down-regulating pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Effectiveness of aerobic exercise in the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression: Meta-analysis and network meta-analysis – PubMed

The efficacy of aerobic exercise in preventing and treating postpartum depression is significant compared to standard care, with a greater emphasis on prevention. The optimal prescribed exercise volume for intervention comprises a frequency of 3~4 exercise sessions per week, moderate intensity (35~45 minutes).

Efficacy of in-person versus digital mental health interventions for postpartum depression: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Digital mental health interventions show promise in addressing PPD symptoms, with a potentially greater effect size compared to in-person interventions.

Changes in maternal psychological symptom profiles from 2 to 6 months postpartum: an application of latent transition analysis – PubMed

Based on symptom severity, the identified profiles were Profile 1: Low, Profile 2: Moderate, and Profile 3: High. From 2 to 6 months postpartum, the prevalence of low symptom profile decreased (82 to 78.2%) while the prevalence increased for moderate (15.8 to 17.5%) and high symptom profiles (2.2 to 4.4%). For all profiles, it was most likely for postpartum women to stay in the same profile from 2 to 6 months (low to low, moderate to moderate, and high to high).

Increasing Maternal Anxiety in the Pre- to Postpartum Transition Predicts Infant Feeding Practices and Beliefs – PubMed

Postpartum symptoms predicted infant feeding factors related to worry, such as concern for infant undereating/becoming underweight. Increasing symptoms predicted worry-related concerns as well as concern for infant hunger and greater preference for feeding on a schedule. In a model including both increasing symptoms and postpartum symptoms, increasing anxiety symptoms drove associations with infant feeding factors (eg, preference for feeding on a schedule, (B = 0.81, P = .01). Anxiety was unrelated to infant weight-for-length at 6 months.


No articles this week


Substance use during pregnancy and risk of postpartum depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis – PubMed

Meta-analyzes revealed an overall odds ratio (OR) of 3.67 (95% CI 2.31-5.85, p < 0.01) indicating a significantly higher risk of PPD among substance users compared to non-users. Subgroup analyzes demonstrated a higher risk for women with non-specified or multiple substance use (OR 4.67, 95% CI 2.59-8.41; p < 0.01) and tobacco use (OR 4.01, 95% CI 2.23-7.20; p < 0.01).


Addressing Pregnancy And Parenting In Mental Health Care: Perspectives Of Women With Serious Mental Illness.

This research highlights critical gaps in the delivery of information, support, and resources that can inform efforts to increase providers’ capacity to address pregnancy and parenting with women living with SMI.


No articles this week


Spontaneous miscarriage and social support in predicting risks of depression and anxiety: a cohort study in UK Biobank.

Spontaneous miscarriage is associated with higher risks of depression and anxiety, and the risk of depression is further increased when there is also low degree of social support.

Psychiatric disorders and mortality due to external causes following diagnosis of endometriosis at a young age: a longitudinal register-based cohort study in Finland.

Surgical diagnosis of endometriosis at a young age was associated with increased incidence of several psychiatric disorders. Moreover, within the endometriosis population, psychiatric comorbidity was more common in women with types of endometriosis other than ovarian endometriosis. The researchers speculate that chronic pain is essential in the development of these psychiatric disorders, and that early and effective pain management is important in reducing the risk of psychiatric morbidity in young women.

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