An updated meta-analysis (Zhou et al, 2018) did not reveal an association between antidepressant exposure during pregnancy and increased risk of autism spectrum disorders. It is noteworthy that this publication — one that would provide reassuring information to women making the decision to take or to avoid antidepressants during pregnancy — received no mention in the press. 

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Association between maternal antidepressant use during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder: an updated meta-analysis.

Zhou XH, Li YJ, Ou JJ, Li YM.  Mol Autism. 2018 Mar 27;9:21.  Free Article

Fourteen studies were identified (eight cohort studies and six case-control studies). A meta-analysis did not reveal a significant association between maternal antidepressant use during pregnancy and ASD.

Transfer of Inhaled Cannabis Into Human Breast Milk.

Baker T, Datta P, Rewers-Felkins K, Thompson H, Kallem RR, Hale TW.  Obstet Gynecol. 2018 May;131(5):783-788.

A total of eight women were enrolled. Most were occasional cannabis smokers and one a chronic user. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol was detected at low concentrations at all the time points.  Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol was transferred into mother’s milk such that exclusively breastfeeding infants ingested an estimated mean of 2.5% of the maternal dose (the calculated relative infant dose=2.5%, range 0.4-8.7%). The estimated daily infant dose was 8 micrograms per kilogram per day.

The Grief of Mothers After the Sudden Unexpected Death of Their Infants.

Goldstein RD, Lederman RI, Lichtenthal WG, Morris SE, Human M, Elliott AJ, Tobacco D, Angal J, Odendaal H, Kinney HC, Prigerson HG; PASS Network.  Pediatrics. 2018 May;141(5).

Extremely high, persistent, and rates of prolonged grief disorder (PGD)  were observed in women who had experienced the loss of a child due to SIDS.   were found in both samples at every time interval. The prevalence of PGD was 50.0%. Daily, intrusive emotional pain or yearning was found in 68.1% of subjects; yearning was significantly associated with emotional pain (P < .0001). Role confusion and anger were the most prevalent symptoms, reported by the majority at every time interval. Rates of role confusion, anger, and diminished trust in others remained constant. Acceptance was less prevalent than other grief indicators at every interval.

Depression, posttraumatic stress and relationship distress in parents of very preterm infants.

Winter L, Colditz PB, Sanders MR, Boyd RN, Pritchard M, Gray PH, Whittingham K, Forrest K, Leeks R, Webb L, Marquart L, Taylor K, Macey J.

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2018 Mar 3.

Parents of very preterm infants were assessed at about one month postpartum.  Of mothers, 46.7% had a moderate to high likelihood of depression, 38.1% had moderate to severe symptoms of posttraumatic stress, and 25.1% were in higher than average relationship distress. The corresponding percentages in fathers were 16.9, 23.7, and 27%.

Improving Perinatal Mental Health Care for Women Veterans: Description of a Quality Improvement Program.

Katon JG, Lewis L, Hercinovic S, McNab A, Fortney J, Rose SM.

Matern Child Health J. 2017 Aug;21(8):1598-1605.

Placentophagy among women planning community births in the United States: Frequency, rationale, and associated neonatal outcomes.

Benyshek DC, Cheyney M, Brown J, Bovbjerg ML.  Birth. 2018 May 2.

Nearly one-third (31.2%) of women consumed their placenta. Consumers were more likely to have reported pregravid anxiety or depression compared with nonconsumers. Most (85.7%) placentophagic mothers consumed their placentas in encapsulated form, and nearly half (49.1%) consumed capsules containing dehydrated, uncooked placenta. Placentophagy was not associated with any adverse neonatal outcomes. Women with home births were more likely to engage in placentophagy than women with birth center births. The most common reason given (58.6%) for engaging in placentophagy was to prevent postpartum depression.

Mindfulness, cognitive behavioural and behaviour-based therapy for natural and treatment-induced menopausal symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

van Driel C, Stuursma AS, Schroevers MJ, Mourits M, de Bock GH.  BJOG. 2018 Mar 15. Review.

Psychological interventions reduced hot flush bother in the short and medium-term and menopausal symptoms in the short-term. These results are especially relevant for breast cancer survivors in whom HRT is contraindicated. There was a lack of studies reporting on the influence on sexual functioning.


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