SSRIs and Pregnancy. New Research. New Worries?

    There is new reserach on the use of SSRIs during pregnancy that is unsettling. This study reports that the use of antidepressants during pregnancy may increase the risk of having a child with autism. Tons of folks are understandably reaching out to us for clarification and reassurance. I am writing this only to say that […]

Journalists, Doctors, Everyone: Let’s Get it Right

Let’s get it right. Lives depend on it. There are, to be sure, tons of complex theories and contradicting explanations when it comes to mental illness and diagnoses. Discussing maternal mental health is no exception. Definitions are blurry, research is not always consistent with what we see in clinical practice, experts challenge existing classifications, and […]

Dads and Depression: Should We Call it Postpartum Depression?

Yesterday, Katie Couric talked about postpartum depression with Dr. Craig Garfield and Craig, a father who experienced paternal depression. The research study carried out by Dr. Garfield was groundbreaking and brings attention to the needs of dads during the postpartum period. We discussed this “together” in the article in The Atlantic, “Postpartum Depression Can Happen […]

Postpartum Depression Status Review

Source:  Postpartum Depression: Current Status and Future Directions by O’Hara, M & McCabe, J Annual Review of Clinical Psychology Volume 9  March 26, 2013   Michael O’Hara is a huge name in PPD research. Please review the main thrust of his review of current PPD status. The following has been taken directly from the abstract […]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Postpartum Depression?: I’m still not sure

  CBT and PPD. I used to think it was an oxymoron. Cognitive behavioral therapy is hard work. Definitely worth it, but hard work, nonetheless. Simply put, CBT is based on the notion that our feelings and behaviors are a consequence of the thoughts we are having. Regarding depression, if we reframe our negative thoughts, […]

New Screening Tool for PPD/PPA

We have posted the abstract and link to the PDM (Postpartum Distress Measure) as requested by a number of clinicians. You are free to use this tool for clinical purposes, but keep in mind it has not yet been validated so we have no cut-off scores. You may find it particularly helpful when assessing for […]

Risk Factors for Postpartum Distress

Interesting study shows a significant association between stressful life events and postpartum depression, anxiety, and stress disorders (postpartum distress). It’s nice to see more research on postpartum stress and anxiety in addition to depressive responses.  Researchers studied the co-morbidity of 3 major postpartum negative emotional states as separate phenomena (Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21). This study […]

Skin-to-skin Contact: There’s no downside.

More research on an old but important message: skin-t0-skin contact (SSC) is good for both mom and baby. This particular study reports a decrease in Mom’s report of depressive symptoms and physiologic stress as a result of skin-to-skin contact with infant. But… we’ve known this for a while, haven’t we?   Effect of Mother/Infant Skin-to-Skin Contact […]

Postpartum Distress Measure (PDM)

I am excited that our research project “Development of a Brief Measure of Postpartum Distress,” (PDM) was accepted for publication! It will appear in the April, 2011 issue of The Journal of Women’s Health. Congrats to Kelly Alison, PhD and David Sarwer, PhD at Penn and Amy Wenzel, PhD! We have been waiting for this […]

Marital status affects prenatal and postpartum depression

Here’s a study I found interesting. “Cohabitation as a strong predicting factor of perinatal depression.” (April, 2009, Podolska, Majkowicz, Sipak-Szmigiel, Ronin-Walknowska) I have to admit at first glance I thought to myself, why are they studying this? What information will this possibly provide us? But after reading the conclusion, it occurred to me that their […]

The American Journal of Psychiatry just published (May, 2009) an editorial written by Barbara Parry, MD, director of research at the Women’s Mood Disorder Clinic at the University of California: Assessing Risk and Benefit: To Treat or Not to Treat Major Depression During Pregnancy with Antidepressant Medication. It is a great article, summarizing the available […]

PPSC Postpartum Depression June Training Session

The deadline for early admission is rapidly approaching. If you are interested in registering for the June Training class, please submit the application prior to April 5th, or email me that you intend to join the group so I can save a spot for you. Click here for training details.

PPSC Research

Please take a moment and complete this 5-question survey we are conducting. It can be taken by anyone who has ever had a baby, there is no age limit (on baby or mother!) and it should only take about 1 minute to complete. The single qualification to participate is that you have had a baby. […]

Sleep and Postpartum Depression

Another for the “we knew this already but it’s better to have research to back it up” file: A recent study carried out locally at Drexel University, by Bobbie Posmontier, “Sleep quality in women with and without postpartum depression” set out to measure the quality of sleep in postpartum women who were depressed versus those […]

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