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 the jury […]

Symptoms Associated with Positive Response to Medication*

Ever wonder why some women with postpartum depression take medication and some do not? There may be any number of reasons that vary from woman to woman, but one reason may be that a certain set of symptoms are more responsive to biologic intervention than others. The following is a list of some symptoms of […]

Postpartum Depression: Be Your Own Best Advocate

“Postpartum depression emerges at a time in a woman’s life when both the demands and stakes are high.  In addition to the disturbing feelings and symptoms, there is one more complicating factor.  There is a baby in the picture.  This makes everything more dramatic, more precarious, and much more urgent. Whether it’s her first bout […]

This Isn’t What I Expected: Prologue

Prologue by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin   When we wrote the first comprehensive guide for postpartum depression, This Isn’t What I Expected, almost two decades ago, we surely hoped that things would be different by now: mothers wouldn’t feel so much pressure to be perfect, the link between hormones and postpartum depression would be well […]

Are Medications “Optional” During Pregnancy?

This is an incredibly interesting post from MGH. The author, Helen Kim, MD, reflects on the dilemma of medicating psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy. I hope you take the time to read it. She does an amazing job simplifying an extremely complex situation. She refers to the notion that we have somehow made taking psychotropic medication […]

Benzos and Breastfeeding

Good news reported by MGH blog regarding the use of benzodiazepines during breastfeeding.  Research is supporting the use of benzos (ativan, xanax, klonopin) during lactation with a low risk for side effects.  They emphasize that infants should be monitored and that sedation may occur but that the overall risk is low.  This is important information […]

Antidepressants and breast cancer recurrence

Please take note of this not-so-good news about some antidepressants and breast cancer recurrence rates: As reported in the Wall Street Journal in an articled titled “Some Antidepressants Cut Tamoxifen’s Effectiveness – Study” by Jennifer Corbett Dooren, the use of some antidepressants can double the breast cancer recurrence rate. Apparently some antidepressants, which are prescribed […]

Lauren Hale has written a compelling piece on her blog: Sharing the Journey in response to a recent article in Vogue called “Pregnant Pause” which looks at the complex issue of taking antidepressants during pregnancy. Here’s a link to article in vogue to which she responded. Lauren is a strong PPD advocate and articulate voice […]

Antidepressants and Pregnancy

A new study in the November issue British Journal of Clinical pharmacology reports some not-so-good news about Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Paroxetine (Paxil) taken during the first three months of pregnancy while associated with smoking. Women are being advised to remain on the medication until they speak with their doctors but, of course, are being advised […]

Meds and Therapy

There is research that supports the efficacy of antidepressant medication for depressive symptoms. There is also research that reveals that symptoms of mild to moderate depression respond well to psychotherapy. We have the most research, however, that supports the notion that recovery from a major depressive episode is most effective with the combination of antidepressant […]

Use of Paxil During Pregnancy

In an article titled “Evaluation of the Risk of Congenital Cardiovascular Defects Associated With Use of Paroxetine During Pregnancy”published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and posted on, a study has shed new light on a controversial medication concern during pregnancy.Previous studies had shown an association between the use of Paxil and the incidence […]

Prevent Depression Relapse?

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that maintenance interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) — which focuses on relationships and life events which may trigger depression — is effective in preventing recurrence of depression for many women who struggle with chronic depressive symptoms. Instead of the traditional once-a-week therapy session, the therapy is at […]

Psychiatric Meds Update

In the April issue of The Carlat Psychiatry Report there were two great updates on medication and pregnancy: Leslie Hartley Gise, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Hawaii (and an expert on this subject for as long as I’ve been studying it) wrote a helpful article titled, “Prescribing Medications during Pregnancy and […]

More on SSRIs and Pregnancy

With recent FDA warnings regarding potential risks associated with both continuation and discontinuation of antidepressants during and after pregnancy, the impact on both the clinician and patient is striking. In the hopes of highlighting some of the most relevant implications, I wanted to review some of this information. Here are some highlights of the findings: […]

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