Could the flu affect pregnant women more strongly if they are also suffering from depression? Researchers at Ohio State University found that pregnant women who scored high on the CES-D scale had an exaggerated reaction to the seasonal flu vaccine compared with pregnant women with lower scores or no depressive symptoms. Women with significant depression were found to have much higher levels—up to twice the amount—of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), an inflammation-promoting protein, after receiving the seasonal flu shot. This suggests that the immune system in women with depression is functioning sub-optimally, leaving them at greater risk for a tougher bout with seasonal flu (and, by extension, H1N1). According to the CDC, only 12 to 13% of women typically get the flu shot. The CDC and the World Health Organization recommend that pregnant women get both seasonal and H1N1 flu shots, and put pregnant women at the top of the priority list for the H1N1 vaccine.
Thank you to all who answered our calls for volunteers to take part in two pre-study surveys. The response was overwhelming; the data collected will help researchers craft studies that will hopefully answer questions and advance treatments in the fight against postpartum depression.
The impact of postnatal and concurrent maternal depression on child behaviour during the early school years.
Fihrer I, McMahon CA, Taylor AJ. J Affect Disord. 2009 Dec;119(1-3):116-23.
This prospective study explores the ongoing impact of early and subsequent maternal depression on offspring behavior in the early school years.
Can pediatricians accurately identify maternal depression at well-child visits?
Mishina H, Hayashino Y, Takayama JI, Kasahara M, Fukuhara S. Pediatr Int. 2009 Oct 6. [Epub ahead of print]
This study aimed to determine whether a two-item screening tool improved physician recognition of postpartum depression during well child visits.
Is seasonal variation another risk factor for postpartum depression?
Panthangi V, West P, Savoy-Moore RT, Geeta M, Reickert E. J Am Board Fam Med. 2009 Sep-Oct;22(5):492-7.
Using Medline searches, researches evaluated studies of antidepressant exposure during pregnancy to determine the risks of depression and antidepressant exposure in pregnancy. Few of the studies controlled for possible effects of depressive disorder.
In The News
How to beat postnatal insomnia
London Times Online, October 18, 2009
For some postpartum women, those initial sleepless nights can lead to a seemingly endless cycle of exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.
Delivering Jewish Women from Postpartum Depression
The Jewish Daily Forward, October 27, 2009
A new book by Rabbi Baruch Finkelstein and his wife, Michal Finkelstein, a certified nurse-midwife, looks at PPD from a Jewish perspective.
Depression Is a Dilemma for Women in Pregnancy
New York Times, October 5, 2009
To treat or not to treat? Women and their doctors must weigh the risks of antidepressant use against the risks of non-treatment for depression during pregnancy.
Addressing Symptoms of Postpartum Depression Through Comprehensive Risk Assessment and Intervention
When: November 5 Where: Niagara, NY
National Perinatal Association Annual Conference
Where: Fort Worth, TX
In the Eye of the Beholder (CME)
When: November 13
Where: Terre Haute, IN
Med Ed Resources
The Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling Postpartum Depression Foundation
The Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling Postpartum Depression Foundation is an organization dedicated to educating, recognizing, researching and de-stigmatizing women's mental health complications associated with childbearing, particularly postpartum depression.
Index of Alternative Therapies and Modalities
A comprehensive list of alternative medicine terms with definitions and explanations. From the Harvard Medical School and Natural Standard, an international research collaboration that aggregates and synthesizes data on complementary and alternative therapies.
Online PPD Support Group
Moms can find support and a place to vent on the site's busy discussion forums. Look at the menu under "Communicate" for a link to the forums page.
This Month's Poll
As a health care provider, are you in favor of a public insurance option as part of national health care reform?
To participate in this month's poll click HERE.
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