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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fluctuating Hormones Linked to More Severe Bipolar Symptoms

Fluctuating Hormones Linked to More Severe Bipolar Symptoms: MedlinePlus


Premenstrual, postpartum, menopausal mood changes may affect women with disorder: study

URL of this page: (*this news item will not be available after 05/16/2011)


By Robert Preidt

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 HealthDay Logo

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TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In women with bipolar disorder, premenstrual mood changes are associated with more depressive episodes and more severe symptoms, researchers have found.

The findings from the study of nearly 300 women offer evidence that premenstrual flare-ups of mood symptoms may be a clinical marker predicting greater severity of bipolar disorder in reproductive-age women, said Dr. Rodrigo Dias and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The bipolar women with pre-mentrual mood changes had more episodes of depression and worse symptoms the following year, compared with bipolar women without premenstrual mood changes, the researchers found.

The study is published in the Feb. 15 online edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Through their action on the central nervous system, estrogen and other reproductive hormones influence mood, the researchers explained. The time period following childbirth and the menopause transition are also times when women with bipolar disorder are more vulnerable to relapse.

In general, the way fluctuating hormone levels influence mood may result in greater mood instability among these patients, the study authors noted.

"The results reinforce the importance of identifying mood fluctuations across the menstrual cycle in women with bipolar disorder," Dias said in a journal news release. "The women with premenstrual mood changes may benefit from more intensive monitoring. The value of antidepressants isn't clear, since on the one hand, these women were less likely to be taking antidepressants and might have benefited from them. But on the other hand, antidepressants can trigger manic symptoms in bipolar patients."

SOURCE: American Journal of Psychiatry, news release, Feb. 15, 2011



The Outlook for Borderline Personality Disorder

NIMH · The Outlook for Borderline Personality Disorder

Recently, the National Institute of Mental Health hosted an event that focused on Borderline Personality Disorder. Featured speakers included BPD researcher Dr. Marsha Linehan as well as Amanda Wang, founder of RethinkBPD.

'Talk Therapy' Can Alter Brain Activity, Research Shows

'Talk Therapy' Can Alter Brain Activity, Research Shows: MedlinePlus


Physical changes occur in brains of social anxiety patients receiving psychotherapy

URL of this page: (*this news item will not be available after 05/17/2011)


By Robert Preidt

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 HealthDay Logo

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Psychotherapy triggers changes in the brains of people with social anxiety disorder, finds a new study.

Medication and psychotherapy are used to treat people with social anxiety, a common disorder in which people experience overwhelming fear of interacting with others and of being harshly judged. But there's been far less research on the neurological effects of psychotherapy (talk therapy) than on medication-induced brain changes.

The new Canadian study included 25 adults with social anxiety disorder who underwent 12 weekly sessions of group cognitive behavior therapy, which is meant to help patients identify and challenge their unhealthy thinking patterns.

These clinical group patients were compared to two control groups who tested either extremely high or low for symptoms of social anxiety but received no psychotherapy.

All of the participants underwent a series of electroencephalograms (EEGs), which measure brain electrical interactions. The researchers focused on the amount of delta-beta coupling, which increased with rising anxiety.

Before treatment, the clinical group's delta-beta correlations were similar to those of the high-anxiety control group and much higher than those of the low-anxiety control group. When measured at a point about midway through psychotherapy, improvements in the patients' brains matched symptom improvement reported by both doctors and patients. After they completed psychotherapy, the patients' EEG results were similar to those of the low-anxiety group.

The study is scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science.

"Laypeople tend to think that talk therapy is not 'real,' while they associate medications with hard science and physiologic change," lead author Vladimir Miskovic, a McMaster University doctoral candidate, said in a news release from the Association for Psychological Science. "But at the end of the day, the effectiveness of any program must be mediated by the brain and the nervous system. If the brain does not change, there won't be a change in behavior or emotion."

SOURCE: Association for Psychological Science, news release, Feb. 14, 2011



Peer Support Beats Usual Care for Depression, Analysis Finds

Peer Support Beats Usual Care for Depression, Analysis Finds: MedlinePlus


But it may not be helpful for people with severe depression, one expert suggests

URL of this page: (*this news item will not be available after 05/19/2011)


By Randy Dotinga

Friday, February 18, 2011 HealthDay Logo

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FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis of existing research finds that peer support may do a better job of treating depression than standard care.

Depression is difficult to treat even with the help of psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs. According to the analysis, one-third of depressed patients have significant symptoms even after being treated with four different medications. In addition, among depressed people who recover while taking antidepressant drugs, more than half relapse within a year.

The researchers looked at 14 studies involving depression and peer support in their meta-analysis, which is a method that pools the results of different studies examining a common problem so they can be analyzed statistically. All of the studies had randomly assigned depressed people to receive peer support with at least one other person, or one of three other types of treatment including standard care, cognitive behavioral therapy, or both. The studies examined the experiences of 869 participants in total.

The researchers combined the results of the studies and reported their findings online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

Dr. Paul Pfeiffer, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues found that support groups were "superior" to regular care but didn't do significantly better or worse than cognitive behavioral therapy, which trains people to develop new patterns of thought and behavior.

Why might support groups be so helpful? Pfeiffer's team suggested that it may have something to do with their ability to lessen isolation, provide a buffer against stressful events, help patients share health information and offer role models. "Peer support programs may also empower patients to play a more active role in their own self-care," they wrote.

"Given the high level of functional burden imposed by depression worldwide, peer support for depression should also be studied as a potentially low-cost intervention in primary care or other settings where more established but costly depression services are unavailable," the authors concluded.

One expert who was not involved with the meta-analysis had some criticisms of the findings.

Dr. Bernard Carroll, scientific director at the Pacific Behavioral Research Foundation and past chairman of psychiatry at Duke University, said that several of the studies in the review were weak, and the stronger ones showed the treatment approaches were just about equally effective. In addition, some of the studies focused on people with mild symptoms, he noted.

But peer support might still have its uses in depression treatment, he noted.

Overall, Carroll said, the review suggested that peer support "may be somewhat helpful" -- with caveats -- in certain people without severe symptoms of depression.

SOURCES: Bernard Carroll, Ph.D., scientific director, Pacific Behavioral Research Foundation, Carmel, Calif.; Nov. 13, 2010, General Hospital Psychiatry, online

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Making Decisions about Prenatal Care

Making Decisions about Prenatal Care

Giving birth and becoming a mother is an intense, intimate, and important moment
in your life. The following tips for prenatal care will help you in establishing a positive working relationship with your provider, and ensure that you and your baby get the attention you both deserve...

Thinking About Inducing Your Labor: A Guide for Pregnant Women

Thinking About Inducing Your Labor: A Guide for Pregnant Women - Consumer Guide | AHRQ Effective Health Care Program


What Does This Guide Cover?

This guide can help you talk to your doctor or midwife about elective induction of labor. It helps answer these questions.


What is elective induction?
What are the possible problems with elective induction?
What don’t we know yet about elective induction?

This guide covers what research can and can’t tell us about elective induction. It is based on a government-funded review of research reports about elective induction of labor....


Friday, February 18, 2011

North Carolina Friends of Midwives: Action alert

Subject: ACTION Alert
We are working on securing sponsorship for our bill. The legislators below are the ones we are hoping to get as sponsors. If you live in the county represented by any of the legislators listed below, PLEASE e-mail and/or call the legislators below letting them know that:

- NC needs Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) to be licensed here like they are in VA, SC, and TN

- It is a safely issue because many NC homebirthing families do not have access to midwifery care

- Include any details about why it is important for your family

- Ask them to please sponsor legislation licensing and regulating CPMs

Also, please forward this action alert to friends, clients, etc…who might live in one of the counties listed below asking them to write to legislators.

Thanks! Let's get this done in 2011!

Amber Craig

Here are the senate legislators we are asking for sponsorship or co-sponsorship:

NEW HANOVER: Senator Thom Goolsby -; 919) 715-2525

CUMBERLAND: Senator Eric Mansfield -; 919) 733-9349

GREENE, PITT, WAYNE: Senator Louis Pate -; (919) 733-5621

Here are the House legislators we are asking for sponsorship or co-sponsorship:

GASTON: Representative Bill Current -, 919-733-5809

DURHAM, PERSON: Rep. Wilkins -, 919-715-0850

WAKE: Rep. Nelson Dollar -, 919-715-0795

DAVIE, IREDELL: Rep. Julia Howard -, 919-733-5904

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Yoga workshop - Healing from Traumatic Birth


A Yoga workshop - Healing from Traumatic Birth

Posted by: "vyntge"

Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:05 pm (PST)

I'm running another installment of my Yoga workshop. If you ladies know of anyone in the Pittsburgh, PA area, please pass this on to them. Thanks!

Healing from Traumatic Birth
Schoolhouse Yoga, Southside Works

Wednesday, February 23, 8:00 â€" 9:00 pm
Wednesday, March 23, 8:00 â€" 9:00 pm
Wednesday, April 20, 8:00 â€" 9:00 pm

$35 for an individual session or $90 for the 3 part series
To Register:

Birth is an experience that a mother carries with her for the rest of her life. When that birth becomes traumatic, it can be a tough load to shoulder. Whether your traumatic birth was a few months ago, or 25 years ago, you are invited to join us for a 3-part healing session. We will utilize meditation, mantra and breathing techniques to help you work through the pain caused by a traumatic birth experience. A handout will be provided with the mantras and music so that you may continue to use these techniques at home to further your healing process. We will have a discussion period before and after our Yoga practice. No previous Yoga experience necessary.

It is recommended you register for all 3 parts of the workshop, as they build off of one another. Each session will focus on a unique aspect of healing, such that by the end of the three sessions you have a good foundation with which to practice at home.

Deena H. Blumenfeld, RYT, P-RYT, LCCE
Shining Light Prenatal Education
Yoga Instructor
Certified Khalsa Way Prenatal Yoga Instructor
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator

(m) 412-915-6167

Saturday, February 5, 2011

purpledragon1999 sent you a video: "Behind the Mask: The Hidden Struggle of Parenthood"

YouTube help center | e-mail options | report spam

purpledragon1999 has shared a video with you on YouTube:

A wonderful new video on postpartum depression
This film presents real life stories of new parents who've experienced and overcome perinatal depression and anxiety. It talks honestly about their stories and features insights from experts and health professionals. It provides an opportunity to look behind the mask of secrecy that often conceals the true feelings of those effected by this debilitating condition.

Copies of the full DVD can be ordered from PANDA
© 2011 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

2011 Postpartum Support International Conference is in Seattle! Sept 14-17

2011 Postpartum Support International Conference is in Seattle! Sept 14-17

Postpartum Support International annual conference will be in Seattle this year! (Sept 14-17) and are currently accepting speaker proposals

Medical care for pregnant women is getting more difficult

Medical care for pregnant women is getting more difficult

Hospital Maternity Wards Are Closing Across U.S.

Friday, January 21, 2011

More women of child-rearing age are uninsured and dependent on medical assistance. That is tightening the financial noose around hospital maternity care and causing longer waits and travel time for pregnant women...

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Issues Opinion on Planned Home Births

For Release: January 20, 2011

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Issues Opinion
on Planned Home Births

Washington, DC -- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) issued a Committee Opinion today that says although the absolute risk of planned home births is low, published medical evidence shows it does carry a two- to three-fold increase in the risk of newborn death compared with planned hospital births. A review of the data also found that planned home births among low risk women are associated with fewer medical interventions than planned hospital births.

"As physicians, we have an obligation to provide families with information about the risks, benefits, limitations and advantages concerning the different maternity care providers and birth settings," said Richard N. Waldman, MD, president of The College. "It's important to remember that home births don't always go well, and the risk is higher if they are attended by inadequately trained attendants or in poorly selected patients with serious high-risk medical conditions such as hypertension, breech presentation, or prior cesarean deliveries." Based on the available data, The College believes that hospitals and birthing centers are the safest place for labor and delivery.

Although The College does not support planned home births given the published medical data, it emphasizes that women who decide to deliver at home should be offered standard components of prenatal care, including Group B Strep screening and treatment, genetic screening, and HIV screening. It also is important for women thinking about a planned home birth to consider whether they are healthy and considered low-risk and to work with a Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Midwife, or physician that practices in an integrated and regulated health system; have ready access to consultation; and have a plan for safe and quick transportation to a nearby hospital in the event of an emergency.

The recommendations state that a prior cesarean delivery is an absolute contraindication to planning a home birth due to the risks, including uterine rupture. Women who want to try for a vaginal birth after cesarean are advised to do so only in a hospital where emergency care is immediately available. Attempting a home birth also is not advised for women who are postterm (greater than 42 weeks gestation), carrying twins, or have a breech presentation because all carry a greater risk of perinatal death.

Committee Opinion #476, "Planned Home Birth," is published in the February 2011 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

# # #

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 55,000 members, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women's health care.

Resolving Mother's Grief After Preterm Birth Key To Premature Infant's Long-Term Well Being

Resolving Mother's Grief After Preterm Birth Key To Premature Infant's Long-Term Well Being

Having a baby prematurely can be traumatic experience for parents and is typically characterized by feelings of loss and grief that can persist for months after a baby is discharged from the hospital.

New research by the University of Michigan Health System and the University of Wisconsin shows that the degree to which a mother can resolve these feelings is thought to affect attachment between the mother and infant. That attachment has long-term implications for the infant's social and emotional development.

The findings of this study appear in this week's online edition of the journal Pediatrics...

Home birth trauma

On Behalf Of Janelle Komorowski
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 9:24 AM
Subject: Re: [solacesupporters] Re: Home birth trauma

Dear Solace Mothers,

I am a certified nurse-midwife with 25 years experience working in both in
and out of hospital settings. I am scheduled to speak at the annual
nurse-midwives' meeting in May on the topic of postpartum PTSD. I will be
speaking to about 1000 midwives, and I want to be able to emphasize to them
that this is a problem in midwifery, too, not just in mainstream obstetrics.

I am looking for stories from women who have experienced birth trauma with a
midwife. All stories are welcome, but I'd especially like to hear from
anyone who has had a home birth that they experienced as traumatic.

One question I will be trying to answer when I speak to the midwives is,
"What can we do to make this situation better?" I have found a lot of
information in the literature about preventing postpartum PTSD by the way
you interact with the laboring woman, but I have found little information
that discusses how to help when a true emergency occurs and there is little
time to discuss what's going on. Are there ways that we, as providers, can
respond appropriately to the emergency situation while minimizing trauma to
the laboring woman?

Anything you tell me will remain anonymous. Thank you in advance for
sharing your experiences with me, and teaching me.

Janelle Komorowski