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Connections between physical and mental health continue to emerge, particularly as they apply to pregnancy, though COVID-19 and even the holidays can have an impact as well. Here are our top stories on women and mental health for 2021.
Women with postpartum depression experience smell differently
The sensory symptoms related to postpartum depression are very different from those of major depression, with substantially declined olfactory sensitivity, said Mei Peng, PhD, MA, of the University of Otago Department of Food Science. Read more.
Depression, stress during pregnancy may impact fetal brain development
Depression or maternal stress episodes during pregnancy were linked with placental gene modifications that can lead to potential fetal brain programming, said Fasil Tekola-Ayele, PhD, of the NIH Eunice Kenndy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Read more.
Pregnancy stretch marks cause psychological, emotional burden
In the survey of pregnant women, 75% were most concerned about lesions becoming permanent, while discoloration and discomfort such as itching and pain were concerns as well, said researchers at Michigan Medicine. Read more.
Pandemic takes toll on mental health of older women with histories of trauma, violence
Karen P. Jakubowski
The survey of women with these histories found that 27% had elevated COVID-19 depression, 32% reported anxiety symptoms and 29% had increased conflicts with family members, said Karen P. Jakubowski, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Read more.
Music therapy phone call from physician may relieve anxiety in patients undergoing IVF
The mean anxiety scores of women who listened to 15 minutes of music an hour before their IVF treatment dropped from 13.5 to 8.6, said Hema Vaithianathan, MD, MRCOG, of SIMS Hospital at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress & Expo. Read more.
‘Optimal’ treatment for premenstrual depressive symptoms remains elusive
Combined oral contraceptives improved overall premenstrual symptomatology in women with PMS, but they did not improve premenstrual depressive symptoms, said Anouk E. de Wit, MD, of the department of psychiatry at University Medical Center Groningen. Read more.
Survey reveals postpartum mental health goes unaddressed
“New moms oftentimes may feel pressured to ‘do it all,’ and because they are so busy taking care of the baby, they often forget to take care of themselves,” said Beth Battaglino, RN-C, CEO of HealthyWomen. Read more.
Quality sleep, other wellness practices improve reproductive capacity
Positive habits include “savoring” life by focusing on the present, expressing gratitude, performing random acts of kindness, maintaining social contact and exercising, said Rocío Soledad Iaizzo, BSc, of the Procrearte reproductive health clinic. Read more.