All About Pregnancy

About four million women will give birth in the U.S. this year. Pregnancy and its attendant hormonal changes have varying effects on moms-to-be and their mental health. And a wave of research on the importance of the fetal environment shows its long term impact on physical and psychological development.

Recent Posts on Pregnancy

One Potential Cause of Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is a serious disorder that can be treated effectively. A recent study demonstrates that about 4% of persons with postpartum psychosis may have an illness known as autoimmune encephalitis.

When You Are Grieving After a Miscarriage

Grieving is a very normal and healthy response to pregnancy loss. For some women, physical and emotional healing happens fairly quickly. For others, it can take longer – months or even a year.

Are Diesel Cars Responsible for Rising Rates of Autism?

A recent study and several previous investigations have found associations between air pollution and autism. These studies suggest increased chances of having a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder following higher exposures to diesel particulate matter, as well as in connection to proximity to a freeway.

How to Help Women With Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

These strategies are essential to treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders such as PPD effectively. They work so well, I'm no longer surprised when a recovering woman prepares to leave treatment and shares that one of them made the biggest difference on her road to wellness.

When Is the Best Time to Give Birth?

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on September 14, 2015 How We Do It
Medical intervention in human birth is now so widespread in industrialized countries that deliveries are seldom spontaneous. Yet with no intervention there is clear persistence of a general mammalian 24-hour biorhythm in birth hour. Is this just a carryover from ancestors that gave birth during their inactive period, or is that basic rhythm still biologically important?

Can Twitter Predict Who Will Develop Postpartum Depression?

Research shows that artificial intelligence can monitor a woman's Twitter feed during pregnancy and predict with 80% accuracy whether she will go on to develop postpartum depression.

"Eggsploitation: Maggie's Story" and Risks of Egg Retrieval

"Eggsploitation: Maggie's Story" reveals how the fertility industry takes advantage of individuals' altruistic motives in search of profit while the medical risks remain unknown.

The Loveliness of Luscious Loins

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on August 11, 2015 How We Do It
Studies of attractive features of women’s body shape have rarely considered the side view. This is needed to assess the importance of curvature of the loins and protrusion of the buttocks. Apparently, special adaptation of the lower spine in women to permit maintenance of the centre of gravity over the hips during pregnancy feeds into men’s assessment of attractiveness.

Stars, Bars, and Embryos

The ideas of "choice" and "intent" have arisen in debates about both the confederate flag and prenatal genetic testing. But are these concepts insufficiently nuanced for these tough topics?

Pregnant and Anxious?

A woman who feels anxious during her pregnancy might think this is just what it feels like to be pregnant.

Managing Pregnancy Jealousy During Infertility

Feeling jealous of another woman’s pregnancy is common and normal when you are experiencing infertility. Instead of feeling guilty, try these 6 ways to give yourself a break.

Hormonal Changes that Trigger Depression in Women

One in four women will experience an episode of depression at least once in their lives.

Brace Yourself

While egg freezing can offer a woman the possibility of extending her fertile years, it is a procedure that is far from benign in its psychological ramifications.

Policy Responses to Teen Pregnancy

The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Western world, and most of these pregnancies are unintentional. Importantly, teen mothers are less likely to finish high school and more likely to receive public assistance as compared to women who delay childbearing until after their teen years

The Motherhood Safety Net

Expanding mental health screening for maternal mental health

Eating for Two: Is It Good For You?

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on June 10, 2015 Food Junkie
New book focuses on what to eat (instead of what to avoid eating) when pregnant.

Depression During Pregnancy Requires Detection and Treatment

Depression during pregnancy requires treatment.

Miscarriages: Conception Without Birth

Miscarriage is a rarely discussed, almost taboo topic. Couples hit by pregnancy loss are usually unprepared and left alone to cope with grief and imagined guilt. Popular belief has it that miscarriage affects only 5% of pregnancies, but 15-20% are reported. Far greater losses occur before pregnancy is clinically recognizable, and only 25% of conceptions lead to birth.

Five Common Myths about Miscarriage

Women and men alike have been found to have many misconceptions about miscarriages. In order to understand this experience and be able to support one's self and others going through such a loss, greater awareness of the truths about miscarriage is needed.

Makings of a Child

What is a father? How does assisted reproduction reshape how we think of fathers and mothers, and what are the consequences for children's genetic, epigenetic and cultural legacies?

Choosing to Be Child-free

More and more people in the west are choosing not to have children. Is this a puzzle for evolutionary psychologists? What does the research say on this topic?

Are Your Worst Nightmares Also Everyone Else's?

By E E Smith on April 16, 2015 Not Born Yesterday
They are the grim subject of several centuries-old paintings, in which a black horse (or "night mare") hovers near a sleeping figure. They have been the terrifying theme of movies, past and present––from "I Wake Up Screaming" (1941), to the latest "Nightmare on Elm Street" flick. So, what exactly is a nightmare?

Pregnant? Easier to Be Fired Than You Think

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 Singletons
Pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant? More women are working while pregnant and working longer into their pregnancies than in previous decades, especially among those having their first child. In spite of laws to protect them, employers find ways to discriminate, circumvent the laws and dismiss them.

Should Elective Surgery Be Delayed for Very Young Children?

Accumulating evidence supports the possibility that general anesthetics have adverse effects on brain development in very young children. A recent New England Journal of Medicine editorial suggests that parents and doctors consider the risks and benefits of delaying elective surgery until children are 3 years old or older.

Vitamania! 15 Vital Facts About the Vitamins We Love

By Meg Selig on April 07, 2015 Changepower
Are you a "vitamaniac?" 15 vital facts about vitamins and supplements, plus 5 questions to ask yourself before you take a vitamin or other supplement.

Shaming Women: Sex, Toys, and Cosmetic Surgery

Stigmatizing women continues. But let us be grateful to women's advocates -- those who expose the finger pointers.

Birth Your Way

Women over 35 are more susceptible to birth interventions. However, training for labor, finding providers who meet your needs, and good fortune can lead to a happy birth experience.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pregnancy Loss Etiquette

If approximately one million expectant parents per year experience a pregnancy loss, why do people struggle on how to act towards them? Most people are well intended and want to be supportive, but have no idea how to approach it.

What Parents Can’t Do

More than twice as many states required parental consent for mental health treatment than for substance abuse treatment.