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Depression, Women's Health, and Parenting

Wanda Nicholson, MD and Donna Strobino, PhD, core faculty within the Center, have focused on extending our knowledge of the effect of depressive and diabetes in pregnancy on maternal and infant outcomes.  They have published two articles focusing on depressive symptoms and pregnancy complications in women with diabetes:

In keeping with her focus on chronic disease and childbearing, Dr. Nicholson, through funding by the American Diabetes Association, is launching an intervention trial in which postpartum, African-American women will be randomized to usual care or a 6-month postpartum-specific weight loss intervention.  Development of the intervention was based on context analysis of focus group transcripts conducted among pregnant African-American women in Baltimore City. This intervention is being conducted in collaboration with Johns Hopkins ProHealth and the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research.

In addition, Drs. Cynthia Minkovitz and DonnaStrobino, along with colleague Kathryn McLearn, recently published findings examining links between maternal depressive symptoms and early parenting practices (Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160:279-284) as well as relations between the timing of maternal depressive symptoms and the emergence of parenting practices (Pediatrics. 2006. 118:e174-e182).  They anticipate launching a new project in the coming year examining relations between women's multiple roles and mental health among mothers who previously participated in the Healthy Steps for Young Children Program.

See also, "Considering Interventions for Depression in Reproductive Age Women in Family Planning Programs" (2006). Rebecca Barson
This policy brief explores family planning programs as a possible site for incorporating interventions around depression, including screening and treatment, in reproductive age women.  The brief looks at the opportunities to reach women who otherwise may have little contact with the health care system, as well as the challenges of locating these services within family planning programs, and offers a list of potential interventions and recommendations for further action for FP programs, state and local public health agencies, and mental health providers.



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