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Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 831–832 | Cite as

Pregnancy: a final frontier in mental health research

  • Jodi PawluskiEmail author
  • Molly Dickens
Letter to the Editor

This spring, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA made further allowances for the participation of pregnant women in research. Up until recently, pregnant women were in a specially protected class for human research subjects because they were considered “vulnerable to coercion.” Leaving pregnancy out of research is not limited to drug trials, however. Even at the funding level, women’s health during this critical stage of a woman’s life is an overlooked area of research: 2017 is the earliest year listed for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) classification of funding dedicated to pregnancy or maternal health categories.

The awareness of these research oversights and the implications of them are reaching mainstream media. A recent piece in the Washington Post brought public attention to what many of us already recognized as a key issue in the field of women’s health—the lack of basic and clinical research when it comes to pregnancy (Johnson 2019). In the article, the...

Notes

Funding

JLP is presently supported by funding from the Intstitut des Neurosciences Cliniques de Rennes.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

MJD is employed by Bloomlife: Smart Pregnancy Wearable. JLP has received consultant fees and lecture fees from Binc-Geneva (http://binc-geneva.org/).

References

  1. Barba-Müller E, Craddock S, Carmona S, Hoekzema E (2018) Brain plasticity in pregnancy and the postpartum period: links to maternal caregiving and mental health. Arch Womens Ment Health 22(2):289–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Lonstein JS (2019) The dynamic serotonin system of the maternal brain. Arch Womens Ment Health 22:237–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Meltzer-Brody S, Colquhoun H, Riesenberg R, Epperson CN, Deligiannidis KM, Rubinow DR, Li H, Sankoh AJ, Clemson C, Schacterle A, Jonas J, Kanes S (2018) Brexanolone injection in post-partum depression: two multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials. Lancet 392:1058–1070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Pawluski JL, Lonstein JS, Fleming AS (2017) The neurobiology of postpartum anxiety and depression. Trends Neurosci 40:106–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Inserm, EHESP, Irset (Institut de Recherche en Santé, Environnement et Travail)University RennesRennesFrance
  2. 2.BloomlifeSan FranciscoUSA

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