Document Detail

Regulation of anxiety during the postpartum period.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17604088     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Healthy mother-infant interactions are critical for the physical, cognitive, and psychological development of offspring. Such interactions rely on numerous factors, including a positive maternal emotional state. However, many postpartum women experience emotional dysregulation, often involving elevated anxiety. Neuroendocrine factors contributing to the onset of postpartum anxiety symptoms are mostly unknown, but irregularities in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function, reduced prolactin and oxytocin signaling, or parturitional withdrawal of ovarian, placental and neural steroids could contribute to anxiety in susceptible women. Although the causes of initial onset are unclear, postpartum anxiety can be mitigated by recent contact with infants. Numerous neurochemical systems, including oxytocin, prolactin, GABA, and norepinephrine mediate this anxiolytic effect of infant contact. Insight into the etiology of postpartum anxiety disorders, and how contact with infants helps counter existing anxiety dysregulation, will surely facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of postpartum women at risk for, or experiencing, an anxiety disorder.
Joseph S Lonstein
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2007-06-02
Journal Detail:
Title:  Frontiers in neuroendocrinology     Volume:  28     ISSN:  0091-3022     ISO Abbreviation:  Front Neuroendocrinol     Publication Date:    2007 Aug-Sep
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-07-16     Completed Date:  2007-12-27     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7513292     Medline TA:  Front Neuroendocrinol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  115-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Neuroscience Program & Department of Psychology, Giltner Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Infant, Newborn
Maternal Behavior* / physiology,  psychology
Postpartum Period / psychology*

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