A research project by Midwife cand.scient.san, ph.d.-student Stinne Høgh
The MAMA Study is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter trial evaluating the preventive effect of short-term transdermal estradiol administration in the immediate postpartum period (0-21 days postpartum) on postpartum depression in women at high risk (history of perinatal depression).
Major depressive disorder is a significant public health problem and is expected to be among the top disability causing illnesses worldwide by 2030. This includes perinatal depression (PND) that affects 10-15% of mothers postpartum and has a recurrence rate of approximately 40%. PND is a disabling disorder affecting the entire family, including infant development and future health. Women who develop PND might be particularly sensitive to the rapid and large changes in sex hormone milieu seen in the transition from high levels of placenta produced sex-steroids (in particular, estradiol) in pregnancy to the subsequent hormone withdrawal phase postpartum. Thus, PND most likely has a distinct pathophysiology, which may provide unique windows of opportunity for protecting mental health by a targeted short-term prevention in the immediate postpartum.
This PhD project aims through a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter trial to evaluate if short-term transdermal estradiol administration in the immediate postpartum period (0-21 days postpartum) 1) prevents depressive episodes in women at high-risk relative to placebo and/or 2) affects the early mother-infant interaction and the proportion of women who exclusively breastfeed their infants. Moreover, the PhD project aims through qualitative interviews to gain unique information women’s perceptions of biologically informed preventive precision medicine in relation to perinatal depression.