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New Study Looks at Antidepressants in Pregnancy

Posted On: 06-09-2017
New Study Looks at Antidepressants in Pregnancy
A new study published the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests that expectant mothers taking an antidepressant will not place their baby at risk of being cranky or sleepless, or having additional problems.

The study was conducted by reseaerchers at Northwestern University. A total of 214 new moms were divided into three groups: those who were taking a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressant, those with a mood disorder who did not take an antidepressant, and those without a mood disorder who were not taking an antidepressant.

Two to four weeks following birth, the babies in all three groups had similar rates of feeding troubles, sleep disturbances, irritability, and respiratory problems. These problems affected 3 out of 10 babies in each of the three groups.

It is not uncommon for women to be concerned about taking antidepressants during pregnanacy. However, the primary risk factor for the irrtaibility in these babies was preterm birth. Babies affected by preterm birth may have what is called Neonatal Discontinuation Syndrome (NDS), which can also contribute to excessive crying and tremors.

Amy Yang, the study’s first author and a biostatistician in Northwestern University’s Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders, indicated that many pregnant women forgo taking their antidepressants to protect their unborn baby’s health. However, this study indicates that women can continue to take their medication without worrying about how it will affect the baby’s early behavior.

It is recommended that pregnant women discuss all medications with their doctor before and during pregnancy.

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