New research shows that pregnant women taking antidepressants are not linked with developmental disorders.
The safety of taking antidepressant medications during pregnancy has been questioned in the past. Many past studies have found links between antidepressants during pregnancy and developmental disorders in children but many of these older studies did not consider other factors such as obesity, medical conditions, environment, stress, and the effects of uncontrolled depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. According to a new research study, expectant mothers don’t need to worry anymore. The study was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal and researchers looked at whether antidepressant exposure during pregnancy was linked with any risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children.
It was a large study that followed over 145,000 women and their children for up to as long as 14 years in the United States. They concluded that using antidepressant medications during pregnancy was not linked with autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral disorders, developmental speech, language, learning and coordination disorders, or intellectual disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only a small number of antidepressants have been linked with an increased risk of birth defects and women should discuss their medications with their healthcare providers.
One of the researchers Dr. Elizabeth Suarez who is a professor at the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Sciences at Rutgers University told CNN, “Results of previous studies on this topic have presented conflicting results. Due to our large population size and careful study design, we believe that our study offers clarity that could help patients and provider make treatment decisions in pregnancy.1”
Other professionals in the women’s health field are happy with these results. Dr. Tiffany Moore Simas, told CNN, “I am grateful for this study. One in five perinatal individuals will experience a mental health condition. We must stop shaming them for doing what is needed to care for themselves. Healthy babies need healthy mothers.1” According to Dr. Moore Simas not treating a mother’s mental health has been associated with stillbirth, preterm birth, growth restriction, birth weight issues, impaired bonding, adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, and increased risk of offspring mental health.
Many women continue to be concerned and wary of antidepressant medications during pregnancy. It is essential for expectant mothers to talk with their healthcare providers about their medications and possible risks.
To read the original article from CNN, click here.
- LaMotte, S. (2022, October 4). Pregnant and taking antidepressants? don’t worry about Neurodevelopment Harm, study says. CNN. Retrieved October 5, 2022
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