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Do antidepressants contribute to an increase in birth injuries?


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Nov 15, 2012 in Birth Injuries

Pregnant women all across Connecticut go to great lengths to ensure that their baby will be born healthy. However, this can be difficult when women do not even realize that certain behaviors and medications have an effect on an unborn child. For example, many studies suggest that there may be a possible connection between pregnant women taking antidepressants and an increase in birth injuries.

Many of us would not question a doctor who prescribes us a medication to treat a troubling condition. We expect that physicians clearly understand that which they are treating, and this may be especially true for pregnant women. However, some physicians continue to prescribe certain antidepressants to pregnant women, despite the studies that indicate that this can put them at an increased risk of experiencing a miscarriage, pregnancy complications and pre-term labor.

A recent study claims to confirm these suppositions. While the research has many critics, the author of the study says that he looked at more than 40 other studies that explored the possible relationship between women who take selective antidepressants that are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also called SSRIs, and the frequency of pre-term births. He says that it is consistently determined that the risk of pre-term labor or birth defects is markedly elevated when the mother is taking the antidepressants.

However, not only do critics challenge the accuracy of this research, many people also believe that a woman who needs to be on antidepressants for severe depression would be putting more stress on an unborn child if she does, in fact, go off the SSRIs. She may end up eating poorly, missing doctor's appointments and making dangerous decisions in her compromised state.

Because the medication that a pregnant woman takes can seriously affect an unborn child, it is crucial that a doctor takes care to keep this in mind when writing out a prescription. It can be difficult to find the balance between treating a pregnant woman and keeping a baby safe, but it is essential in order to do everything possible to prevent birth injuries and miscarriages. If you think your baby suffered a birth injury due to an antidepressant contact an experienced Waterbury birth injury lawyer today for a free consultation. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "Antidepressants During Pregnancy Carry Risks, Study Says," Catherine Pearson, Nov. 14, 2012