Pregnancy risks: could Prozac, Paxil and Celexa harm your baby?

There is currently much discussion on the topic of pregnancy and depression, and whether it is a good thing to take antidepressants during a pregnancy. Chronic depression is certainly a challenge and maintaining serotonin for sufferers is considered a priority, but when research suggest that drugs could affect an unborn child, some choices may have to be made.

Researchers have now taken the position that there are controversial issues such as the risk of miscarriage, preterm births and also behavioural issues in babies when exposed to antidepressants taken by mothers prior to birth. They argue that there is nothing to suggest that these drugs could improve pregnancy outcomes. The group excluded those with severe depression in particular where there is a risk of suicidal tendencies and relapse but warned that those with mild depression in particular could benefit from such an informed decision. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Psychiatric Association already issued a joint statement three years ago stating that for those with severe conditions, discontinuation may be inappropriate.

It is felt that conventional medicine is often too quick at prescribing antidepressant tablets and in the case of expecting mothers, there is a range of alternative actions that could be applied instead in order to alleviate depression during pregnancy.

The view is now commonly held that depression itself is not a factor linked to miscarriage but certainly the drugs prescribed to treat the condition. New research could be on the way to address the issue as to whether long term negative effects could be caused as a result of prescribed drugs for pregnant mothers as there are already some results pointing to newborn behavioural syndrome.

Now there is an interesting relationship which needs to achieve a balance: The opinion of physicians against prescribing depression tablets for mothers expecting, and that of the psychologists who are for the idea – and drug companies probably treading carefully around the issue.

Other topics that expecting mothers could explore includes “yoga and pregnancy” also “pregnancy and nutrition”.