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Antidepressants in pregnancy linked to premature babies

Babies born to mums who took antidepressants while pregnant more likely to be born early and weigh less

Posted: 17 May 2010
by Kimberley Smith

Babies who are exposed to antidepressant medications in the womb are 8 times more likely to be born early. A study in Australia has also found that mums-to-be who were taking the drugs gave birth to smaller babies with lower birth weights.

“All antidepressants cross the placenta, thus exposing the developing foetus during pregnancy,” said Andrew Lewis, the psychologist who wrote the study. More research is needed to fully conclude whether antidepressants are a safe way to treat antenatal depression.

The research also found that antidepressant exposure in the womb affected development. The rate of growth measured was significantly slower compared to those babies born to mums who had not taken anti-depressants while pregnant.

However, antenatal depression is a serious medical condition and mums-to-be taking the medication should not alter it without speaking to their doctor say the experts. If you're at all worried talk to your midwife or GP.

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antidepressants, pregnancy, medicines, depression, antenatal depression, mums-to-be, unborn baby, foetus, drugs, placenta, prozac, seroxat

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