We have all heard about the Baby Blues and the more serious Post Partum Depression, but many times depression during pregnancy goes untreated and under the radar. Depression anytime can be serious matter, but new research now shows that it is very important, and not harmful, for depressed expecting mothers to get treatment.
Previous research showed that pregnant women who took SSRI antidepressants gave birth to smaller babies with hindered physical development. New research at Northwestern University showed that babies born to mothers who took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy were the same height, weight and head circumference by the first year. The only different was infants were slightly shorter at birth, but the babies usually caught up to normal size in a few weeks.
Untreated depressed mothers are at risk for their appetite, nutrition, prenatal care and increased alcohol and drug use. Depression in mothers is also associated with premature birth and low infant birth rate, which increases the baby’s risk of heart disease.
The good news from this study is that pregnant women should not hesitate in seeking healthcare professionals to treat their depression and that antidepressants do not appear to pose the health risks once believed on developing infants.