Depression treatment during pregnancy

A prospective study that included 7696 pregnant women from The Netherlands analysed the effects of antidepressive treatment on fetal growth and birth. These women were classified as follows: 7027 women without symptoms, 570 women with depressive symptoms and untreated, and 99 women using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Fetal ultrasonography revealed that depressive symptoms were related to a decrease in the fetus body and head growth; while the use of SSRIs improved depressive symptoms and was associated to a reduced fetal head growth, as well as to an increased risk for preterm birth.

The study concluded that pregnant women with severe depression should be treated, and that benefits and risk of antidepressant treatment in these women should be carefully assessed.

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