Depression During Pregnancy Retarded Growth In Newborn Babies

A recent study concluded depression during pregnancy had a significant impact on the newborn's brain and body growth.

Dr. Hanan El Maurron at Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital discovered that babies whose mothers were depressed during pregnancy had a greater risk of suffering from retarded growth resulting in slower growth of mental and body development.

The study also found antidepressants also increased the risk of slow growth in the newborn's brain. Although antidepressants were safe for treating depression, pregnant women who took antidepressants, had lesser symptoms of depression, however, their newborn's growth significantly differed from those normal babies.

According to Dr. Marroun, the drug can pass through the placental barrier and disrupt serotonin levels an important factor in brain development. Animal models have already showed the adverse effect on the development of the brain.

Depression During Pregnancy Retarded Growth In Newborns
In the study three groups of women were examined: those who showed no signs of depression, those who had the symptoms and those who took the antidepressant drug. The unborn babies were examined through ultrasound every trimester.

Upon examining, the researchers concluded that those mothers who had no depression had normally growing babies as compared to those who had depression. Mothers who took antidepressants had babies with the slowest brain and body development.

The authors explain that a slow growth of the head meant slow mental development, as well.

1 comment:

  1. With or without medication, depression during pregnancy has impact on the unborn child. Emotional problems can affect a baby and this manifests through the brain and psychological development of the child. Now,it becomes worse if a mom-to-be takes SSRI type of antidepressant to control depression. There have been reports on birth defects on babies born to mothers who were on SSRI.