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No Link Between Anti-Depressants and Birth Defects

Every day in America, women who have been prescribed anti-depressants find out they are unexpectedly pregnant. One of the first things they might think is: Will the medication harm my baby?

Good news comes from Canada this week, where researchers studied over 2,000 women and found no link between anti-depressant medication, and an increased risk of birth defects.

Women in the study had been taking anti-depressant medication some or all of the time in their first trimester, or within the 30 days before becoming pregnant.

Many women who take anti-depressants feel that they can safely stop taking them during their pregnancy: partly because of mood-lifting hormones generated by the pregnancy, partly because of the joy of being pregnant, partly because of a decision to being medicine-free while pregnant.

Anti-depressant medications can be literally life-saving for some women, and greatly improve the quality of life for others. It’s a relief to hear that mothers who have been prescribed anti-depressants can still take their medicines without fear of harming their babies.

It’s important to talk with your obstetrician about every medicine you are taking, and to talk with the doctor who prescribed the medicine before stopping, changing or reducing the dose you take.

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