Taking an antidepressant while pregnant raises the risk of autism in a child by 87 percent
This is according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, using data from the Quebec Pregnancy Cohort, which looked at 145,456 children between the time of their conception up to age ten.
Antidepressant use was defined as the mother taking one or more prescriptions for antidepressants during the second or third trimester of her pregnancy. The researchers think that because serotonin is involved in several pre- and postnatal developmental processes, antidepressants in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) category can have a negative impact on the ability of the brain to fully develop in the uterus.
According to study senior author Professor Anick Bérard, “Depression is a serious condition and needs to be treated. 80-85 percent of depressed pregnant women are mildly-moderately depressed. Antidepressants are only one treatment option in this population. Randomized controlled trials have also shown that exercise or psychotherapy are valid treatment options outside of pregnancy and for pregnant women as well.”
It is important to remember that your diet has an enormous impact on your mood and state of mind.
Diets high in sugar, trans fats and refined carbohydrates are strongly associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety, while diets high in vegetables, protein and natural fats have the opposite effect.
For more information on natural treatments for depression see the book Help for Depression and Anxiety. Please don’t discontinue any medication without prior medical advice.