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Pregnant Women on Antidepressants Likely to Deliver Prematurely

Update Date: May 30, 2012 11:45 AM EDT

If you are pregnant and taking antidepressants, chances are that you will deliver prematurely.

A new study by Yale researchers, however, suggests that women with depression during their pregnancy need not be worried, and that pregnant women who take antidepressants too, need not be overly alarmed.  

"Women did not ask to be depressed and yet they worry that their depression may affect their baby," said Kimberly Yonkers, professor of psychiatry and of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences.

"This study tells them they should not worry that they are somehow compromising their pregnancy because they are depressed. And when considering whether to take medication for depression, women should understand that the risk of preterm birth is only one of many factors they should weigh," she added.

The study published in the journal Epidemiology has found that taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) during pregnancy significantly increased risk of late preterm birth, which is delivery between the 34th and the 37th week of pregnancy. The delivery takes place after gestation, and hence there are no reasons to be worried.  

Yonkers further said that earlier studies suggested and it was believed that depression itself leads to premature birth. But with the new study where around 3,000 pregnant women diagonised with depression were studied closely including their health history, age, drug use, and socio-economic status, there was no link found between depression and premature birth, said the report.

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