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Pregnant Women Taking Antidepressants For Depression Need To Check It With Their Doctor

Update Date: Jan 31, 2016 02:09 PM EST

Pregnant women are extremely cautious when mulling about the use of anti-depressants because of worrying reports about multiple side effects on babies including birth defects.

Seemingly echoing earlier findings on the medication-induced birth defects, a government-released report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the US Preventive Services Task Force, advised a highly-recommended screening for depression for pregnant women and those who recently gave birth.

"Early pregnancy is time that is critical for baby's development and because so many women may be taking medications without knowing they are pregnant, we wanted to get a better sense of trends of antidepressant use of all women of reproductive age," remarked Jennifer N. Lind of CDC's Birth Defects Branch who co-authored the published report as quoted saying by CNN.

The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report found that around 15% of women in their reproductive age (15-44 years) took antidepressants at least once.

The authors strongly recommend that women in their reproductive age should seek expert advice from doctors before planning on taking anti-depressants before, during, or immediately after having a baby.

While preventive caution doesn't hurt, there are is a recently published study that suggests that anti-depressants do not negatively impact pregnancy.

The University College London-led study featured in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found no strong evidence that directly link the taking of anti-depressants with health risks such as congenital heart defects when compared with those not taking any medication of some kind to deal with depression.

"Women often receive conflicting messages on...taking antidepressants...because they fear adverse effects on their unborn child. However, health care professionals should counsel women on other risks contributing to congenital heart anomalies in children such as age, weight, diabetes, alcohol problems and illicit drug use," said senior author Dr. Irene Petersen as mentioned in a report by Medical News Today.

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