Depression during pregnancy or antepartum depression is a mood disorder. During pregnancy, hormone changes can affect the chemicals in your brain, these then cause depression and anxiety. As many such women are prescribed anti-depression drugs to combat the effects these hormonal changes cause.
But now there’s a growing number of studies looking into the effects of antidepressants during pregnancy. Research even suggests that the drugs may be linked to increased miscarriages. While other research indicates the possibility of congenital disabilities and increased risk of autism.
In one study conducted by Columbia University and published in JAMA Pediatrics, Mothers who were on antidepressants, had babies with greater brain volumes in areas associated with emotions and processing emotions, as well as higher connections between these regions, compared to babies whose mothers were either not treated for their depression or were not experiencing depression.
Research from other studies showed that older children and adults with anxiety disorders and depression showed similar increases in grey matter volume in these emotional centers, as well as increased connections between nerve cells populating these areas.
Further investigation into the effects of Antidepressant on babies in the womb are ongoing, and all the babies born in the test were born healthy. As always one should consult with their doctors about what treatment is the best option for them, or if they should consider alternatives.