Brentwood, TN – A recent study that is getting a lot of attention about antidepressants (AD) and a possible link to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), may be bringing about worry and confusion among moms-to-be, according to MotherToBaby experts who study a variety of medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
“Questions are coming in to us, so we really wanted to reassure moms that this study doesn’t prove anything. It’s not the whole story,” said Robert Felix, MotherToBaby President. The study, Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children, has suggested a link between taking antidepressants during the second or third trimester of pregnancy and an increased risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder.
“It’s important to remember that this is one study, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions,” said Felix. “While it adds to the information on the use of these medications in pregnancy, it’s not proof that use of antidepressants will lead to ASD.” Felix points out other recent studies which have not found a link to ASD. While a mother’s mental illness may play a role, it is very important to treat her illness. Untreated mental illness may cause problems for the mom, the pregnancy and the developing baby.
“What we do know for sure is that a pregnant woman should not change her medication without talking to her health care provider first,” he added.
If you have heard about or read the new study on antidepressants and autism and are concerned, please contact MotherToBaby at 1-866-626-6847. You can also text questions to us at 855-999-3525 or read our evidence-based information fact sheets on SSRI medications.