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Posts Tagged ‘risk’

Are Anti-Depressants Safe during Pregnancy?

Monday, June 8th, 2009 by:

As if there wasn’t enough for moms-to-be to worry about, now we can’t even get depressed. Or, if we do feel down, we can’t do anything about it.

Until recently doctors advised that it was okay for pregnant women to take drugs such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft to help ease depression. But a flurry of recent reports are challenging the safety of antidepressants for unborn babies. Most famously, three independent studies have found that Paxil can triple a baby’s risk of developing a heart defect. The risk is still less than one in 500, but if you’re that one mother the effects can be devastating.

Studies have also found that Paxil and other anti-depressant drugs can increase the risk of miscarriage and the chance that your baby will be born prematurely. Most doctors now warn that pregnant women should avoid Paxil and most anti-depressant drugs throughout their pregnancy except for extreme cases. If you suffer from depression, and are planning to have a baby, you should speak with your doctor about alternatives before trying to conceive.

Planning a C-section? It may pay to wait.

Saturday, February 21st, 2009 by:

I wish this had been published before I scheduled my C-section at 38 weeks. Although the outcome may not have been any different (my son was in NICU for 11 days for respiratory distress), there’s a chance that waiting an extra week to deliver could have nixed my baby’s NICU stay.

Thirty-seven weeks is considered a full-term pregnancy. But if you need to schedule a planned cesearean section delivery, new information has found it’s best to way until your baby is at least 39 gestational weeks of age.

A study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine tracked almost 25,000 repeat and singleton C-sections. Compared to births at 39 weeks, births at 37 and 38 weeks were associated with an increased risk of adverse respiratory outcomes, mechanical ventilation, newborn sepsis, hypoglycemia, and admission to the neonatal unit. Your risk increased by a factor of 1.8 to 4.2 for births at 37 weeks and 1.3 to 2.1 for births at 38 weeks.