Depression's rebirth in pregnant women | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Depression's rebirth in pregnant women

1:17pm, February 7, 2006

Although sometimes touted as natural mood enhancers, hormonal changes during pregnancy offer no biological protection against major depression for expectant mothers who temporarily stop taking their antidepressant drugs, a new study finds.

Among 82 women who continued to use previously prescribed antidepressants throughout their pregnancies, 21, or 26 percent, experienced a recurrence of depression, says a team led by psychiatrist Lee S. Cohen of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In contrast, 44 of 65 women, or 68 percent, who discontinued antidepressant medications sank back into depression during their pregnancies, the researchers report in the Feb. 1 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cohen's group studied pregnant women who had experienced depression before pregnancy and were receiving treatment at medical centers in Atlanta, Boston, or Los Angeles. Each woman completed monthly psychiatric interviews beginning no later than 16 weeks after

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content