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Mental Health Medications And Pregnancy: What Are The Risks And Benefits For Mom And Baby?
Date:6/6/2013

NEW YORK, June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- No woman should stop taking her mental health medication if she gets pregnant without first talking to her doctor, experts said today at a luncheon for reporters hosted by March of Dimes National Communications Advisory Council.

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Some young women have been on antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, or medication for attention deficit disorders since they were teenagers.  Now as women of childbearing age or mothers-to-be, they should seek support and guidance from health care providers to determine if they should continue, stop or switch to a different drug.

More than half of pregnant women take at least one prescription medication at some time during pregnancy, the experts said.

Christina Chambers, Ph.D., MPH, the director of Clinical Research at Rady Children's Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California San Diego,  and Kimberly A. Yonkers, MD, director of the PMS and Perinatal Psychiatric Research Program at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, discussed how widespread the use of these medications are and their relative risks.

"Pregnant women should talk to their doctor about which medications they are taking, and what are the best options for them while pregnant. It is important to balance the possible risks and benefits of all medications to the mother and the baby," said Dr. Yonkers.

Women should not just quit taking their medications, Dr. Yonkers said. If a woman prefers to stop her medications and her physicians agree that it is a reasonable option, she can do so and be monitored.

"Women agonize over whether or not to continue their mental health medications
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SOURCE March of Dimes
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