Untreated Prenatal Depression

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Biological and psychological risks of untreated depression in pregnant women There are substantial risks associated with untreated prenatal depression for both the mother and child including low birth weights, preterm deliveries, and preeclampsia (Anderson et al., 2015). Even more risks after delivery have been identified such as postpartum depression, childhood obesity, and development of depression in the child later in life. It must be noted, however, that previous experiments? analysis of prenatal depression and its risks have presented conflicting and non-definitive conclusions (Qiu et al., 2007; Andersson et al., 2004). The following sections define and analyze the risks for the mother and child as a result of untreated prenatal depression …show more content…
This experiment studied a population of 103 mother-offspring dyads the researchers collected data that upon further analysis claimed a significant association between offspring exposure to maternal depression during pregnancy and depression in early adulthood. The results of the data show that offspring exposed to maternal depression during pregnancy were 3.4 times as likely to have DSM-IV depressive disorder and were 2.4 times more likely to have experienced child maltreatment. The researchers in this study further indicated that their results did not find that exposure to maternal depression after birth contributes to this association. For this reason, it can be suggested that exposure to maternal depression during pregnancy presents a unique period for intergenerational transmission of risk for depression that is independent from postnatal depression. The study itself is important because it utilizes a longitudinal design that collected data from pregnancy to 26 years later, but there are certain limitations of the study including the small sample size and lack of diversity in the population from which the participants were drawn from. Despite these limits the implications of this study are of clinical significance that warrant further exploration into the possible interventions for untreated depression …show more content…
Some of the adverse effects that have been associated with the usage of antidepressants include ?intrauterine death, spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, fetal growth impairment, neonatal toxicity, structural malformations, gastrointestinal problems, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), cardiac malformations, or long-term effects on infant neuro-cognitive development? (Anderson et al. 2015). There appears to be a higher occurrence of malformations in the infant if the mother uses antidepressants during her first trimester of pregnancy. In contrast, the concern for antidepressant use during the third trimester of pregnancy is neonatal adaptation syndrome, characterized by ?jitteriness, muscles weakness, and a poor suck reflex at birth? (Anderson et al., 2015). However, these effects appear to be transient. In any case, the patient should especially be closely observed during the third trimester and the dosage of her medication adjusted as needed, as many somatic changes in the development of the fetus occur during this time period (Ryan et al.,

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