- Published: November 19, 2012
What you do when you're pregnant, with regard to your mental health, may sometimes affect your child. Though this current time period's focus is the increasing elderly population, the upcoming generations will surely have to face the consequences of an increased use of medication for psychiatric or neurological purposes among the maternal population. There is also the recent investigation of the ability of pregnant women to become depressed. Many doctors were under the impression that the increased levels of estrogen and other hormones in a pregnant women prevented her from feeling mental distress. However, the fact remains that prenatal depression is very real. Depending on how bad the depression is also, the baby may end up being born with defects because of the stigma that medication while pregnant is unacceptable or taboo. Yet on PubMed, there are more studies about pregnant women and SSRIs (the most commonly administered anti-depressant) than pregnant women taking Tylenol . The depression may be caused by an increase in progestoren which has the abiliity to potentially affect serotonin and negatively impact the woman's mood. Now, when so many children are suing for "Wrongful Life" and "Wrongful Birth", what is to stop children from suing their parents or parents' doctors regarding the use of or lack of antidepressants during pregnancy. It has been shown that SSRIs have the potential to cause birth defects and withdrawal symptoms in children, which leads to another set of issues regarding children and their potential issues as a result of antidepresants.
New studies are showing additionally that the use of antidepressants during pregnancy may be linked to an increased risk of autism in the children . There is already a problem with this as the maternal population shifts in age and women are getting pregnant later in their lives where there is an increased risk of mental illness in the child. All of this is frequently put on the back burner as it is frequently a priority to protect the fetus and ensure a safe delivery though perhaps at the risk of the mother's physical or mental health. This poor attention to both the mother and child's health has caused for a poor understanding of postnatal health issues for women. It is also impossible to do studies on pregnant women unless taken through simple observation. The impending lawsuits from such issues may be assisted with a neurological perspective for both the mother and the child. There may be spectrum tests that can test for issues like postnatal depression in women that can be used with more frequency and become a standard. There is also the possibilty of recommending a number of brain imagining techniques to pregnant women early in the pregnancy to try and determine if there is an appropriate way for medication to be administered for the continued health of the mother and the child. In a forward looking legal system, it would be critical to take into account the health of the mother and the child in such potential lawsuits.
: Pregnancy and prenatal depression: Are antidepressants the answer?
: Antidepressant use in pregnancy may cause autism risk
: Increasing number of disabled Israeli children sue for not being aborted
: The Logical Case for "Wrongful Life"