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Study: Pregnancy Does Not Ease Effects Of Depression

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Feeling blue? Some couples choose that time to get pregnant. Even some health care professionals believe that pregnancy protects a woman from depression, but a new study suggests it is not true.

"We looked at women during pregnancy with histories of depression who were on antidepressants and who chose either to continue or to discontinue those antidepressants during pregnancy," said Dr. Lee Cohen, of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Researchers tracked about 200 women through their pregnancies. The results are in the

Journal of the American Medical Association


They show women who stopped taking anti-depressants during pregnancy were five times more likely to see symptoms return than those women who continued the medications during pregnancy.

"It does appear from these data that pregnancy does not protect women against depression during pregnancy," Cohen said.

Kirshenbaum can attest to that. She gave birth to a healthy girl, now 2 years old. She has advice for other women who suffer from depression.

"I think they need to seek expert advice on what they should do on an individual basis. I don't advocate for medication, I advocate for expert advice before making decisions," she said.

Expectant mothers should always consult their doctors before taking any medication, but research shows most anti-depressants are safe for both mother and child during pregnancy.

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