Autism is an increasing common neurological disorder, more and more infants are displaying signs of autism across the spectrum. Dr. David Stevens discusses how antidepressants and other drugs taken by a mother during pregnancy can potentially have a negative impact on the neurological health of the child.
Many medications that are prescribed regularly have known risk factors to babies in the womb. Dr. Stevens suggests that couples who plan to become pregnant make a prenatal visit to the doctor’s office to find out if they are at risk.
“There are certain things your doctor will do during that visit, one of them is to review all your medications both those that have been prescribed and those over-the-counter.”
Meeting with the doctor will allow soon-to-be mothers to understand how the medications they are taking could affect their pregnancy.
“Medications are actually rated according to the risk, or how well they’ve been studied in pregnancy.”
Sometimes it’s not always possible to plan ahead during a pregnancy, in that case Dr. Stevens suggests that patients head to the doctor as soon as possible when they suspect they are pregnant.
“The most dangerous time to be on medications in pregnancy is actually in the first twelve weeks, the first trimester, when everything is starting from that one-cell stage and the fetus is developing its organs.”
Sometimes, it can be more dangerous to take a patient off antidepressants than it is to continue to take the drug during pregnancy. Special cases involving extremely depressed patients can garner an exception.
“The doctor has to make those decisions and they are difficult to make because it doesn’t apply to each individual. I’m in no way saying that if you’re on a depressant you should stop them, that is a decision that needs to be made with your obstetrician.”
For any parent, they health of their baby inside the mother’s womb is the highest priority. Take time to understand how your prescription and over-the-counter medications could affect your pregnancy.