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Zoloft® and Pregnancy

Taking antidepressants such as Zoloft® during pregnancy can put a baby at risk of certain complications. But, stopping treatment for your depression might put you at risk. If you are either thinking of becoming pregnant or do become pregnant while taking Zoloft® or another antidepressant, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible about the potential risks for you and your baby.

Antidepressants and Pregnancy

For many years, people thought that pregnancy hormones protect women against depression. However, this is not the case. In fact, pregnancy can actually evoke a range of emotions that make it hard to deal with depression. For women battling severe cases, antidepressants are important.

But, because some antidepressants have been linked to an increase in the risk of certain birth defects, it is important for pregnant women to talk with their doctors to determine what is best for their situation.

When depression is not controlled during pregnancy, both the mom and baby could be at risk. Problems that can arise without proper treatment include:

  • Being too tired to take proper care of oneself
  • Too depressed to stay on top of a healthy diet
  • Smoking or drinking to self-medicate

When depression is not controlled during pregnancy, the baby could be at risk of suffering developmental problems, low birth weight, and premature birth. The mother might be at risk of intense postpartum depression.

What are the Risks of taking Antidepressants during Pregnancy?

On the flip side, controlling the symptoms of depression with an antidepressant can also pose risks to the unborn baby. The birth defect risk, although low, is scary. Babies can suffer long-term disabilities which can compromise their quality of life.

Babies that are exposed to antidepressants during fetal development could be at risk of developing a wide range of birth defects, including (but not limited to):

  • Septal heart defects
  • Heart valve defects
  • Other congenital heart defects that affect the arteries and veins
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, or PPHN
  • Abdominal defects, specifically omphalocele
  • Craniosynostosis (skull defect)
  • Spina bifida
  • Anal atresia
  • Limb malformations, clubfoot

Will Taking Zoloft® During Pregnancy Result in Birth Defects?

Not necessarily. While there is believed to be an increase in the risk of certain birth defects, it is pretty low. Before making any decisions that could affect your health and your baby's health, consult your doctor. Only you and a qualified healthcare provider can determine what is right for you.

Find Out if You Qualify for a Zoloft® Lawsuit

If you did continue to take Zoloft® through your pregnancy and your child developed complications, you should speak with an attorney about your right to compensation. Birth defect lawsuits aim to help parents and their children get the compensation they need to get the best available treatments and care. Financial compensation can also help ease the overall stress of the situation.

For more information or to schedule a private case evaluation with a qualified birth defect lawyer, please contact us today.