It would have been interesting to assess whether women receiving behavioral therapy, rather than medication, for their depression had babies with delayed or more advanced language development, she said.
Richards explained that, for women, the decision about whether to take SSRIs during pregnancy can be complicated.
"The human body is so complex," she said. "When you're pregnant, it inherently changes the way drugs are handled by the body, and with a growing fetus, you have to weigh the risks and the benefits."
Women who are taking SSRIs and are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not stop taking the medications without talking with their prescriber, Richards said. She warned that there can be serious implications to suddenly going off this class of drugs.
Although the study found an association between antidepressant use in pregnancy and babies' language development, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
To learn more about depression during pregnancy, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health.
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