For years, it was believed that pregnancy protects a woman from depression, even if the woman had suffered from depression before becoming pregnant. But a new study says there is too much evidence now to indicate that's not true.
Dr. Lee Cohen and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital joined three other institutions to track about 200 women who had been taking anti-depressants but then became pregnant. Their findings are in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"We found that patients who stopped their antidepressant during pregnancy were five times more likely to have return of depressive symptoms than those patients who had decided to continue their antidepressant during pregnancy," says Lee Cohen, M.D., with Massachusetts General Hospital.
So, the study finds that pregnancy does not come with some built-in protection against depression and that women who are troubled before they become pregnant should seek expert advice on how they should treat those emotions during their pregnancy. But of course, always talk to your doctor before taking any medication while you're pregnant.